Mount Pleasant residents continue to complain about density

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7th and Main redevelopment

Mount Pleasant is one of the many neighbourhoods outside of downtown Vancouver that is going through change. This densification once again has the Resident Association of Mount Pleasant (RAMP) up in arms as they continue their fight against the evolution of a city.

Here is a summary as to why RAMP doesn’t think the proposal works on this corner of Main Street:

Current zoning allows a six storey building sitting on a four storey podium.

This building should not be taller than six storeys with a density in line with current zoning of 3.0 FSR. When additional height and density goes up on one property it forces the price of land up on properties around it and the taxes increase. Land goes up, taxes go up and rents go up.

The Mount Pleasant Community Plan says, Section 5.2 says, “allow up to six storeys for mixed use developments along Main Street from 2nd to 7th Avenues; investigate permitting additional height during plan implementation (see Section 6.1 c).”

Section 6.1 says, “They also expressed concerns about allowing buildings above six storeys at the intersections of Main Street with 2nd Avenue and with 7th Avenue.”

The Rezoning Policy for Main 2nd to 7th Avenues is the Industrial Lands Policies and it states:

For any rezoning applications, the following conditions will be considered before land is released from industrial uses:

(a) Compatibility of Proposed Land Uses with Existing Industrial Activity

The proposed development should not affect the operations of adjacent existing and potential future industrial activity in the area. The proposed development should not increase land values of surrounding industrial land.

(b) Land Use Suitability for Alternate Land Uses

The proposed development should comply with relevant planning policies such as Central Area Plan, Artist “live/work” Studio Policy, etc.

(c) Environmental Impacts

The proposed development should comply with relevant legislation concerning environmental impacts and mitigation measures.

Now for a dose of reality:

1. What RAMP fails to recognize is that at 2nd and 7th, the City of Vancouver’s Mount Pleasant community plan states that additional height should be investigated and to “find a good way for contemporary design to fit into the neighbourhood and support architectural innovation that creates new legacies.”

2. Current buildings in that area are already up to 10 stories. The building that would be directly across the street is 10 storeys. In fact, Mount Pleasant was home to Vancouver’s first skyscraper outside of the downtown core. Therefore, historically, Mount Pleasant is no stranger to taller buildings.

If these residents should be complaining about anything it’s the $100,000 Main Street poodle and not the densification of a neighbourhood that will be home to a future rapid transit line and one that is already pretty densely populated.

They lost the dispute with the Rize development, they’ll lose this one as well.
They aren’t demolishing single family heritage homes or existing neighbourhoods, they’re redeveloping a used car lot. RAMP needs to get over it and embrace the fact that change is coming to their neighbourhood whether they like it or not. It’s called evolution, people evolve and so do cities.

Image: AMA

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