Vancouver city council will vote at its next meeting as to whether it will consider a tower height of up to 45 storeys at Oakridge Centre, after hearing from over 20 speakers about the proposed redevelopment of the site Wednesday (May 29).
Many of those speakers expressed opposition to aspects of the proposal, including the building height. Resident Heather Wye said the rezoning would have “an enormous effect” on people that live in the area.
“It will truly be a significant impact,” she said.
Tracey Moir of the group Oakridge Langara Area Residents expressed concern about the proposed departure from a 2007 policy statement for Oakridge Centre, which permits towers of up to 24 storeys.
“We suggest if you wish to see the major components, those which are the most controversial, set aside, please refer this item back to staff to develop a new policy, with the rigour and time required for the single largest development in our city,” she said. “To do otherwise blesses the key components, including density, height, rooftop space.”
Colleen McGuinness, the co-chair of the City of Vancouver’s senior’s advisory committee, told council the city’s outreach on the proposed development “falls short”.
“The community and our committee have simply not had the necessary time to absorb the implications of this report, and to thoughtfully formulate responses,” she said.
“This is the most important project in the city, with potentially great and long-lasting impact on the quality of life for seniors, not to mention setting a precedent for other development.”
Oakridge store owner Boris Chenkis spoke in favour of the proposed rezoning.
“We are excited about it, but we ask you to expedite as much as you can the decision-making process so we can re-energize Oakridge and make it part of the community again,” he said.
Staff recommendations call for city council to consider an “intensification” of the Oakridge Centre site beyond what was considered in the 2007 policy statement, to include increased residential, office and retail space.
City staff said the final built form proposed for the centre will be subject to additional public consultation and a public hearing process.