Council preview July 21-23, 2020: 2538 Birch decision, auditor general, 55 storeys by Granville Bridge, C-2 zone changes for rental, and more


The staff at City Hall are pushing a huge amount of business through the Council pipeline, some items controversial and with long-lasting implications for the City. By the start of the summer hiatus, a total of ten public hearing dates (including reconvened/carried over) will have been completed in just June and July. There have been some major glitches with the systems. The City is still exploiting COVID-19 emergency legislation to hold electronic meetings. Council members and speakers cannot even see each other on the screen (meetings have audio only). Council members are also under pressure to process a huge amount of information.

Including the Referral Report:

CD-1 Rezoning: 601 Beach Crescent (535 foot tower). CHW note: This is across from Vancouver House near the Granville Bridge. Owner is Pinnacle International Lands. The history of permitted height here deserves some attention. Have a look at the breakdown of public benefits. Is the City getting a good deal with the total rezoning proposal? Is it wise for the City to take delivery of housing units on site, given the uncertainties of high cost maintenance in the future. What will it cost the City (taxpayers) in the future. The application is being considered under the Higher Buildings policy (adopted 1997, amended 2011), which allows consideration of buildings exceeding existing height limits, up to 425 feet. This application is for 535 feet, or 54 storeys with a 6-storey podium, to include 303 market residential units and 152 social housing units, commercial retail space at grade, a total FSR of 7.23. Some numbers that caught our eye: Development Cost Levies $0 (yes, that’s ZERO); public art $692,527; cash Community Amenity Contribution $12,100,000; in-kind social housing units $66,000,000. Total calculated as $78,792,527



REGULAR COUNCIL, JULY  21 (TUES) 9:30 AM. Agenda link here.

Full Article:

July. 17, 2020, City Hall Watcht: 

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