City of Vancouver launches consultations on proposed Shannon Mews development

Around 200 people packed a community hall for a heated public-information meeting about a proposed 891-unit housing development on the historic Shannon Mews site in southwest Vancouver.

The meeting, held last night (January 12) at Ryerson Memorial Centre, marked the start of a round of public consultations led by the City of Vancouver on the contentious project.

Wall Financial Corp., a prominent Vancouver development firm, has proposed creating a mix of market-priced rental and condominium housing on the four-hectare site, including a 14-storey and a 13-storey tower.

In August 2010, the proponents submitted a rezoning application to change the property’s designation from RS-6 (residential) to CD-1 (comprehensive development).

In the early 1900s, sugar magnate Ben Rogers commenced construction of a Beaux-Arts-style mansion on the site, located at Granville Street and West 57th Avenue.

Celebrated B.C. architect Arthur Erickson designed two townhouses on the property, which is now home to 162 market rental units.

Tenants of the Shannon Mews site, area residents, and city staff attended the public information meeting. Vancouver city councillors Suzanne Anton, George Chow, and Raymond Louie were also present.

The meeting was intended to provide the public with an overview of the city’s rezoning procedures and how to provide input into the planning process.

Brent Toderian, the city’s top planner, thanked the crowd for attending the meeting.

He said city council has called for a more rigorous public-consultation process than usual because the proposed project is big and complex.

“We have come to no conclusions yet,” he told the audience. “We are not making any recommendations to council. We are in listening mode and we are in learning mode.”

After hearing a presentation, the crowd peppered city planning officials with questions and concerns about the development. The audience sometimes erupted in cheers whenever a resident made a strong point about the impact of the project on the neighbourhood.

John Brimacombe, with the Shannon Mews Neighbours’ Association, told the Straight it’s hard to find any area residents who support the proposal.

He highlighted concerns about the potential impact on the character of the neighbourhood, which has many single-family homes.

“The place that’s right for redevelopment is a place where the neighbourhood is declining, the houses are [torn] down,” said Brimacombe, a retired high-school teacher who has lived near the Shannon Mews site for around 25 years. “You might as well redevelop and make something nicer. Not here.”

Brimacombe also emphasized the traffic issue. According to the association, there is already a great deal of traffic on Granville Street and West 57th Avenue during rush hour. "Another thousand cars getting in and out from the new complex daily, will create a lot of traffic problems (congestion, enhanced potential for accidents, etc.)," the group says on its website.

The Shannon Mews Neighbours’ Association also questions whether the area can accommodate potentially thousands of new residents.

Bruno Wall, president of Wall Financial Corp., described the meeting turnout as fantastic. He encouraged people to share their opinions on the proposed development.

“We want their input,” Wall told the Straight. “With their input we can deliver a better project.”

He said the primary benefit of the project would be more housing options, including apartments, townhomes, and opportunities for rental or ownership.

City planning officials say a public hearing on the Shannon Mews rezoning is expected in July.

Public information meetings are also planned in Mandarin and Cantonese.



Self Immolation Party

Jan 13, 2011 at 6:01pm

They need to build some social housing on that location. The city needs to start moving poor people further away from their drug dealers.


Jan 14, 2011 at 12:46pm

opportunities for ownership..........that was great


Jan 14, 2011 at 5:43pm

If you develop social housing on that location your moving poor people closer to the drug dealers. They have the money to buy in that area.


Jan 16, 2011 at 12:30pm

The community is not against development they are against the size of the development. Currently there are around 160 units and Wall wants 890. The call for social housing here is not appropriate. Marpole does have a lot of social housing, and group homes,and by the way, not all social housing users are drug addicts. Drive by the corner one day and imagine a 14 storey building on the corner towering over single residence homes. The proposal as it stands is absurd. Especially with a large development at 70th & Granville. Too many people all at once. The schools and traffic will not be able to handle it.

Teresa Kwan

Jan 16, 2011 at 9:55pm

It's totally absurd to erect 2 high rises of 14 stories when you have already approved of another big highrise development down on 70th and Granville.
There are enough mixed community developments already existing on 57th and East Blvd. Along East Blvd as well as West Blvd. In reality, a lot of those units along those two roads should be redeveloped instead. In other words, you are building high rises in the wrong area.
For the Shannon Mews development, City should only allow no more than 6 story high buildings around the neighborhood. Allowing excessive units and social housing developed in this property will rob the whole district not only from it being one of the few remaining areas with a quiet and safe environment for raising children in single family homes but devalue the property value around South Granville. If this development gets approved without substantial cut and modifications, then the City is doing nothing but bowing to the pressures of greedy developers whose main interest is getting the most out of the penny they spent. Do not allow this to destroy something tranquil and peaceful. All we are talking about is a small area between 49th and 57th, Granville and East Blvd. We hope that there are enough decent people left in the City who we -the tax payers can trust to still be able to make some righteous and sensible decisions


Jan 24, 2011 at 7:27pm

The proposed high density is totally inappropriate for this area. If the developer wish to have people living close together, they should densify in the middle of their site and not push the density buildup to the edge of their site robbing the neighbours of their privacy, sunlight, and view. Beware when the City of Vancouver calls public hearings regarding this project. If they schedule it around and during March breaks, Summer holidays, etc. when folks are away on family holidays, you know there is potential of private - civic collusion. Let us all monitor this.