British Columbia

Vancouver council to vote on rezoning for planned 55-storey tower

Public comment and submissions to council closed Sept. 17, with about twice as many comments opposed to the project as in favour, including two petitions against it. The land was set for social housing, and as part of its plan, the developer intends to include 152 social housing units along with the 303 market condominiums.

Density among public concerns over building, one-third of which would be comprised of social housing

An architectural rendering submitted to Vancouver city council shows the proposed tower, right, across the Granville Bridge from the Vancouver House tower. (Pinnacle International)

Vancouver city councillors are scheduled to debate and vote on a rezoning application Wednesday, for what could be the city's fourth tallest building — a condo tower at the north end of the Granville Bridge.

The project will need to be changed from its current 17-storey zoning if the developer, Pinnacle International, is to be allowed to move forward with its plan for a 55-storey tower on the east side of the bridge, just across from the city's current fourth tallest building, the twisting Vancouver House.

Public comment and submissions to council closed Sept. 17, with about twice as many comments opposed to the project as in favour, including two petitions against it.

The land was set for social housing, and as part of its plan, the developer intends to include 152 social housing units along with the 303 market condominiums.

Susan Abs is part of a group that calls itself Livability First, which has organized opposition to the plan.

"We just hope they turn it down," said Abs. "Turn down the rezoning, retain the current zoning for now — for 17-storey social housing — until other options for the site can be found."

Added density

Abs and her group say the tower will affect views all over the city, and add too much density to the area.

"I'm not against density, I'm [an urban] planner, I understand the role of density, but we don't think it belongs at the waterfront," she said.

According to Abs, the area is due for a comprehensive neighbourhood plan, and there are about 2,000 other residential units on the way within four blocks.

"This is a significant building, a significant impact in a congested area," she said.

An architectural rendering presented to the public hearing at Vancouver city council shows the base of the proposed tower at 601 Beach Crescent. (Pinnacle International)

The developer declined an interview request from CBC News, but emailed a statement.

"One-hundred-fifty-two units in one building would be one of the biggest social housing contributions by a private developer in the downtown area. This project would add 152 homes to the city's inventory of social housing, at no cost to the city," said the statement.


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