Vancouver’s River District may get freestanding community centre site after all

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      A bigger and standalone community centre location in the River District of Vancouver is looking like a real possibility.

      On September 18, city council is scheduled to hold a public hearing on proposed amendments to the official development plan of the East Fraser Lands.

      Also known as River District and mostly owned by the Wesgroup Properties, the 51-hectare waterfront site is a master-planned community that is in development.

      A City of Vancouver staff report to council recalled that the current official plan provides for the integration of a community centre and childcare centre into a full block of development, which includes residential and commercial uses.

      According to the report prepared by Susan Haid, assistant director of planning for Vancouver-South, this arrangement would “potentially limit options for future community centre renewal”.

      Haid also noted that Wesgroup Properties has worked with city staff to “explore the opportunity to create a new standalone site”.

      “This would require redistribution of existing commercial and residential floor area, to create a larger City-owned community centre site,” Haid wrote.

      The measure involves transferring density from the parcel where the current plan puts a community centre and another parcel to other development sites in River District.

      Haid noted that the existing plan requires space for a community centre of at least 30,000 square feet and a 69-space childcare centre.

      By moving density allocations, the proposed changes to the East Fraser Lands plan will produce a reconfigured site of 40,140 square feet.

      The new site will also be directly connected to the waterfront plaza as a result of the suggested amendments to the plan.

      According to Haid, an initial “test fit” showed that the new site could accommodate a community centre of at least 30,000 square feet, two 69-space childcare facilities, and space for a potential Vancouver Public Library branch.

      How the density transfers are proposed to be made.
      How the reconfiguration will look like, if changes are approved by city council.