The DRA’s Land Use Committee sent the following letter to Mayor and Council:
July 25, 2015
Re: CALUC Meeting-951 Johnson Street
Dear Mayor Helps and Council,
The DRA LUC has reviewed the drawings and hosted a CALUC meeting on March 18th, 2015 for the above-mentioned application. The applicant proposed the meeting, as it was not a requirement of the CALUC process. The applicant should be commended for undertaking this higher level of public consultation. Twenty-nine people registered their attendance at the door.
Based on the information presented by the applicant, the purpose of the rezoning is to create two residential towers over a single four-storey podium, with ground floor commercial space fronting Johnson and Vancouver Streets. There will be 205 condominiums with the parking entry off Vancouver Street. The two buildings would share an underground parking structure. Units would range in size from <500 sq ft up to 1800 sq ft with the standard sizes of 600-800 sq ft.
The applicant outlined how they had responded to early DRA LUC concerns regarding the viability of marginal, interior ground floor commercial spaces and had adapted the design to convert those spaces to work/live units.
Comments and concerns raised at the CALUC meeting by the public are as follows;
• A range of comments were heard regarding the street wall configuration for the podium levels and the setbacks for the building at the sidewalk. There were both concerns and complements from various attendees as to the City policy of no setback from the street. • Concerns were voiced regarding shadowing. The applicant provided shadow studies indicating the impacted areas to the north. It was pointed out that the applicant also owned much of the impacted property to the north. • Attendees suggested that visitor parking would be beneficial but would need to be controlled and monitored. • Attendees also expressed concerns that not enough parking was proposed. Other attendees pointed out that many downtown residents don’t have cars. • Concerns were voiced regarding that the eventual use proposed for the ground floor commercial space be compatible with the residential use above. For example, no late night pubs or restaurants. • Several attendees commented that the proposed cladding materials were of a high quality and the articulation of the buildings provided visual interest
No attendees of the CALUC meeting voiced opposition to the proposal.
The DRA generally supports this proposal as it appears to be of very high quality, conforms to the OCP and will bring vitality to the Harris Green precinct.
Chair Land Use Committee Downtown Residents Association cc Planning and Development Department