Cambie corridor development plans shock locals
Andrew Weichel and Bethany Lindsay, ctvbc.ca
Published Sunday, June 13, 2010 3:00PM PDT
Residents living near the King Edward Canada Line station are fuming over city plans to construct apartment buildings in the area, fearing they will block sunlight, decrease property values and obliterate scenic views.
Long before the Canada Line opened last August, the City of Vancouver was at work planning developments along the Cambie corridor between 16th Avenue and Marine Drive to capitalize on the pricey transit line.
Clive Bottomley and his wife, who live a block off Cambie Street on 26th Avenue, attended a June 3 open house meeting to learn more about the project, and were shocked to learn about a proposed six-storey apartment building right across the lane from their single-family home.
"I certainly feel like we've been kept in the dark. It just doesn't feel like they're being completely up front in their literature," the 48-year-old technician told ctvbc.ca in a telephone interview.
The Cambie Corridor Planning Program website outlines plans and maps for four-to-eight storey apartment buildings along King Edward going two blocks off Cambie in either direction.
But those plans weren't online before the meeting last week, so Bottomley and his wife went door-to-door informing their neighbours about them. At the next meeting on June 5, they confronted city staff about the apparent lack of pertinent information available online.
All of the plans were uploaded this week and are available on the project website.
Bottomley says he stands to lose a view of the North Shore Mountains he recently obtained by adding an extra floor to his house as part of a $400,000 renovation, and that there are dozens of other families who will lose property value and sunlight in the shadows of the apartments.
City staff say there is still plenty of time for neighbours to give input on the plans for the Cambie corridor, and the final plan won't go before council until next year.
"We plan on having at least one or two more meetings," Jim Bailey, team leader for the Cambie project, told ctvbc.ca.
Director of Planning Brent Toderian said that the open houses on June 3 and 5 were well attended, with about 600 people in the audience, and the input the city has gathered from the meetings could result in changes to the draft plan,
That input included complaints about new apartment complexes blocking views and sunlight, he added.
"In the case of the King Edward area, we've heard commentary about slope and shadowing -- good commentary that will allow us to go back and look at the plans," Toderian said.
But the city does believe that multi-unit housing should be priority close to the new Canada Line stations.
"It just makes sense to put density along this important piece of infrastructure," Toderian said.
The city's documents suggest "shadow studies" exploring the impact on neighbouring residents will be conducted before any development begins, and the project has a long way to go before becoming reality. It is currently in Phase 2 of development, set to end in fall 2010. Phase 3, in which plans will be finalized, is scheduled to end in fall 2011.