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The City of Vancouver wanted to revitalize the aging and under-utilized Grandview area. With the implementation of rapid transit and Vancouver rapidly growing having the close proximity to downtown made densifying the region critical to absorb the immigration.
The main focus of the plan is to maintain industrial along Clarke Road and further into Hastings St north, keeping the unique culture of the drive intact, while adding more multi-family residential to manage growth.
What happened and what went wrong
Keeping in mind the close proximity to the downtown core, there was a directive to shoot for the sky. Grandview is a collection of single-family homes on small lots so without density the incentive to redevelop is lost and the redevelopment horizon extended indefinitely. The community demographic is older citizens and families, which did not bode well. These individuals vocalized strong opposition and forced planning’s hand to scale back the density. With many mixed opinions, planners had to build the plan based on each block making the OCP difficult to follow.
Then the worst case scenario happened. With many older stock rental apartment buildings being torn down in other areas there was a group that pushed to maintain the existing rental stock. Ultimately, a rate of change policy was included that limited the number of developments including any rental units (even a basement suite) to 150 units every three years.
After all the time, energy, money, and community involvement from both the residents and city staff the final results was a useless OCP due to that one policy. The ApartmentBlocks team sees this as under-utilized potential with a longer than necessary horizon for redevelopment.