Month: October 2015

What The Community Is Saying About The Boffo Tower

At our online petition site, hundreds of members of our community have left comments discussing why they oppose the Boffo Tower proposal at Commercial & Venables.  Here is another selection of those comments (names are redacted here but can be found on the site):

“I don’t agree with the height and the density of the property. It is not in keeping with the neighbourhood.”

“A low rise option would suit the drive much better… having a clear view of the mountains is the beauty of Vancouver as a city where tall buildings are concentrated in one area. The Drive as a community is a quirky place to live and a high rise doesn’t suit the neighbourhood.”

“This tower is out of character for the neighbourhood, far exceeding zoning expectations for the area. It seems as though The Kettle has been put in the horrible position of acquiescing to a plan that provides it with a fraction of the total space while acting as a wedge for tower development in a neighbourhood that isn’t zoned for it. Characterizations of opponents as NIMBYS who don’t support The Kettle’s important work are absolutely wrong. We’d like a solution that supports Kettle (which has been a valuable neighbour for many years), while serving the community.”

“This Commercial Drive neighbourhood is not the appropriate place for generic tower-type densification that would take away from the eclectic character of the area. A smaller, more creative design needs to be considered.  This is not what the neighbourhood needs. Besides being incredibly ugly this type of development would alter/ruin the heritage low rise feel of The Drive. This is poorly thought through and a very bad idea.”

“While I support the Kettle and the good work it does, I do not believe that necessary public services such as this should be paid for by developers in return for lucrative up-zoning of their properties. I am opposed to spot re-zoing in any case – any re-zoning should be done in the context of an integrated, community-driven and community-friendly neighbourhood plan.”

“This is a terrible, terrible idea and needs to be stopped. This entire area is already zoned for 4-story buildings and very few are presently that large. We have lots of room for densification without changing the zoning at all.”

“This project stands outside the planning process for Grandview, and the City is biased towards the development. Boffo’s projects downtown are great, but they are luxury buildings. The limited-term social housing tied to this project cannot, and should not, be used to justify this unwelcome vanguard of change.”

“Too high!!”

“I don’t want The Drive densified and commercialised!”

“We have enough hideous new buildings in this town. Commercial drive doesn’t need to change.”

“I know we can do better things with the space than a tower!”

These are from your friends and neighbours, many of whom are long-term residents of the Commercial Drive area. The proponents of the tower continue to denigrate these folks as NIMBYs as if protecting and enhancing one’s neighbourhood is a bad thing.

In contrast, we praise them — and the thousands of others who have supported this campaign — as heroes standing up against a corporation that seeks only its own profit.

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Onward To 4,000!

This afternoon, at our regular information table in the sunshine at Grandview Park, we secured the 3,000th signature on the petition opposing the Boffo Tower.  Here is that very moment:

3000th signature

The gentleman, whose name we withhold for privacy reasons, said that he was signing because he “was concerned about the changes to the neighbourhood” that the tower would bring.  About 40% of the commenters on our online petition have said the same thing, and it is what we hear time after time at the info table.

3,000 signatures, 3,000 taxpayers, 3,000 voters expressing their opposition to the tower.  Will the developer and its allies listen?  Will City Council?  We can only hope that the clearly expressed views of this community count for something at City Hall.

And if 3,000 doesn’t do it, we are on our way to 4,000 now!