Since my post about the new group opposing the appallingly large towers at the Safeway site at Broadway & Commercial, the usual YIMBY crowd has suggested that community groups don’t know what they’re talking about, and that developers/planners know what’s best for us.
For their edification, here is Scot Hein who was head of the design group for CoV Planning and is currently professor in the Masters of Urban Design program at UBC talking about this site:
“We imagined, he wrote, a series of related, modestly scaled low and mid-rise buildings in this scenario … Otherwise, we believed that the appropriate approach to intensifying an already relatively high density community, of what must be seen as “special urban fabric”, was in transitional mid to low rise form.
We absolutely did not support towers outside the focused “Safeway Precinct”. We were instructed to put this plan (in our view based on thoughtful urban design best practice) in the drawer never to see the light of day.
We were then “told” by senior management to prepare a maximum tower scheme which we produced under protest as we declared we did not support such an uninformed approach for the GW neighbourhood.”
Source: “Battleground: Grandview” (p.67-68), quoting comment by Scott Hein at Price Tags, Vision: The end of the residential highrise? 2014 Nov 10
Update: Scot has asked me to clarify that he was supporting two modestly scaled towers for the Safeway site, with lower tower buildings for nearby transitional sites on 10th, which I am happy to do.
The City of Vancouver Planning Department have been keen to put a tower on the Safeway site at Commercial & Broadway since the late 1980s, and community opposition to such a project has been fierce for the same length of time. For those interested in the history of the struggle over that site for the last decade can read the whole sorry business in these columns. It is also covered in detail in my book “Battleground: Grandview“.
The latest version of the developers’ pipedream is even worse than previous incarnations, rising 39 storeys above our human scale low- and mid-rise neighbourhood.
And it has attracted a great deal of neighbourhood criticism. This opposition has now begun to coalesce into an active group that has launched a website.
I urge you to read what they have to say, and to sign up to get involved and/or just to keep yourself informed on this development which will affect our wonderful neighbourhood for generations.