Norquay Elementary School hosts open house for proposed apartment transition zone

The City of Vancouver held an open house at Norquay Elementary School on Sept. 23 for the proposed apartment transition zone. Residents of the Norquay Village neighbourhood were encouraged to attend to learn more about the plan, engage in discussion and complete a questionnaire sharing feedback and concerns.

Photo: Jocelyn Aspa - Residents of the Norquay Village attend the open house held in the Norquay Elementary School gymnasium on Sept. 23, 2015

Photo: Jocelyn Aspa – Residents of the Norquay Village attend the open house held in the Norquay Elementary School gymnasium on Sept. 23, 2015

Other council-approved implementation strategies include: long-term strategic direction for amenities and facilities, the RT-11 zone allowing multiple small houses and duplexes , the RM-7 zone allowing stacked townhouses and rowhouses, and the apartment transition area rezoning strategy.

Approved in 2013, the apartment transition rezoning strategy was to allow a transition from taller buildings on Kingsway to lower residential buildings behind. Now, it has to go through a rezoning process to change zoning in specific areas followed by a permit process.

Concerns with the proposal

At the open house, some residents expressed concerns, particularly with the stacked townhouses. Jeannette Jones has lived in the neighbourhood for approximately 35 years with her husband, both whom are retired.  “Stacked townhouses will make walkability difficult, especially for seniors getting up and down,” she said.

According to the RM-9A zone display boards, the Apartment Transition Area Rezoning Policy would allow 4-storey apartments and 4-storey stacked townhouses. The stacked townhouses would have 2-storey or 3-storey units stacked on top of each other, offering a variety of units available for families, smaller households and seniors.  “But how will seniors get up and down in their own homes?” Jones wondered. “It’s just too dense.”

Jones said she’d prefer to see rowhouses stay the same. While her and her husband have no intentions of leaving Norquay Village, she isn’t particularly happy about the idea of it turning into a more condensed area, like many other parts of Vancouver.

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