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West End Vision: 1401 Comox Development

Saturday, April 17, 2010 posted by james

This week I saw a number of articles regarding the changes going on in Vancouver’s West End. On the radio there were discussions regarding the changes and upcoming meetings providing residents with a forum to discuss their vision for the future of the neighbourhood.

So this morning I went for a walk through the wet and rainy West End, both in order to enjoy some fresh air and to see for myself what changes are going on and what community action may or may not be taking place. As always I enjoyed walking through this surprisingly quiet neighbourhood. When taking an architectural stroll I usually pick a few buildings and try to determine what the floor plan might be like from the visual structural ques and what factors helped shape the building. Today I spent as much time looking at the community notices posted by concerned citizens.

“The St Johns church on Comox Street is to be demolished to make way for a 22 storey tower with 180 units and a podium with 13 more town homes.” read the Development Application Sign, “There will be 81 parking spots for cars and an additional 323 for bikes.” All this is standard fare for signs of this type. But what was different in this case is the sheer number of postings, and slogans attached to the sign from community members against the development. These items made reading the sign almost impossible since they covered the information posted underneath. I know I come to this late in the debate, but I have since read some more about it this afternoon:

Georgia Straight article from March 11: http://bit.ly/b7AKK5

1401 Blog: http://1401comox.wordpress.com/

As I have long been an advocate of denser development I do like the idea of providing urban residences close to amenities and places of employment, but as a resident of downtown Vancouver and a fan of the quiet neighbourhood solace that the West End offers I am reluctant to see stark new development in the area. That said this wouldn’t be the first tower of this size in the West End. Some of my favorite towers in Vancouver are only a few short blocks away.

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