CVN Sends Letter to Council re 105 Keefer St., Chinatown

On February 26, 2017, the Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods sent the following letter to Mayor Gregor Robertson and the Vancouver City Council. This letter expresses concerns regarding the proposed rezoning for 105 Keefer St. in Chinatown.

As explained in the letter, CVN recommends that City Council not approve the proposed rezoning application.

CVN represents a diverse group of nearly 30 neighbourhood associations all across the City of Vancouver.

This letter is also available for download as a PDF (90kb):
CVN.Ltr to Council.105 Keefer.pdf

February 26, 2017

City of Vancouver Council

Dear Mayor Gregor Robertson and Councillors,

Re: 105 Keefer St. Rezoning Application

The proposed rezoning for 105 Keefer Street, in the heart of Chinatown, presents many concerns for the Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods. We cannot support this proposed rezoning application.

And we are not alone among neighbourhood and community groups who oppose the development. Over 1800 combined signatures opposing the proposals have been gathered to date. Past and current proposals have been rejected by Chinatown Heritage Area Planning Committee, Vancouver Chinatown Revitalization Committee and the Building Community Society of Greater Vancouver.

The first question which needs to be asked is why aren’t we protecting our historic Chinatown district, and that doesn’t mean just one token street. This is one of the largest Chinatowns in North America, a truly unique district with its own distinct flavour and character. It is one of the elements that make Vancouver unique in the world.

And if we are trying to conserve this district with its flavour and character for future generations, while being realistic in a desire to blend it into a future coexistence with a changing city, what is this proposed building doing to help us achieve these goals? We would say, ‘very little, if anything’. It has been criticized for the following:

  • The proposed units will not be affordable to those in the community who are being displaced, who are most in need.
  • It will by its nature, promote additional loss of affordability in the community, displacing vulnerable citizens and the affordable, culturally appropriate businesses they depend on.
  • Lack of any architectural detail, texture or character that would tie it to its location as a part of Chinatown.
  • Shows a total lack of respect for its site adjacent to culturally important and significant elements such as the Dr. Sun YatSen Garden and the War Memorial.
  • Its height is inappropriate to the site, and to the Chinatown district, and is another unfortunate example of an attempt to open up the area to tower development not in keeping with the character of Chinatown.
  • Its massing is also much larger and denser than average buildings in the area.

We are also concerned that, despite these criticisms of the current and especially previous proposals for this site, there continues to be very little change in the proposal revisions, other than slight adjustments that fail to address the major issues. For this reason, and giving full consideration to the above criticisms, we strongly advise Council not to approve the proposed rezoning application for 105 Keefer Street, and recommend further revisions to the proposal before further consideration is given.

Sincerely,

Larry Benge, Chair

On behalf of the Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods
Contact: info@coalitionvan.org

Member Groups of the Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods

Arbutus Ridge Community Association
Arbutus Ridge/ Kerrisdale/ Shaughnessy Visions
Cedar Cottage Area Neighbours
Chinatown Action Group
Citygate Intertower Group
Community Association of New Yaletown
Crosstown Residents Association
Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood Council
Dunbar Residents Association
False Creek Residents Association
Grandview Woodland Area Council
Granville Burrard Residents & Business Association
Joyce Area Residents Association
Kitsilano-Arbutus Residents Association
Kits Point Residents Association
Marpole Residents Coalition
Norquay Residents
NW Point Grey Home Owners Association
Oakridge Langara Area Residents
Ray-Cam
Residents Association Mount Pleasant
Riley Park/South Cambie Visions
Shaughnessy Heights Property Owners Association
Strathcona Residents Association
Upper Kitsilano Residents Association
West End Neighbours
West Kitsilano Residents Association
West Point Grey Residents Association

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