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Plan for 10,000 more in Commercial Drive ‘hood gets cautious approval from residents for now

June 28th, 2016 · 46 Comments

It’s been one long haul, but finally city planners have come up with the draft for a Grandview-Woodland plan. (They presented it to the citizens’ assembly Saturday night, after which several attendees went for beer. This planning thing is not for amateurs.)

Here is the city’s summary of the plan, which envisions about 7,000 new housing units, 9,500 new residents in the next 25 years, a redevelopment of the Safeway site at Commercial/Broadway to a plaza with a couple of 24-storey towers on the east side and other office/condo/rental buildings on other sides, an enhanced little commercial strip on Dundas, taller buildings on East Hastings in the valley around Clark, with lower buildings on Hastings where the street rises, plus much more.

Unfortunately, the city doesn’t seem to have posted yet the excellent PowerPoint presentation that planner Andrew Pask showed the assembly Saturday (and which I’ve also seen), which has sketch-ups showing what the planners’ ideas are for the Safeway site, the Boffo Kettle site, the Hastings Street corridor and more. Just has a lot more visual detail. It’s supposed to be going up soon.

People I talked to yesterday (Dorothy Barkley of GWAC, Eileen Mosca, longest-serving Drive advocate I know, Barbara Cameron of No Tower Coalition) sounded generally favourable, although no one has had time to absorb all the details yet in the 250-page report. (My story, condensing all their comments, along with assistant planning director Kent Munro’s, into a tiny wad of Kleenex, here.) There are some concerns, of course, like the plans for 18-storey buildings at Clark and Hastings. As well, I saw Kyle MacDonald tweeting yesterday about the low densities still on Nanaimo.

I’ll wait to see how it all evolves. But at least no instant outrage, which is something these days.

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