905, 2014

Images of 508 Helmcken and Emery Barnes Park

View renderings of the approved tower and its placement on land previously planned to be part of Emery Barnes Park.

image006Rendering of Emery Barnes Park with 508 Helmcken, the tallest building in the area, on corner.

(more…)

805, 2014

2011 Park Board Budget Called for Full-Block Emery Barnes Park

The 2011 Vancouver Park Board budget planned for Emery Barnes Park to extend to occupy the entire block.

Page 2 of the budget’s Appendix 2 contains a table summarizing the planned Phase III as the completion of Emery Barnes Park, as shown below.
Park Board Capital Budget 2011(FINAL) - Emery Barnes Park

 

This table is reproduced verbatim below for easier reading: (more…)

805, 2014

Downtown South Guidelines

Download the City of Vancouver Downtown South Guidelines. (pdf)

Adopted by City Council July 30, 1991
Amended September 29, 1994, October 7, 1997 and June 10, 2004

605, 2014

Community Association Files Legal Petition to Save Emery Barnes Park

The Community Association of New Yaletown today filed a legal petition at BC Supreme Court to prevent the development, on the downtown city block containing Emery Barnes Park, of what could become the densest residential building in Vancouver.

The legal petition alleges that the City, in approving development of the 36-storey tower at 508 Helmcken St. and a related building across the street at 1099 Richards St.:

  • withheld information from the public about the planned development, preventing informed community participation;
  • provided false and misleading information to the Development Permit Board in order to gain approval for a development permit;
  • hid bylaw changes concerning New Yaletown within amendments to the West End Community Plan–amendments for a completely different neighbourhood;
  • grossly violated the bylaws of the Downtown Official Development Plan, which ensures residential livability by limiting building size and density.

“Our goal is to save our Park,” said Jon Green, President of the Community Association of New Yaletown (CANY). “This city-owned land had been planned and budgeted to become part of our park. Instead, the City chose to ignore overwhelming neighbourhood opposition and approve a developer’s proposal for a building denser than the Shangri La–the tallest building in the city.”

The development at 508 Helmcken violates the Downtown Official Development Plan (DODP) bylaws in numerous significant ways, including:

DODP Bylaw Allowed Approved Magnitude of Violation
Building Height 70 Feet Maximum 320 Feet 4.5 Times Allowed Height
Building Density in Floor Space Ratio (FSR) FSR 3.0 Maximum FSR 17.19 5.5 Times Allowed Density
Setbacks from Sidewalk and Park 12 Feet Minimum 6 Feet (0 Feet in some places) 1/2 of Required Setback

 

The public voiced opposition to the development throughout its approval process, with over 91% of neighbouring residents opposed. In considering the proposed development, even the Chair of the Urban Design Panel, Norm Shearing, described the enormous tower as a building that is out of context” for the neighbourhood.

“The City will likely claim that these bylaw violations are justified by the need for Social Housing,” said Alan Albert, Vice President of CANY. “This planned mega-tower contains no social housing. It’s a for-profit building at market rates.”

Continued Albert, “I support social housing. My family and I chose to live in a neighbourhood that has several social housing buildings because they contribute to the diversity of our community.”

The land at 508 Helmcken had previously been planned to be added to the park as part of Phase III, with funds allocated in the Park Board budgets for 2011 and 2012. The expanded park was intended to help reduce the City’s significant shortfall in meeting its own greenspace targets in the area. The City did not even mention or discuss its prior park expansion plans as it discarded them in favour of the developer’s proposal.

To stop the approved mega-tower and to help enable Emery Barnes Park to expand to its originally planned size, the Community Association of New Yaletown is seeking the public’s support.

605, 2014

Legal Petition filed in BC Supreme Court

Here is the legal Petition filed May 6, 2014 with the Supreme Court of British Columbia by the Community Association of New Yaletown.

Download Petition S-143452 Community Association of New Yaletown (compressed).

605, 2014

Legal Petition Backgrounder, May 6, 2014

This backgrounder outlines the facts set forth in the legal petition filed on May 6, 2014, by Nathalie Baker of the law firm Baker and Baker.

Download the CANY Legal Petition Backgrounder May 6, 2014.

Please also see the accompanying media release.

605, 2014

Media Release, May 6, 2014

This media release announces the filing of a legal Petition in BC Supreme Court.

Download the CANY Media Release 1, May 6, 2014

Please also see the accompanying Legal Petition Backgrounder.