Growing Density Worries B&B Owner

Vancouver's Cambie Street corridor is targeted for increased density by the city's planning department, with buildings up to 12 stories. A bed-and-breakfast owner who has run her business in the neighborhood since 1972 says enough is enough.

Corinne Sanderson, the owner of the B&B, says in The Vancouver Courier:

"Ours has been a lovely neighbourhood, but recently we have been asked to accept the greatly increased density," she told the Courier. "We have done so gracefully but feel we have been more than fair in accepting more than our share of densification."

Brent Toderian, Vancouver's director of planning and frequent contributor to Planetizen, is interviewed in the article. He says that densifying Cambie St. is critical to make sure that the city's investment in transit in the area pays off.

Full Story: Neighbourhood density rankles longtime Oakridge resident



Vancouver city planners sticking to their own agenda

Brent Todarien and his Cambie Corridor lead planner Jim Bailey claim to be listening to the Vancouver area residents and owners impacted by the Cambie Corridor Plan. They are not. They are picking and choosing what they want to hear. Our community vision, approved by city council in 2005, is being thrown out the window. They are also not following many of the Cambie Corridor planning principles approved by city council on January 22, 2010. The transition to the existing residential is not sensitive. It is possible to add density in the neighbourhoods along the Cambie Corridor, but this plan is all wrong. There are alternatives that planners are refusing to look at. There is no real consultation. In my area (King Edward station), the plan is too tall, too close, does not fit in with the existing character of the neighbourhood and is completely insensitive. It is an assault on my neighbourhood.

Brent Toderian not doing it well

I can echo the opinion of Corinne Sanderson in the Oakridge area of the Cambie corridor when she says "It seems it doesn't matter that we're against it”. In our area near the King Edward station most residents feel that we have spoken loud and clear against this plan and are not being heard. There is a guise of consultation but only lip service is being paid to the input of residents.

This proposal by Vancouver City Planners to take 4 prime blocks along King Edward and give it to developers, would wipe out years of community planning.

Eight, six and four story buildings built between the 300 and 600 blocks of King Ed makes an absolute mockery of the Official Community Plan that was developed over the past five years for Riley Park / South Cambie (RPSC Community Vision) that very clearly DID NOT support 4-8 story buildings. This plan also goes against many of the Cambie Corridor ‘Planning Principles’ adopted by city council only months ago on Jan 22, 2010. One key principle is the use of sensitive transitions to existing residential neighbourhoods. Clearly, backing 4-8 story buildings up against 1-2 story houses DOES NOT fit with these principles.

It is an absolute betrayal by Brent Toderian and the City Planning Department. It minimizes the concept of community involvement in creating official community plans. This plan is a bad idea hatched by a few bureaucrats who haven’t thought about, or have ignored, many other good alternatives to achieve increased density that fits the character of this area. Other areas have achieved increased density and still kept the neighbourhood feel. This kind of “spot zoning” is indeed an assault on our neighbourhood that will primarily benefit the developer friends of the Vision dominated city council.

Brent Toderian says “the discussion is how to do it well”... This is NOT doing it well.
Area residents are calling for a more comprehensive and integrated plan that spreads out the density within the entire 500 meter “walking zone” around the station. This is what is needed.

Go back to the RPSC Community Vision and implement the new housing forms that were approved by this process (and possibly revisit the “almost approved” forms) before "short-cutting" past proper public consultation and forcing 4-8 story apartment buildings on King Edward Avenue.

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