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Beedie goes for appeal to Board of Variance on controversial 105 Keefer project. Appeal letter included here.

December 17th, 2017 · 3 Comments

Every retired planner I talked to in the last month was convinced that the development company Beedie Living would take the city to court after the surprise decision from the development-permit board in early November to reject the proposal.

The board has never completely rejected a proposal before.

Many of us wrote that it had been 12 years since there had been a rejection, but former city-hall staffer Phil Mondor did some research and found out that, actually, that project ended up going through, using even the same application number. So, really, there has been no rejection since the DP board was formed in 1974. Some people may see that as evidence of a bad system. But people familiar with the DP board say the whole point is to wave off/discourage/get rid of bad applications long before they get to the DP board, so that by the time a project gets there, it is approvable.

Anyway, the DP board decision was a subject of much chatter by city-watchers afterwards, because the heads of planning and engineering made the case that, although the building complied technically with the basic requirements of Chinatown zoning, it didn’t meet the requirement to be sensitive to the context. Both talked about it having too much bulk — a criticism that meant that, if Beedie were going to come back with a revised project, it would almost surely have to lose some valuable square feet, likely off the expensive upper floors.

Anyway, I got a tip this week that the company was going to appeal to the Board of Variance instead. That will mean another big public showdown, for sure. The board was considering setting a date in February, but pushed it to March, anticipating that at least a couple hundred people will show up.105-Keefer-Street-Appeal-Info-PDF

I wrote a Globe story about the appeal here. The actual appeal letter from the company is here. 105-Keefer-Street-Appeal-Info-PDF



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  • Who can be contacted in order to support the project at 105? I’m a resident in the neighbourhood, and I think the development has done a lot of good in transforming a run-down neighbourhood into a growing, vibrant destination.

  • Sandra Mac

    You can write the Board of Variance with a letter of support. Call 311 to find out where to direct your email. If you feel strongly, attend the meeting and apply to speak. Read the Appeal (pdf linked above) to be familiar. It’s never a bad idea to have other neighbours voice their opinions too. Keep in mind, there were 100s who spoke out against this project and they will mobilize again. As well, the City has applied to have Chinatown declared a UNESCO heritage site which, if approved, would limit this type of development in the area.

  • Michael Geller

    While I had personal reservations about the building design, I think the DP Board made the wrong decision on this project. I’m both surprised and pleased that an appeal has been launched by Beedie through its lawyer Neil Kornfeld. You can find more of my views on the DP Board decision here: