development – The Langara Voice https://www.langaravoice.ca News, entertainment and sports from Langara College journalism students Fri, 15 Nov 2019 00:17:39 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8.1 https://www.langaravoice.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/LOGO-100x100.png development – The Langara Voice https://www.langaravoice.ca 32 32 Langara zoning plan in motion https://www.langaravoice.ca/langara-zoning-plan-in-motion/ Thu, 14 Nov 2019 15:00:16 +0000 https://www.langaravoice.ca/?p=44202 By Ray Chopping A rezoning application to increase Langara’s density is expected to be complete by Spring 2020, according to a senior facilities consultant at the college. The application is to allow increased density, setting the groundwork for the future development of buildings. The rezoning application was filed to the city in the spring of […]]]>

By Ray Chopping

A rezoning application to increase Langara’s density is expected to be complete by Spring 2020, according to a senior facilities consultant at the college.

The application is to allow increased density, setting the groundwork for the future development of buildings. The rezoning application was filed to the city in the spring of 2019 and a public open house was held in July. Any building permits for new buildings would come later; the rezoning application will have no direct impact on current students.

Five-year plan underway

“Rezoning is a complex process,” said Wendy Lannard, senior facilities advisor for Langara.

The college’s five-year capital plan has identified the need for a 350,000 sq. ft. building (roughly 32,500 sq. m) at Ontario Street and 49th Avenue, but the project has yet to secure funding.

Neal Wells, communications manager for civic engagement at the City of Vancouver, said that the proposal is currently being reviewed by staff from multiple departments of the city.

“The staff will raise various questions with the application team that will need to be addressed before the application can move forward,” Wells said. These include ensuring it meets local area or community plans, design guidelines, existing zoning and is mindful of the surrounding neighbourhood context and development objectives on the site.

“Typically, by the time a proposal like this large campus master plan gets to a public hearing, an outright rejection from council is unlikely,” he said.

Different needs still a concern

Though no new buildings will be built in the immediate future, some Langara faculty members say they have pressing needs. Program coordinator of computer technology, Raymond Chow, would like to see more computer labs.

“Students use our labs for homework which makes running classes in them difficult at times.”

Lannard said the college is seeking funding from the provincial government. Once funding were approved, the following step would include hiring an architect to design it and then file a development application with the city.

 

Below are some of the proposed changes included in the Master Plan.

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White Rock council looks to 2045 with new community plan https://www.langaravoice.ca/white-rock-council-looks-to-2045-with-new-community-plan/ Thu, 09 Nov 2017 14:23:00 +0000 https://www.langaravoice.ca/?p=30441 Reported by Sydney Morton White Rock council has unanimously approved a new Official Community Plan that envisions what the seaside municipality will look like by 2045. Council’s adoption Oct. 23 of the wide-ranging plan comes after more than two years of meetings in which feedback from the public helped shape what is considered “a living […]]]>

Reported by Sydney Morton

White Rock council has unanimously approved a new Official Community Plan that envisions what the seaside municipality will look like by 2045.

Council’s adoption Oct. 23 of the wide-ranging plan comes after more than two years of meetings in which feedback from the public helped shape what is considered “a living document.”

“We made sure to consult with the community a lot, which was really good, but the community thinks this is set in stone which is where the mistake is made,” said Coun. Helen Fathers. “There is no legal requirement to follow this and anyone can come asking to have it changed. The focus needs to be on steady growth.”

The plan calls for residents to have better access to the waterfront, the expansion and diversification of the town centre, create more housing opportunities for different age groups and demographics, and add public green spaces.

Simultaneous preservation and development

Other objectives of the plan include preserving the pre-existing character and architecture of diverse neighbourhoods and providing more housing while maintaining “White Rock’s high quality of life.”

The new plan replaces what many considered an out-of-date document to guide a municipality’s future growth, which is expected to increase by 23,000 to 27,000 people by 2045. White Rock’s current population is 93,729.

Cliff Annable, executive director of the White Rock Chamber of Commerce and a former councillor who worked on the previous community plan, said he favours more highrises to accommodate the expected population growth.

“Why hide the most beautiful view in the world?” Annable told The Voice. “We have these out-of-date three-storey apartments from the 60s and 70s that are taking up space. Take the same building, add some green space and make a highrise.”

Planning for expansion

Fitting more people in a small city that consists of steep hills topped with multi-storey, and single-family homes, some of which have been converted into apartments, will be a challenge.

The majority of White Rock residents are between the ages of 15 to 64. Despite the myth that White Rock is a retirement community, statistics from the 2016 Census show only 30 per cent of residents are 65 or older. The predominant language spoken is English.

Coun. Grant Meyer believes the plan should have called for more densification of some neighbourhoods. That way, he added, more families could be accommodated in smaller neighbourhoods such as near Peace Arch Hospital and along North Bluff Road.

Despite the plan not being a legally enforced document, Meyer said the two-year process to envision White Rock’s future was not a waste of time.

“The OCP is supposed to be a living document, and it can always be amended to reflect the current time,” Meyer said. “We especially needed an update, it had been almost 15 years.”

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Future of Vancouver’s Punjabi Market still a concern for the community https://www.langaravoice.ca/business-owners-want-more-walk-the-walk-than-talk-the-talk/ Thu, 09 Nov 2017 14:00:05 +0000 https://www.langaravoice.ca/?p=30335 Reported by Myra Dionne Business owners want less conversation about future changes to the Punjabi Market and more action. The City of Vancouver, in partnership with LOCO BC, invited community members to meet and discuss the state of the historic market last week. One meeting took place Wednesday at Sunset Community Centre and another Thursday […]]]>

Reported by Myra Dionne

Business owners want less conversation about future changes to the Punjabi Market and more action.

Punjabi Market Fold Fabrics is one of the few shops left in the historic area of Vancouver, B.C. Photo by Myra Dionne

The City of Vancouver, in partnership with LOCO BC, invited community members to meet and discuss the state of the historic market last week. One meeting took place Wednesday at Sunset Community Centre and another Thursday at Langara College.

Satwant K. Bunwait, owner of Amrit Fashions, remembers when the market was vibrant and busy. Since 2010, her business has drastically declined, making her work a second job.

“Almost seven years this market is struggling. Rather than doing something here, they come and give a lecture or whatever, but what are they really doing for the small businesses?” said Bunwait, who attended the meeting facilitated by the city about developing a vision for the future of the Punjabi Market.

Conversations still needed
According to Jessie Singer, a planner for the city, the meetings came in response to comments made in 2015 about zoning development on the corner of 49th Avenue and Main Street.

“People wanted to say great, change is happening to the area…but we also have some other concerns about the general state of the Punjabi Market as a kind of cultural and community hub,” Singer said.

For several business owners, the old Punjabi Market died a long time ago. They said necessary changes are taking too long and they hoped the meetings would bring about immediate results.

All talk
Punjab food centre is owned by Harinder S. Toor who has been working in the historic community since 1982. Photo by Myra Dionne

Harinder S. Toor, owner of Punjab Food Center, said concerns about Langara students parking in front of his shop, beautification of the Punjabi Market, funding for Punjabi festivals and housing are among the problems community members have complained about for years.

“We were told this meeting is a three-hour meeting. We came here to spend our time and make sure we get something out of it,” Toor said. “The meeting was done and no results came up.”

Singer said the meetings were meant to engage conversation and not results. She said there is no clear date for resolving concerns but is anticipating consultation reports.

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Marpole residents seek more park space as development booms https://www.langaravoice.ca/marpole-residents-seek-more-park-space-as-development-booms/ Thu, 27 Feb 2014 01:56:05 +0000 http://www.voicedev.xyz/?p=8923 Vancouver city planner Lil Ronalds addresses the concerns of Marpole residents at the community plan learning session.
Vancouver city planner Lil Ronalds addresses the concerns of Marpole residents at the community plan learning session.

Marpole’s community plan focuses on new housing developments, but residents want more park spaces.

Over the last two years, city planners have worked with residents, businesses and other stakeholders to create a plan that will help Marpole to meet the growing demands of the population. Throughout the process residents asked for new parks, but despite their push there are few concrete plans for parks in the draft, says one resident.

“In my view, there has been no genuine Marpole community plan process,” said Don Larson, a lifelong Marpole resident.

“The first Marpole plan and all revisions since have been top down, developer driven. There have been 80 meetings but the people have really not been heard,” he said.

More parks in current draft of plan

The current draft seeks to renew a few of Marpole’s older parks and to create a new park on the Pearson Dogwood lands.

“We set out to deliver on council priorities and address local issues in the community,” said Lil Ronalds, Vancouver city planner.

The proposed draft focuses primarily on increasing population while minimizing change to the neighbourhood.

“Eighty-five per cent of the existing single family zone areas will remain unchanged.” said Ronalds. “This means focusing growth along major streets where transit and services are available.”

The majority of the growth will take place near the proposed underground Canada Line station at 57th Avenue and Cambie Street, she said.

Housing needed as more move into community

According to the plan, an increase of housing options in the area as well as potential residential use of the Pearson Dogwood lands will accommodate community growth as Marpole’s current population of 24,000 is expected to grow to 36,500 by 2041. Jobs are also expected to increase from 11,800 to 21,300 by the same time.

With the arrival of more people, the plan aims to provide new and improved community amenities.

Reported by Leslie Kam

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Marpole Coffee Talks encourage dialogue between residents and city planners https://www.langaravoice.ca/marpole-coffee-talks-encourage-dialogue-between-residents-and-city-planners/ Thu, 21 Nov 2013 17:02:54 +0000 http://www.voicedev.xyz/?p=7799 Protests over the Marpole community plan led the city to institute a series of coffee talks aimed at increasing community involvement. Photo by Patrick Colvin.
Protests over the Marpole community plan led the city to institute a series of coffee talks aimed at increasing community involvement. Photo by Patrick Colvin.

After being criticized for allegedly not consulting the public about the Marpole community plan, the City of Vancouver continues attempts at remedying the situation by hosting a series of coffee talks, which allow residents to voice their concerns.

The talks are intended to create further dialogue between city planners and residents who were outraged by the community plan the city had drafted for their neighbourhood.  Residents felt that city council neglected their needs and opinions when drawing up the plan and these talks are meant to change that.

Residents are cautiously optimistic

“I’m actually really impressed at the way [the City of Vancouver] has handled things since the initial uproar,” said Marpole resident Jonathan Sanders.  “I think they’ve received the message loud and clear that we want our voices heard.”

Although they have noticed an increase in community involvement, Marpole residents are not convinced that the coffee talks will create the desired changes to the plan.

The first two sessions attracted around 110 people.

“I just hope that these attempts at involving [the community] aren’t just lip service,” said Sanders. “They can have all the talks and meetings they want, but if we don’t see any substantial changes then what’s the point?”

“There has been considerable interest,” said Maureen Gulyas, communications manager at the City of Vancouver. “People want to know about the changes. They want to let the city know about their ideas and they want to know about the process moving forward.”

Future community talks

There are six more coffee talks scheduled over the next few weeks.

Smaller, more personalized dialogue sessions are available for groups of 10 to 20 people, but space is limited so residents are required to RSVP prior to the event.

There is also a meeting of the Marpole Residents Coalition Nov. 28.

Reported by Jesse Adamson and Warren Jane

 

View the following video to learn about future information sessions in Marpole.

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Vancouver city councillor Adriane Carr hosts Marpole community plan meeting https://www.langaravoice.ca/vancouver-city-councillor-adriane-carr-hosts-marpole-community-plan-meeting/ Sat, 09 Nov 2013 03:41:01 +0000 http://www.voicedev.xyz/?p=7419 Marpole residents have voiced strong opposition to neighborhood rezoning proposals.
Marpole residents have voiced strong opposition to neighbourhood rezoning proposals.

Vancouver residents gathered at the Oakridge Community Centre in Marpole on Nov. 6 to voice their concerns about the Marpole community plan.

The meeting, which was headed up by Vancouver city councillor Adriane Carr, placed a large focus on residential development and population density, for which there were no shortage of concerns.

“Why do we need the density?” said Marpole Resident Association spokesperson Mike Burdick. “The building activity is greater than the regional growth strategy says.”

Carr pointed out that past population growth predictions haven’t always been accurate and the city wants to prepare for unexpected rises in population.

“Vancouver over the last few years is basically growing five times faster than our own projections,” said Carr.

Local residents were concerned that council won’t be able to properly implement the plan

“I think the issue is that a lot of change is coming and that’s hard to manage and I don’t think that council has handled it well,” said Janet Fraser of the Marpole Matters community group.

Carr acknowledged that council hasn’t always been able to address every public concern about community plans like the one in Marpole.

“The track record’s not good,” said Carr. “[But] this community has had not a bad track record on big ticket items, there was quite a list of items they addressed to me tonight. I say there is a good chance some of them are going to be addressed.”

Residents have already been responsible for changes in the plan

One of the big issues Marpole residents have spoken out against was the Thin Streets proposal, which was subsequently pulled off the table.

“The biggest issue initially was the Thin Streets proposal and that got a lot of people riled up, but actually it was good because I got a lot more people involved with the community plan that weren’t involved with the community plan before that,” said Marpole resident Don Barthel. “So it woke people up and now they are involved and the plan is evolving.”

Carr plans to bring up some of the meeting’s discussion topics before council, but insists that she will remain non-partisan on the matter.

For those who missed the meeting, the city will be hosting one-on-one drop-in “coffee talks” twice a week until Dec. 4 at the Marpole-Oakridge community centre to listen to any concerns, comments or suggestions from residents. For drop-in schedule, click here. Dates can be found on page 4.

Reported by Brenna Brooks and Warren Jané

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Beautiful south Vancouver neighbourhoods marred by controversial development https://www.langaravoice.ca/beautiful-south-vancouver-neighborhoods-marred-by-controversial-development/ Thu, 07 Nov 2013 15:55:52 +0000 http://www.voicedev.xyz/?p=7383 brookhouse_1932
Built in 1909, East Vancouver’s Brookhouse is the city’s second oldest building, but even it isn’t safe.

Homes in south Vancouver are collapsing under teardown contracts that are demolishing the city’s oldest homes to make room for larger, newer properties owned by foreign buyers.

Many of Vancouver’s residential areas once contained unique character homes built in the 20’s and 30’s that remain liveable and safe. But residents in neighbourhoods where these homes stood have noticed that they are disappearing at an alarming rate.

Janice Kreider is a Dunbar area resident who started a blog in 2010 that chronicles the demolition projects in her neighbourhood alone, called Disappearing Dunbar. She believes that the new properties are harming the neighbourhood in more ways than one – besides removing beautiful old homes, they are also decreasing density, since most of the homes aren’t being lived in.

“The global market has decided somehow that Dunbar is the place to go, and global buyers want something new,” Kreider said. “If it was built in the 20’s or 30’s it’s torn down. Their footprint isn’t the maximum you could have on the lot.”

She said the city mostly just dumps the remains from the old houses in landfills. “The lumber is excellent lumber. These older homes from the 20’s and 30’s are on the whole solidly built.”

Homes being demolished still contain valuable building material

Kreider isn’t oblivious of the temptation for homeowners to sell their old homes for a lot more than they were originally worth, but she believes that if a homeowner cares about their community it can be a tough decision. “We know we could sell our homes that were built in the 30’s, 20’s or early 40’s quickly, and they’ve gone up in price 20 to 50 times what we paid for them,” she said. “But if we feel strongly about the quality of our neighbourhood, it might be a solution for us personally but it’s not a solution for the neighbourhood.”

While the city seems content to continue demolishing the old homes that fill its neighbourhoods, blogs like Kreider’s, citizen organizations like the Dunbar Resident’s Association, and online organizations show that residents are concerned about the future of their neighbourhoods.

Vancouver Vanishes is a Facebook page dedicated to listing old homes that have disappeared, or are expected to get demolished soon. “It’s happening all over the city, but generally houses on bigger lots are targeted,” says Vancouver Vanishes founder Caroline Adderson.

Adderson believes that one of the most harmful aspects of the constant demolitions is the environmental impact. “This trend is grotesquely ungreen. Almost 1,000 houses, built of natural materials including old growth wood, are sent to the landfill every year in this city, along with every green thing on the lot – 50 tonnes of waste per home, not including concrete. They are replaced with much larger homes of mostly synthetic material. New builds are more than eight times more wasteful than renovations,” Adderson said.

Unnecessary demolition and renovation is harmful to the environment 

“There is some pretty dubious math going on at City Hall if they claim we’re going to be the greenest city by 2020.”

While the great majority of the homes are in terrific shape, they continue to disappear to make room for larger homes, and homeowners like Kreider and Adderson are hoping that the city starts understanding that residents value the presence of these character homes in their neighbourhoods.

It’s the character of these old homes that Adderson finds irreplaceable. “Beauty, character, workmanship, a sense of history and narrative. The old house was lived in. A house holds the stories of all the people who have ever lived in it.”

Reported by Garin Fahlman and Brian Horstead

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