Open letter to The City Planning Dept and Mayor and Council

CCAN sent the following open letter to The City Planning Dept and Mayor and Council. If you oppose this project as proposed then you can contact the City using the following email links. Feel free to use points from our letter below.

Dear Ms. Zeng

RE:   Rezoning of 3365 Commercial Drive, 1695, 1707, 1739, & 1775 East 18th Avenue

We are sending this as an open letter which we will post to the   CCAN website.

We are a newly formed and energetic community group from the Cedar   Cottage area of the City. We are 40 strong and growing fast.  We have named our group “Cedar Cottage   Area Neighbours”, or CCAN and may join the Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods   group in the future.

CCAN met on October 26 to discuss the proposed rezoning of 3365   Commercial Drive.  Our group has a   number of serious concerns about the proposal which are listed   below:

  • A reduction of the   parking requirements called for by the project will create significant parking   and traffic problems for the area.    There is already a great deal of traffic on E 18th due to the   two  churches located close to the   intersection and because it is a heavily used connector from Commercial Drive to   Knight Street. This project will only exacerbate this problem.
  • The site is too large   for the location; an assembly of 5 lots is too much. We also believe that an   assembly of this size violates the applicable City policy.
  • The 11,595 sq foot   commercial space is too large and out of character for the location.  Commercial use here will disrupt the   peace and quiet of the neighbourhood.    This was not envisioned in our Community Vision Plan as this is a   residential area.
  • The density is too   high. As well, the project would require the removal of many old trees and   destroy a green space which is both a landmark and a valuable neighbourhood   asset.
  • We have absorbed much   new construction in the area in the last few years; this additional extra   density will create a strain on services such as schools, the Community Centre   and public transit.
  • A six storey building   is too tall and out of character for the neighbourhood. Even a four storey   building is not appropriate on East 18th.  We were anticipating that any development   for this corner would consist of affordable family housing of small house/duplexes, traditional row houses,   stacked townhouses and courtyard row houses.
  • The building design is not innovative and is out of character for   this location which has pre-1940 single family homes, modern row-houses and   low-rise condos nearby.
  • The project will not provide affordable housing for families.
  • Any developers in this area should pay DCLs so that amenities can   flow back to benefit the neighbourhood.
  • The City lot at 1739 E 18th, which has a small creek on it, should   be retained for an oasis of nature rather than be developed.  The creek follows through on to the 3365   Commercial lot.
  • We are concerned about the loss of the well on the lot at 3365   Commercial Drive.
  • We feel strongly that the large trees on Commercial Drive at E   18th must be preserved.
  • We believe it is inappropriate to remove the already affordable   rental housing on these lots to build much smaller units with no guarantee that   they will be as affordable as the current housing.
  • The issue of   affordability was brought up by several members of the group. It was mentioned   at the Open House that the units would rent at market rates.  It is our view that such a project must   demonstrate affordability beyond simply that which is theoretically achieved   through supply and demand.  The units should be rented below   market prices.

On a general note, we respectfully request that in future CCAN   representatives be permitted to participate when the City meets with developers   to discuss rezonings in our neighbourhood.    If we are able to participate at the beginning of the process, the   community will be able to provide its input early so that we can work together   and take a more collaborative approach with the City and developers.  This more open process will, we believe,   help developers and the City save time and resources.  We appreciate this represents a   significant change, but we believe our suggestion would help ensure that City   Planning takes a more collaborative direction.

Thank you for your time and consideration. We look forward to   hearing from you about our concerns.

Yours sincerely

Louise Garvin, Secretary

On behalf of the members of CCAN

About leechap

A Community Sympathiser
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1 Response to Open letter to The City Planning Dept and Mayor and Council

  1. Pingback: Assistant Director of Planning replies to CCAN’s October 28 letter to The City | Cedar Cottage Area Neighbours

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