VIRTUAL PUBLIC INFORMATION SESSION
Thank you to everyone who attended – we had just over 15 community members join the meeting.
At the virtual meeting, hosted on Zoom, staff provided an overview of the small-sites affordable housing initiative, the evaluation criteria that has been developed to review the proposals, and next steps in the process to explore affordable housing on this site. Click here to see the presentation.
After the presentation, there was a question and answer session.
We have updated the Frequently Asked Questions sections above to reflect the questions that we heard during the information session. We have also summarized the key feedback we heard from participants below and have provided answers to some “less frequent” questions.
WHAT WE HEARD
They key themes we heard during the virtual information session, and from comments sent directly to staff, are:
- Improved transportation options are important. Participants identified the desire to see an increased level of transit service, fully-subsidised passes for the Q2Q ferry, and car share program, for the benefit of the residents, who are less likely to own cars. These improvements would also benefit the community as a whole.
- Traffic is already an issue. Participants highlighted the existing traffic issues, including those related to the Queensborough Bridge. It was noted that a number of other new developments underway could also add to these issues.
- Opportunities to reduce greenhouse gasses should be considered. Participants noted that one of the best ways to reduce emissions is by reducing vehicle trips (especially over the bridge), which could be achieved through the provision of additional amenities in the neighbourhood or even within this development (e.g. child care, doctor’s offices).
- Affordable housing is needed. Participants expressed support for affordable housing, and the benefit of the location for access to amenities.
The FAQ section above has now been updated. We added new questions and updated some of the existing questions based on those raised during the information session. There were also a few “less frequent” questions that didn’t get added to the FAQ but we still want to answer.
Is the London Street location weighted more favourably due to its proximity to 22nd Street SkyTrain station?
On October 28, 2019 Council endorse in principle the use of both City-owned sites at 2035 London Street and 2038 Ninth Avenue (located in Connaught Heights) and 350 to 362 Fenton Street (located in Queensborough). Both were endorsed for development of affordable housing as part of the Small Sites Affordable Housing Initiative and are intended to advance through distinct but related processes. While its relative proximity to public transit (22nd Street Station) was a site opportunity identified for the Connaught Heights site, it does not place it ahead of the Queensborough site, which has also been endorsed for the development of affordable housing and progressing in its own manner.
What does “sympathetic design” mean?
When the City specifies that it is interested in projects that are sympathetic in design, it means that it will considering how the new building would fit into the context of the surrounding neighbourhood and adjacent buildings, and its impact on existing neighbours, new building residents, and the community as a whole.
This included attention to the scale and massing of the new building to ensure that is not too dissimilar from the surrounding buildings, transitions down to a smaller size as it gets closer to less prominent buildings, and considers impacts on privacy and access to light and airflow. A review of sympathetic design ultimately considers how the new building will contribute to the livability and enjoyment of the surrounding neighbourhood and of the new residents who will be living in the building. Staff will be working directly with the successful applicant to ensure sympathetic design is considered early in the review process.
What is the plan for the remainder of the City owned properties?
There are no plans at this time to develop the remaining vacant City owned properties on Fenton Street. In the Queensborough Community Plan these properties are envisioned to be used for single detached dwellings and duplexes. Single detached dwellings may also include a secondary suite.