NO TOWER COALITION
June 21, 2018
NO TOWER COALITION RELIEVED BOFFO KETTLE TOWER PROPOSAL AT COMMERCIAL AND VENABLES WILL NOT PROCEED
The NO TOWER Coalition in Grandview-Woodland reacted with considerable relief this week, on learning that a proposed 12-storey BOFFO/KETTLE tower project on a key corner of our community has been shelved.
Contrary to assertions in the BOFFO/KETTLE announcement, this project was NOT broadly welcomed by the community. The NO TOWER Coalition gathered 4,433 signatures on petitions opposing the 12-storey project and for many months in 2016, the neighbourhood was blanketed with lawn signs opposing the tower. The coalition also gathered hundreds of postcards written by community members, articulating deep concerns about the proposal, which were presented to Vancouver City Council.
Key concerns were the escalating impact that a top-of-market 200-unit condo building would have on neighbouring property values and the resulting loss of many nearby affordable rental buildings providing essential housing in the neighbourhood.
The Coalition has always supported the aspirations of the Kettle Friendship Society, to provide much-needed services. But on balance, the tower proposal’s many negative impacts on Grandview-Woodland did not make it a welcome approach.
Instead the NO TOWER Coalition has proposed that the City of Vancouver portion of the proposed site (a land parcel at the north end of the property) be provided to the Kettle at a nominal cost, for construction of a six-storey building for Kettle services and non-market and low–end-of-market housing (see Our Alternative).
At the same time, the Coalition has proposed that the existing Commercial Drive street frontage adjacent to the proposed development (between the development and Uprising Bakery) be turned into a pedestrian “piazza” to enhance the neighbourhood.
The Coalition stands behind these two very practical and achievable ideas. It’s time the City of Vancouver looked at directly providing city lands for community and housing uses, rather than relying upon massive and intrusive developer-led projects such as this destructive BOFFO/KETTLE tower idea, to get much needed social services.