DUNBAR RESIDENTS’ ASSOCIATION
Mon 21 Oct 2013
Mon 21 Oct 2013
Posted by DRA Webmaster under Events
You are invited to an
Monday, October 28, 2013
5:00 – 8:00 pm
St. George’s School Senior Campus 4175 West 29th Avenue, Vancouver, BC
In preparation for the upcoming St. George’s School Senior Campus rezoning application, we invite you to an open house to view the updated plans and material. School representatives and City staff will be on hand to answer any questions or listen to any comments or concerns you may have. We look forward to meeting you on October 28!
Please RSVP to Mrs. Sandi Cobb (Manager, Community Relations) so we have an idea of how many people to expect for refreshments. If you are unable to attend, but would like to be included in future correspondence, please let Sandi know by contacting her at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 604-221-3887.
Mon 9 Sep 2013
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE from Jonathan Weisman, DRA President
DUNBAR RESIDENTS’ ASSOCIATION OPPOSES HARWOOD GROUP PROPOSAL FOR STONG’S SITE REDEVELOPMENT
After careful consideration, the Dunbar Residents’ Association (DRA) urges that the City reject the rezoning application for the Stong’s site on Dunbar Street between 29th and 30th Avenues. The rezoning application for 4508-4560 Dunbar Street and the sister application for 3581 West 30th Avenue are simply not compatible with the scale and nature of the neighbourhood. The proposed buildings contribute nothing to justify a departure from the existing community vision and zoning and their approval would undermine faith in the community planning and consultation process.
The Harwood Group’s (Harwood’s) redevelopment proposal envisions a six-storey-height building along Dunbar Street, accompanied by an eleven-unit townhome development on two lots along West 30th. The height and scale of these structures is out-of-scale with the neighbourhood and the community planning which developed the Dunbar Vision.
Harwood has suggested that a development with a supermarket would not be financially viable if kept to four-storey height. Yet Vancouver developers have managed to build four-storey structures of just that kind many times in recent years. Notable examples include Stong’s Market’s former site at 2491 Marine Drive in Dundarave, West Vancouver and 3515 West 4th Avenue, Vancouver. Harwood has been asked to publicly release financial details showing why they cannot accomplish what other developers have. They have refused to do so, yet still wish to rely on financial hardship to justify a departure from existing zoning and community planning.
The City has an obligation to disclose all information which it considers in assessing a rezoning application. As a rule, this does not mean that developers must disclose their financial information. But if their private financial concerns are used to inform the City’s decision, the information must be part of the public record. A lack of transparency would throw the planning and rezoning process into disrepute.
The DRA objects to Harwood’s request to rezone the Stong’s site from its present C-2 commercial zoning to the special CD-1 and CD-2 designations. The latter zonings are site-specific and should be reserved for structures whose civic importance requires special consideration or complex zoning for especially large, mixed-use sites. Using them to create specialized zoning for a particular business is inappropriate. Nothing guarantees that any business will endure and subsequent changes would burden the neighbourhood and City with an outdated and limited vision. Creating site-specific zoning for a supermarket is both short-sighted and unnecessary, as the building at 3515 West 4th Avenue demonstrates — it was built within the C-2 zoning which already applies to the Stong’s site.
The City has suggested that the Stong’s site should be specially considered because of the supermarket’s importance to the neighbourhood. It is worth noting that there is a difference in size and scale between community-based supermarkets and those which serve as destinations for larger areas. Community supermarkets, which many supermarket chains such as Whole Foods and IGA have developed, have fit into smaller spaces with lower ceiling heights. The stores in Dundarave and on West 4th Avenue are but two examples of this format. Clearly, neighbourhood supermarkets do not demand additional scale. Notably, the Whole Foods market on Cambie Street, a six-lane road fronted with multiple strata buildings, rises to only six storeys at its highest point along that street. Dunbar Street has only two lanes and no building exceeding four storeys.
The Dunbar Community Vision set out a maximum height of four storeys for buildings along Dunbar Street. That Vision was part of a broad and extensive community consultation and was formalized in the adoption of the C-2 zoning for Dunbar’s commerical districts. Additional height in the central Dunbar commercial district (which includes the Stong’s site) was specifically considered and rejected in that consultation. The growth targets set out in the Vision, both for Dunbar and for Vancouver as a whole, have not been met or exceeded. Nothing commends a deviation from the Vision.
The recent vision development process in neighbouring Point Grey produced a similar plan, which indicates the continuing appeal of the principles embodied in the Dunbar Vision. The Dunbar Community Vision established a preference for small, independent businesses. The commercial units in Harwood’s proposal would most likely be unaffordable for such businesses — they would be more suited to large chains and franchises. Dunbar already has a surplus of such commercial space, which has often gone unoccupied.
More importantly, the City must consider the effect of granting such an exception to the planning done by the City and neighbourhood. Deviating from the Dunbar Community Vision would destroy neighbourhoods’ faith in the vision and planning process. Neither community visions nor zoning would be reliable; and neighbours choose their homes and plan their families’ lives based on the expectations which are created by that planning. Abandoning City and neighbourhood plans means destroying family plans.
The DRA supports densification. In fact, the Dunbar Community Vision supports townhomes which are suitably scaled to the community and surrounding structures. The stacked townhomes proposed for the 30th Avenue site are not within the scope of the Vision. A proposal which so radically changes the possible forms on a residential street should not be adopted through a spot-rezoning process. It should form part of a broad consultation aimed at developing a livable, working townhome format for the RS-5 zoning which applies to the 30th Avenue site. This is particularly important given some aspects of the proposed townhome structures, such as massing at the back of the lot, which places high walls very close to single-family homes. This height and proximity raises real concerns about both shadowing and privacy. Those concerns should not be dealt with as an afterthought to a large, mixed-use development on an arterial road.
Given the success other developers have had with attractive four-storey projects, the DRA has high hopes that Harwood will be able to accommodate its vision for the site with that of the Dunbar community. We hope that all neighbours will take the time to make their position on the development known to the City and to the developer.
The DRA may be contacted via email at email@example.com or by telephone via 604-222-9824.
Dunbar Residents’ Association
Wed 4 Sep 2013
No sign of the Pink Salmon entering in any of the Fraser River entrances in great numbers just yet . The P. S. C. does gillnet test drifts every day at Dease Island “Cottonwood” and Whonnock further up river ! The pink numbers caught in the river yesterday for example were poor , 12 Pinks for Cottonwood and 139 pinks for Whonnock in 2 sets of the net in both locations ! The F. R. pink run is now estimated to be 24 million and getting bigger and bigger every day ! Most of the pinks are coming in from the ocean through the very long northern migration route , that being Johnston Strait ! 44,000 were just caught and release in seine test fishing , in the Strait two days ago near Port Hardy !
The Salish Sea and the outer banks of the river are filling up with waiting Wild Fraser River Pink Salmon ! Waiting for what , before entering the river on mass , only the pinks know when it is time to go home and do not forget that Terry ! The pink salmon are now quickly putting on their spawning coat of many colours and loosing that deep sea silver shine forever !
This is the last river migration leg , of a very long journey from the middle of the Pacific Ocean for the little salmon I thought it might be cooler river water temperatures and lots of rain that would send them into the river , in huge masses ! I was wrong , just a small first wave of advance spawners , “Salmon Scouts” fisher people call them , have ventured into the big river so far !
Lets try a Second Pink Salmon Guess , to all this stalling and waiting for the right time to enter the river thing ! It could be the “Big”Moon Rising Stuff ” that is causing the delay , so here i go again another guess , so its the week before the Aug, Full Moon or the Week after the Aug. Full moon and it will happen on a big evening flood tide ! “River Moon Travelers” , could that be the missing pink migration key ?
My Gosh can I really think like a migrating Pink , so far the answer is after 60 years of fishing Fraser River Pinks , I hate to admit it ,I am not doing very well !
Sun 28 Jul 2013
Posted by Terry under Environment
For many years now I have been very protective of two very small populations of a unusual native marsh plant , located here in Vancouver , its called Henderson’s Checker- Mallow , or by some Marsh Hollyhock ” Sidalcea Hendersonii ” . Its bell like pink flowers that wild bees and good insects love as soon as it blooms , are found in numerous compound upper spikes that grow to a height of about 1.5 M. !
The plants real downfall for many years now , that could soon result result in its local possible extinction , is that it can be easily mistaken as the highly invasive Purple Loosestrife plant and dug out by enthusiastic , unknowing volunteers ! The good news is that Checker – Mallow is still found in a few river estuaries on South eastern Vancouver Island , growing among huge patches of the Invasive Purple Loosestrife plant .
As far as I can understand the two small clumps of Checker-mallow that are still alive and still doing well here in Vancouver , could be the last of the plant now found in Metro Vancouver ! The historic “plant bible” notes that this plant was once known as the blessed or healing herb and its flowers were loved by many species of insects and pollinating wild bumble bees !
Yes the plant is in serious trouble , all the way from south western B. C. south to the Umpqua River in the North west U. S. A. ! Volunteers do wonderful work trying to eradicate Purple Loosestrife all over the lower mainland , but please do not dig out what you think are P. L. root balls , as they could be the endangered Hendersons Checker-Mallow !
Thanks Terry “Still watching over my wild Checker Mallow plants”
Wed 24 Jul 2013
Wow I have just learned to traveled by Google Earth , to many coastal commercial fishing places that I can remember in the mid coast of B. C. !
Oh boy I just zoom down into bays and Inlets where I dropped anchor so many years ago ! I fished in Moses Inlet and anchored in Ingrid Bay , with Orcas swimming around my boat all night !
I travel now on Google Earth around Long Lake in Smith Inlet and entered the estuaries of the Canoe Creek and Smokehouse River , where the wild sockeye gather today to get ready to spawn and die ! I follow the Smokehouse river as, it twists and turns past a old deserted First Nations Village and the tell tale gravel and sandy places . where since the beginning of time , numerous no name creeks enter this very long river ! On and on i go with my mouse cursor rolling up , to see wonderful things ! Sometimes I get off track and find myself lost next to a little lake and I cannot resist to zoom in to have a look for a old trappers cabin etc. ! I scroll along and the Smokehouse River. that at last becomes just a little tricking stream and then I zoom down to see miles of brown melted landscapes of the now Siverthrone Mountains melting glaciers !
Again I zoom in to have a closer look ! All over the lower mountain sides are signs of the massive Logging clearcuts of the 1950 s ., They are green strips now that seem to follow ravine stream bottoms and open up into what I think are lovely meadows ! I tap my computer key and slide the mouse and that helps me open up to the upper glaciers and ice fields and Wow at last I can see one of the Silverthrone Mountain peaks !
I have come a long way from the shores of Long Lake , where the Smith Inlet Sockeye , yes today , right now , wait patiently to enter their river home to spawn and die in the now Silverthrone Conservancy ! Yes this wonderful trip took place on my computer , with a old chart from my fish boat helping me along the way !
Terry ” From Long Lake and the peak of Silverthrone Mountain ” ! More Google Earth computer trips and stories to come , from the Southern Great Bear Rain forest !
Tue 16 Jul 2013
Posted by Terry under Environment
It happens every year at this time when the temperature and humidity is just right , those good little garden helpful black sugar ants decide to come out from under your patio bricks etc. and encourage the ones that have wings to fly off and start another small new wonderful colony in your neighbourhood !
It happens in the evening just before it gets dark , the workers and gathers of honey dew from those chomping aphids ! The little black ants can be seen just a running around every where in a big panic ! The little excited workers try to push and shove at the few bigger winged ones , to place them a higher elevation , that will provide a take off platform and the exodus of the winged ones begins ! I just love sitting and watching , as many of them try many times to flap off , like a goose on the water , but these gals are on land and are just trying to learn to learn to fly ! I continue to watch , Its just about to get dark and the worker ants return underground in a big hurry and will have another small batch of female wing ones , to try to push out tomorrow night only if the temperature is just right and it does not rain !
They are great little black ants , year after year they help us in our gardens to control aphids and our dog and us over the years have never been bitten by them ! The winged ones fly off and waiting is our garden Dragonflys and if they drift up higher on a evening breeze , its there that the Swifts are gathering for a feed ! I counted 12 Swifts and a squadron of Dragonflys swooping and grabbing them up , as it got dark tonight ! Its funny as the Dragons and Swifts spit out the wings and they come back to the earth , turning like “Maple Tree Seed Samara”
Some one asked me yesterday what was the biggest enemy of those garden helpful little sugar ants might be , well its not the Dragonsflys or the Swifts , its a SILLY ANT SCARED TO DEATH HUMAN with a big can of INSECTICIDE CALLED RAID !
Tue 9 Jul 2013
With summer in full swing, residents often find themselves spending more time outdoors, exploring the neighbourhood by foot. Take advantage of these four Dunbar walking tours developed by the late June Binkert. Much of the history of our community is captured in these documents and while some of the landmarks may have disappeared, enough are still standing to make an evening stroll a pleasant discovery.
- Walk 1 Blenheim and 37th to 38th Avenue
- Walk 2 Contemporary Houses in South Dunbar
- Walk 3 Northeast Dunbar, 18th to 30th Avenue
- Walk 4 Southeast Dunbar, including Knox Church and Kerrisdale School.