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Three new views protected (sort of) and four spots for high towers ID’d

December 12th, 2010 · 90 Comments

The latest report is out putting forward Vancouver planners’ best efforts to identify some new spots for tall buildings in the downtown peninsula.

Aiming for a 700-foot building in the central business district is not too surprising, nor is the 500-foot spot for the Toyota Pattison block on Burrard. (Though the developers’ current plan is for 550 — we’ll have to see who wins on that one. I note the careful comment that, although going over 500 is not supported by staff, “it is recognized that the ultimate height will be determined by council.”)

But new to me and likely many is the idea of having a pair of 425-foot towers flanking the north end of the Granville Bridge, packing even more people into the Downtown South. Although many people in the West End mistakenly believe that they live in the densest neighbourhood in Vancouver, in fact, the Downtown South is much denser already and about to become even more so.

According to the 72 people who filled out comment forms, the new heights are supported by more than half. That seems like rather a small number to be deciding the fate of the Vancouver skyline, though apparently 500 people did attend the open houses and the other 428 weren’t enough moved by strong opinion to fill out a form.

In the same report, the city also defines the new view cones that will be protected from generally the Olympic village area over to the North Shore mountains. I’m interested in what people think of these view zones. It looks to me as though the bottom yellow line has been set fairly high up, which means that there will be room to put some taller towers in the Northeast False Creek area without running afoul of the view boundary.

I’m also a bit surprised that new viewcone H1 (you should look at it just for the unintentional hilarity of having the giant Myfanwy Macleod sparrow appearing to be trying to peer at the camera) doesn’t go further west, so that all of the Grouse Mountain peak is protected, while its eastern portion is already blocked by the community centre roof.

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