The Latest Proposal for Safeway1780 East Broadway

Monday, December 6th at 7:00PM

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A revised proposal has been submitted for development of the Broadway Safeway Site and the City is conducting a “virtual open house” until December 5th:
https://shapeyourcity.ca/1780-e-broadway
Get your comments in!

On December 6th, our local experts will help you navigate the latest proposal for the Safeway site, including issues of shadowing and problems with how the proposal is being presented to the public.

On the surface, the revised proposal looks nearly identical to its predecessor. It still fails to address any of the issues previously raised by GWAC and the community.

The would-be “plaza” is still little more than a widened sidewalk serving Safeway, the luxury rental and condo suites are still a huge threat to affordability and the project design and heights still look nothing like the Grandview Woodland Community Plan.

Join us to share your thoughts on the revised proposal and help us formulate a response from the community.

Revised proposal has been submitted for the development of the Broadway Safeway Site 

The City is conducting a “virtual open house” until December 5th:
https://shapeyourcity.ca/1780-e-broadway

Get your comments in!

On the surface, this revised proposal fails to address any of the issues previously raised by GWAC and the community

The would-be “plaza” is still little more than a widened sidewalk serving Safeway, the luxury rental and condo suites are still a huge threat to affordability and the project design and heights still look nothing like the Grandview Woodland Community Plan

Our upcoming GWAC December Monthly Meeting will offer analysis of the latest proposal and invite community feedback

In the meantime, here is some analysis of the proposal
from our neighbours at NO MEGATOWERS AT SAFEWAY
 

“1. Plaza
The Grandview Woodland Community Plan says to “Create a new social heart for the community with a new civic plaza as part of a renewed Safeway site”. It refers to a “generous centrally located public plaza” and says the Skytrain area will be “centered on and oriented around a sunny, welcoming delightful and people-friendly civic plaza”.

Safeway refuses to have a store that is two levels. If it would do that, there would be more room for a proper public plaza. This plaza is intended to provide usable public space, as our neighborhood has few parks.

Part of what is included as in the “plaza” are stairs that actually run underneath the commercial building. Stairs to the courtyard, which is closed off to the public. The public looks at the courtyard from the “Belvedere” – stairs to nowhere.
See 5.11 and 5.13:https://rezoning.vancouver.ca/applications/1780ebroadway/resubmission/5landscape.pdf

The Plaza has widened in size. It now technically maybe 20,000 sq feet but that includes stairs that run up underneath the commercial building, in darkness. Instead of stairs, the architects describe the stairs as “Vertical Circulation to Courtyard”!!

It seems this is because there are stairs that run beside higher steps that can be used as bleachers for viewing a movie. A movie screen up against the noisy Skytrain line!
On the drawings, the architects say that the area under the building at the top of the steps is an “area with reduced clear height”.

On page 13 (p. 133) of the Architectural Plans, one can see what the plaza really looks like, as opposed to what is in the “renderings”.
https://rezoning.vancouver.ca/applications/1780ebroadway/resubmission/6arch.pdf

What happened to liveability? See pg 111 of the GW Plan: https://vancouver.ca/files/cov/grandview-woodland-community-plan.pdf

2. Affordability
14% of the 653 suites are set aside as non-market suites; 20% of the rental units. None of the tenant suites will get parking spots. Just the condos! And 10 condos won’t get parking spots.

Breakdown of suites
171    studio apartments
258    1 bedroom
161    2 bedroom
57      3 bedroom

3. Tower Heights – actually increased.
The Grandview Woodland Community Plan calls 12-24 storeys with the highest forms to be near the cut. This proposal does not do that.

Even though the developers removed one story of residence, they increased the height of the retail plinth, and also have increased the height of what sits on the roof – the parapet, the architectural screen, and then the elevator shaft rising steeply above.
For example, in Tower A there are 11 meters (36 feet)  of height above the roof, whereas previously there was only 2.5 meters more in height.

The retail “plinth” for Tower A previously was 28.1 meters; it now stands at 29.6 meters. Equal to 10.8 standard residential storeys. Even on a commercial basis, it is equal to 8 storeys. It includes two mezzanine levels.

Tower A  
To Tip Top before was 105.6m, now is 113.3m – an increase of 7.7meters.  This translates to a height of 371.7 feet – or 41.6 residential storeys.
When you compare from ground to the rooftop, before and after, leaving out the height of all the stuff sitting on top of the roof, the height is now 102.3 meters – it previously was 103.1 meters.  So a reduction of 0.8 of a meter. But the problem is there are all kinds of stuff on top of the roof, going all the way around.

Tower B
To tip-top before was 91.75m; now is 101.6m – an increase of 9.85 meters. This equals 333.3 feet – 37 residential storeys.
To top of the roof before was 89.25m; now is 90.5m

Tower C
To tip-top before was 80.95m; now is 90.1m – an increase of 9.15 meters. This equals 295 feet – 33.1 residential storeys.
To top of the roof before was 78.45m; now is 78.15m  

4. Parking
205 residential spots. There are 215 condos, so 10 condos have no parking spot at all.
33 visitor spots
208 spots for commercial
12 car share
Bike parking for residents is three levels below ground at the very bottom of the parkade – active transportation at its best!

5. No daycare
Daycare space was removed from the revised proposal.
The GW Community Plan calls for a dramatic increase in childcare spaces here – 430 new childcare spaces.

6. Some Comments
This project is ugly and unwelcoming. The would-be “public plaza” is absurd. The heights are vastly out of line with the GW Community Plan. We welcome density, but this goes far beyond the scope of the plan: Grandview is already 18% denser and Cedar Cottage is 24% denser than the rest of the City and a density bomb of luxury rental and condo suites is a huge threat to neighborhood affordability.”

Join the City of Vancouver for our Broadway Plan Renter Roundtable, focusing on renters and rental housing!

In March 2019, the City launched a multi-phase planning process to create a comprehensive Broadway Plan to integrate opportunities for new housing, jobs, and amenities around the new Broadway Subway. The plan will guide future growth, change, and public benefits within the Broadway Plan study area.

This phase of engagement focuses on the Refined Directions, which includes the various 3D elements of the plan and area-wide policies. The directions cover a number of topics such as land-use, built form, a draft public realm framework, housing and job estimates, transportation, public benefits, arts and culture, and community well-being. Read more about the Refined Directions on the project web page: shapeyourcity.ca/broadway-plan

Join us at our Virtual Renter Roundtable on November 25, 2021, from 6:00pm to 7:30pm

The Broadway Plan study area is an important rental area in the city. 59% of households who live in Broadway are renters and 25% of the existing city-wide purpose-built rental stock is located in these neighborhoods.

This virtual Renter Roundtable will focus on the key directions that impact renters and rental housing. This includes opportunities for new rental housing (market, below-market and non-market options), protecting existing secure rental housing, strengthened renter protections, and directions to mitigate displacement.

If you are a renter or are interested in renter issues, please register to attend this roundtable and provide your feedback!

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

If you have any questions, please email us broadwayplan@vancouver.ca.

Community Information Sessions & City Led Public Open House – on behalf on the Crombie and Westbank Broadway and Commercial Planning Team #Safewaysite

Dear Friends, 

On behalf of the Crombie and Westbank Broadway and Commercial Planning Team, we are excited to be reaching out to you today with an update on our rezoning application for the Safeway site at 1780 East Broadway, Vancouver.

It’s been a while since we’ve been able to update you all on what’s been happening. Since our last Public Open House (October 2020), the team has been working through comments received from the city, and the community on the proposal. As a result, a revised application was submitted in September 2021 in response to the feedback.  We’re excited to share this revised submission with you and to take it forward to Council for their consideration in the coming months.

Community Information Sessions & City Led Public Open House
As someone who’s expressed interest in our project, we would like to let you know that we will be hosting two in-person information sessions with the community, to walk through the application and answer any questions. Due to COVID, the sessions will be limited in their capacity, so if you would like to attend, please sign up via our website at your earliest convenience to secure your seat. LINK HERE.

There are two options for the sessions:

  • Friday November 19, 2021 at 9am (at the Cultch Theatre), and
  • Friday November 19, 2021 at 10am (at the Cultch Theatre).

If you are unable to make either of the above sessions, not to worry! These sessions are simply to complement the City’s own Public Open House for the project which will be hosted virtually until December 5, 2021. If you’d like to check out the City’s Public Open House, please click here.

Like many of you, we are excited to be moving forward with our application for this important site in the neighborhood. For the past 4.5 years, we have been working to create a concept for the property that balances community and city needs and priorities. We are excited to share the latest iteration with you to achieve this and look forward to reconnecting on this exciting project for Grandview Woodlands. 

For more information on our revised proposal, or to join our mailing list, please visit our website –www.broadwaycommercial.ca.

From everyone on the Broadway Commercial Planning Team, we hope you are keeping healthy and well. We look forward to connecting with you again soon.

Sincerely, 
The Broadway Commercial Planning Team 
info@broadwaycommercial.ca

Dogs! Dogs! Dogs!

On the second Monday in November
Monday, November 8th at 7:00PM

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89977392052?pwd=UyswYk9jcUEwc1UyUmc0ZzNNYkR6Zz09
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In 2017, the Vancouver Parks Board estimated that there were 55,000 dogs in Vancouver. Four years and one pandemic later, it could be possible that there are up to 60,000 or more dogs in the city. What that stunning number means is the potential for lots of conflict between dogs, their owners, and non-dog citizens. So, what are the options and concerns for dog owners and their precious furry friends? Daily dog walks? Visits to local dog parks? Runs in off-leash areas? Hopping into a car and driving to other municipalities with other better dog amenities?

What kinds of conflicts can arise between dog and non-dog people and what can dog owners do to improve the situation? What are the responsibilities of civic officials like the Parks Board, the School Board, and the City of Vancouver? Do we have enough dog parks to serve our city and our neighborhood? Are people scooping? And exactly what happens to all that poop?

Join us to explore these issues and have your say. We will be joined by dog-owner and City Councillor Pete Fry and Denise Fantinato of See Spot Run Canine Services. Also joining us will be Veronika Khvoro, a researcher/journalist who has covered dog issues at CBC Radio.

Action Required for Nov. 2 Public Hearing!

Rental Rezoning Policy

RS Zones 6 Storey apartment buildings on arterials with 4 – 5 storeys off arterials (+ roof amenities up to 6 levels)

C2 shopping districts rezoned to 6 storeys for rentals



The city-wide rezoning policy that will affect 

neighbourhoods across the city 
 

It is an expansion from the previous rezoning policy that will now pre-approve rezoning schedules that will be implemented through a new rental-only legislation. This means that the rezonings will be much more frequent and allow for full block assemblies, even off arterials.


The public hearing agenda is now online and we need letters and speakers. 

The Public Hearing will be Nov. 2 at 6:00 pm!

What you can do:

1. Sign the Petition: https://www.change.org/p/city-of-vancouver-council-officials-our-communities-our-plans-99961c91-4a17-497d-86c8-b385b3c0f315

2. Send an email to Council: Even if you sent an email to Council before, please resend it by email NOW and through the online form so it will be counted in the public hearing. See contacts below. Go to our website for more information. 

3. Sign up to speak to council at the hearing by phoneNumbers of speakers matters. It is easy to speak by phone. Each person has 5 minutes, but you do not have to speak that long. Even just to say one sentence is OK. Sign up to speak here: https://vancouver.ca/your-government/request-to-speak-at-a-public-hearing-form-1.aspx 

Reference:

Public Hearing Agenda: https://council.vancouver.ca/20211102/phea20211102ag.htm
Report for Public Hearing: https://council.vancouver.ca/20211005/documents/spec1.pdf

Eligibility Map: https://vancouver.ca/files/cov/streamlining-rental-summary.pdf

Send email questions and comments to City staff: Graham.Anderson@vancouver.ca   

Emails to Council 

kennedy.stewart@vancouver.caCLRboyle@vancouver.caCLRbligh@vancouver.caCLRcarr@vancouver.caCLRhardwick@vancouver.caCLRdominato@vancouver.caCLRdegenova@vancouver.caCLRfry@vancouver.caCLRkirby-yung@vancouver.caCLRswanson@vancouver.caCLRwiebe@vancouver.ca

AND submit through the online form so it counts in the public hearing: 
https://vancouver.ca/your-government/contact-council-public-hearing.aspx 


Reference Media:

https://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/west-side-residents-upset-with-city

https://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/dan-fumano-as-both-city-and-province-look-to-speed-up-housing-expect-debate

Some of the many problems with this proposal are:

  • The public hearing combines two different types of rezonings, the amendments to C2 zoning schedules and the new rental rezoning schedules and policy areas, which makes this very confusing to the public. 
  • No mailed notification of affected properties for the public hearing so most people do not know this is happening.
  • Vancouver Plan basic planning is yet to be done regarding data and calibrating the Vancouver Housing Targets.
  • No meaningful consultation with residents while targeting special interests.
  • No neighbourhood-based planning, just arbitrarily imposed across the city without context
  • Proposed removal of Parking Bylaw minimum onsite parking requirements for new development means these projects will flood the surrounding area with vehicles and have no place for vehicle charging.
  • Loss of character houses and rental suites to demolition
  • Heritage buildings not exempted
  • The map that shows areas affected by the policy is symbolic only and it is confusing as to what properties are included or not
  • There has been no notification given to the properties that would be affected
  • Overrides Community Plans and Community Visions
  • Out of scale for the surrounding area at 6 storeys on arterials and 4 – 5 storeys off arterials (+ amenity roof & mechanical, physically 6 levels)
  • Will block public and private views
  • Allows up to full block assemblies for apartment buildings
  • Spot rezoning in RS detached houses that will overshadow adjacent area
  • Reduced front yard and rear yard, much larger footprint that shadows adjacent lots yards
  • The city is giving away too much for too little benefits – waiving of DCL & CAC fees
  • Lower or no onsite parking requirements and mostly unaffordable market rents
  • The proposal also allows 6 storeys in C2 commercial zones (+ amenity roof & mechanical)
  • Huge height and density increases to 6 storeys + with only 20% of units more affordable than market rates.
  • Expansion of the commercial districts in competition with already ailing neighbourhood shopping areas. The last thing the merchants and residents need, given the sorry state of the neighbourhood shopping areas, is more commercial floor space supply. Many shopping areas have up to 30%  commercial vacancy rates and many are struggling to survive.  More development increases land values and property taxes that prices them out.

Update on Whats Happening At Alma Blackwell

We now have 572 signatures on our petition https://chng.it/JYgGFdtSRs


We have a Save Alma Blackwell (DRAFT) document outlining the communications, conduct and issues https://www.dropbox.com/s/n175wb5kf172fwx/Help%20Save%20Alma%20Blackwell%20DRAFT.pdf?dl=0
We have learned that the property manager has shared with some tenants that she has “someone reporting to her”, a mole if you will, and that she attended the September13th GWAC meeting.


On September 15th, we received the attached letter from ENFHS Board Chair, Francesca Sorace (via the AB Property Manager) stating that:“The Board of Directors of Entre Nous Femmes Housing Society would like to announce the departure of its Executive Director, Lisa Clement effective October 1, 2021.”  


Since the beginning of my tenancy 18+ years ago, we have never had direct access to the ENFHS board of directors so I took the liberty to find Francesca on linkedin with the following message:   “My name is Linsea O’Shea and I have been a resident of Alma Blackwell since July 1st, 2003.  I am writing to you today, on behalf of many tenants of AB, to request a meeting with you and/or the Board of Directors regarding the demolition of the building as well as the conduct and behaviours we have incurred over the years from ENFHS personnel.  We would welcome our voices to be heard, for the very first time in decades, and we would welcome transparency from a representative of ENFHS which is also something we have not experienced in decades.”  Twelve days later I received the following from the board email address:“Thank you for your heartfelt message. Please know that the members of the Entre Nous Femmes (ENF) board have read your message and want to thank you for reaching out.  We appreciate that you would like to meet with the board. ENFHS will reach out in the coming weeks to provide a new date for the tenant meeting. By having one meeting with all tenants, we will ensure clear and meaningful information is communicated to all tenants of Alma Blackwell at the same time. In regards to conduct and behaviours from ENFHS personnel, the board would very much like to hear directly from you. Please provide a description of your experiences by email. Kindly continue to share your thoughts and concerns via email as it provides a way for all board members to be informed of information shared with the board. Kindly continue to share your thoughts and concerns via email as it provides a way for all board members to be informed of information shared with the board.”  On October 2nd, I responded with:“For what it is worth, and just to be clear, my message was not heartfelt – it was frustrated – and I did not send via email platform. I would appreciate an in-person meeting so I can see whom it is that I’m speaking with – which will ensure clear, meaningful and and trust-driven communication. How else can I know that the board is actually reading/reviewing these emails? How is it that you do not know of the  questionable and abusive conduct I have withstood over the years from ENFHS personnel?  Why is it that tenants are blocked from being members of the society? Let’s start there.” I have not heard anything back to date.


On September 17th, the Save Alma Blackwell committee virtually met with Neil Monckton, plus Alex Chan and Alvin Singh.  After hearing from a few of us on the issues/matters at hand, he stated that he would coordinate a meeting with our group and Mayor Kennedy.  During our email thread update, Neil stated that:“We have spoken to Minister Eby’s office and staff at BC Housing over the past week.  We reaffirmed your request to meet with the Minister and staff told me they were aware of the concerns being raised. Let me know if you don’t hear back from them.  BC Housing is also aware of the concerns being raised and we will continue to keep in touch with them.  We have also spoken to the City Manager’s office and to the Planning staff who have responsibility for development applications. Right now, nothing has been filed with the City so there is no pending action from staff.”  I keep bringing the email thread back to the top so our group can be heard by the Mayor.

On September 22nd, a UBC report came out finding that Vancouver has the highest eviction rates in the country and Global News came to Alma Blackwell and interviewed single-mother resident, Rhiannon Latimer, about the report and about being demovicted. https://globalnews.ca/video/8214220/bc-renters-faced-with-highest-eviction-rates-in-canada-report?fbclid=IwAR3b0dZySnNwbLkZk3_mVAooGgrSVy4KztoGVklWwDk2YzY0c8D3Nx_onNA#autoplay

On September 29th, the Daily Hive posted an article on how Canadian renters are losing $769 more per month than homeowners. https://dailyhive.com/vancouver/canadian-homeowners-paying-less-than-renters?fbclid=IwAR2S3qHwm7XVcqNLR3cythrpW3J6hwQz07wd0SkpR1iX8NmWPKA3H_ZPy48


A majority of residents will not be able to return due to new and pending income parameters set by ENFHS and their new relationship with BC Housing. These new terms breach our current tenancy agreements. Those that can afford to move, have left, leaving residents facing an uncertain housing future for vulnerable people in a challenging rental market.
Although it seems that the property manager has stopped her efforts in rehousing tenants, we have lost another tenant and we now have 15 empty suites (which still begs the question about the empty home tax).  The property manager is now difficult to approach, is quite defensive and launching into big spiels about how they’re “not forcing anyone to move right now” and “we understand this is stressful” blah blah blah and telling tenants that they could “end up homeless if they stay to the bitter end”.  She told one tenant that if she is offered an alternative place to live that she should take it because she “can’t guarantee she can offer another one and that wouldn’t be a good idea because she wouldn’t want the bailiffs to have to remove her”.  
One couple that moved asked for the compensation (of one month rent and moving costs) and were told that “ENF never asked anyone to move out or were forced to do it”.


On October 7th, I recieved the attached email from Jenny Kwan with this message “The concerns that you have raised with regard to tenant concerns, as well as the funding of the redevelopment of the building, rest within provincial government jurisdiction. I have taken the liberty of writing to BC’s Minister responsible for Housing, David Eby, and BC Housing CEO Shayne Ramsay, to inform them of your concerns and requested that they follow up with you directly.”


As of today’s date, October 17th, I am waiting to hear from the CoV Chief of Staff, Neil Monckton, for the promised meeting with the Mayor. When Emad Agahi came to interview Rhiannon for the news hour piece, he indicated that he would like to return and interview more of our neighbours. I have people lined up and ready to go!


I have been trying to get usage of our common room, vicious raccoons relocated, the recycling moved to outside our fence due to an ongoing trespasser uttering threats to tenants, screens on some our windows replaced due to insect infestation and adequate lighting in our courtyard. Some of these ongoing maintenance requests go back as far as January, and it is clear to me that the property manager / ENFHS refuses to put any monies toward this site, in spite of the fact that 95% of us still living here are not subsidized and are paying rent.

Port Update: Public comment period Oct 15 to Nov 14 regarding Centerm Expansion Project permit extension to April 30, 2023

There’s a 30-day public input comment period regarding the sought extension of the permit for the Centerm Expansion by a year. Further information about the permit amendment review can be found in the text of the letter reproduced below (emphasis added):

The Centerm Expansion Project and South Shore Access Project received a project permit from the port authority in April 2018, and the current permit will expire on April 30, 2022. The port authority is seeking an amendment to extend the project permit up to April 30, 2023.

While the construction of all components are progressing well in the midst of a global Covid-19 pandemic, the project completion date is now expected to be in April 2023. This permit amendment will allow the project flexibility to complete some construction activities before the project can be deemed complete.

The Centerm Expansion Project and South Shore Access Project is the largest infrastructure project that the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority has ever undertaken. The project includes an expansion of Centerm Container Terminal, and updates to port roads along the south shore, which connect to and service the terminal.

As part of the port authority’s permit amendment review process, a notice has been posted on the Impact Assessment Agency website and a 30-day public comment period is being held from October 15, 2021 to November 14, 2021. The public will have an opportunity to provide feedback on the permit amendment request by visiting this website.

We greatly appreciate your patience and understanding as we complete this important project as safely and efficiently as possible.

If you have questions about this project, please feel free to contact the project team at centerm.expansion@portvancouver.com or by phone at 604.665.9563. For more information about these projects, visit www.portvancouver.com/centerm-expansion.  

A Conversation with the Port of Vancouver (Monday, October 4th at 7:00PM)

Waterfront in Grandview-Woodland (via Port Authority access)

Join the Grandview Woodland Area Council for
A Conversation with the Port of Vancouver
This Monday, October 4th at 7:00PM

Join Zoom Meeting https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82835290626?pwd=cFp4Ti9hdFl4YmpaYXBKUTRWeVRBUT09
Meeting ID: 828 3529 0626, Passcode: 777437
Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kWEqo8fdc     Have you always had questions for the Port? What goes on down there? Why can’t we go down there? Who is down there?  Well this is your chance to find out answers to those and other questions such as:
•     when will the community have waterfront access,
•     hazardous materials transiting,
•     air quality management,
•    marine  environmental initiatives & protections
•     port expansion & development (containers vs other) *CEP & SSAP
•     effect of ongoing expansion to Crab Park & New Brighton Park *tidal impacts
•     what are the environmental controls, both marine & land
•     who is monitoring results of such controls & results to date of monitoring
•     consequences for failing to meet goals, if that is the case

Come discuss all these topics and more with our guests from the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority.

Alma Blackwell Presentation & Petition

Entre Nous Femmes Housing Society (ENFHS) is redeveloping Alma Blackwell (AB) (1656 Adanac Street) – destroying a building that is iconic in East Vancouver, a visible legacy of feminism and the struggle for decent, low rise rental housing, pioneered by single mothers – without considering repair of the building and is sending people who need affordable housing into the street to build affordable housing for other people.

GWAC hosted a meeting of the tenants of the Alma Blackwell Society recently.

View the presentation here–>https://tinyurl.com/jjy6up7v

View their movie here—>https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a18gfooZhxM

Please take a moment to sign their petition here—>https://tinyurl.com/364zxara