Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Downtown Capacity & View Corridors Study

Today, the city of Vancouver is holding an Open House to review the appropriateness of the View Corridors that were established 20 years ago. I will be attending today...because I personally believe there is a need to review the current view corridors. Now, it is not that I am opposed to view corridors....I do support them. But I do not necessarily support a very narrowly defined view corridor to the Lions from a particular point along the Granville Street Bridge. Did you know that's one of the protected views?

The underlying thesis seems to be that this study is being done to allow increased capacity, and in turn allow higher buildings that will allow the city to extract more amenities from developers. Quite frankly, I am opposed to this philosophy. We should decide on what is the appropriate form for the times, and fund amenities separately. It is simply wrong to always marry the two. I am opposed to taller buildings in Chinatown and the DTES for the same reasons.

Attend the open house!

Purpose of Study

The purpose of the study is to review the Council adopted heights limits and view corridors affecting the study area and recommend changes, if appropriate, to achieve additional development capacity. The intent is to identify possible modifications while still achieving the objectives underlying the current height and view corridor policies.

Why are we reviewing the View Corridors & Height Limits?

The downtown peninsula has a limited amount of land for development given its geographic boundaries. Downtown development is also limited by City policies governing building height, building size and protected public view corridors.

In October 2008 Council requested this study to review heights and protected views in the Downtown and to seek ways to increase the development potential. The additional development potential can help to achieve the amenities generally funded through development such as parks, heritage revitalization, affordable housing, and cultural facilities.

The study will determine which views the public values most, and work to preserve those views, while possibly altering others. Council will consider these changes to protected views and the implications for future public benefits in late 2009.

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