Vancouver Developer to Restore Industrial Site.
The site is currently zoned as “waterfront industrial”, but an amendment to the OCP will allow “mixed-use residential” such as the Polygon proposal. The waterfront site is just East of Cates Park, along the Dollarton Highway.
The two properties which make up the 4.75 acre site were previously used for ship building and repairs and have been in operation for more than 80 years. The impact to the environment during this time has been significant, and Polygon is planning an extensive restoration project to clean up the industrial site and make it suitable for homeowners to reside there. The cleanup will require significant rehabilitation and a fish ladder will be installed under the Dollarton Highway at Roche Point Creek. Polygon estimates a minimum $170,000 will be necessary to turn this industrial site around.
The application includes an amendment to the OCP, rezoning, lot consolidation and two development permits. Polygon’s proposal is for 0.75 Floor Space Ratio (FSR) and will not include any commercial units due to the physical location of the site not being particular viable for such use. The density of this project is relatively low when compared to many developments in Greater Vancouver that may see an FSR well above 10. The value of FSR is calculated by taking the total square footage of the project and dividing it by the size of the subject property.
The Builder also proposes allowing for public access to the waterfront by way of walkways that will lead to a series of trails in nearby Cates Park.
Out of the 95 residential units planned, 15 of them will be townhouses each with a private garage and front entrance with access from a new road. Owners of these new townhouses with enjoy a private fenced yard and floor plans will include both three and four bedroom homes. The smaller of the townhouses will be around 2500 square feet and the larger will be approximately 3000 square feet.
The condo units will be located in three 4-storey wood frame buildings ranging from 20 homes to 36 homes and situated in such a way that all homes are oriented toward the water. These homes will range from 950 square feet to approximately 1300 square feet.
The construction of the condo buildings will be carried out to a Silver REAP standard. The REAP is similar to the LEED rating system, and concentrates on six major areas: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy & atmosphere, indoor environmental quality, construction and innovation & design process. The construction of the townhomes will be carried out to a “Built-Green” Gold Rating, and it is important to note that this degree of environmental responsibility is voluntary.
Due to the nature of the slope at the proposed site, and the intention of the developer to construct the condo buildings approximately 1 storey below grade, the height of the 4-storey building will effectively be 1 and a half storeys above the Dollarton Highway. This consideration should minimize view hindrance for existing residences to the North.
The District of North Vancouver and Polygon Homes should be applauded for this undertaking. Here we have an environmentally degraded waterfront site with a creek running through it located immediately adjacent to a park. The proposal will have the developer leading the way with environmental rehabilitation while building to a standard of environmental responsibility that should be commended. The end result will be a well-integrated development with minimum impact and disruption to neighbours and value-added through the remediation of an industrial eye-sore.
Photos are courtesy of Polygon Homes & Rositch Hemphill + Associates Architects.