Re: “Proposed apartment building would dwarf Victoria residential street, neighbours say,” Dec. 30, and “Naysayers must consider benefits of new building,” Jan. 2.
Regarding the proposed redevelopment of the St Andrew’s School site, my goal is to nip in the bud any further suggestion that North Park is anti-development.
In fact, we consider ourselves to be the city’s “yes in my back yard” neighbourhood. We see new development as a way of addressing long-standing deficiencies and acting as a counterbalance to the disproportionate burden of the city’s urban complexities that we shoulder.
We want to be the testing ground for innovation and best practices from city hall as well as from developers. However, the proposal from Bosa Developments is anything but innovative and community-enhancing.
Bosa’s development intends to occupy every square inch of the half-city-block site and literally block out the sun for much of the surrounding area. Their plan is to situate a massive 5-storey gated residential community atop a 40,000 square foot commercial development.
The North Park Neighbourhood Association has asked Bosa to make three reasonable adjustments to the design.
First, we are asking that traffic enter and exit the site from Pandora Street (not Mason), just like what happens at the London Drugs mall on Yates Street. Second, we have requested that the development be stepped down to three storeys on quiet Mason Street and overlooking Franklin Green park in exchange for stepping it up to nine storeys on busier Pandora. Finally we are looking for more green and public space and less of a monolithic structure.
To date Bosa has not accommodated any of our requests. We may be the city’s YIMBY neighbourhood but we are not its dumping ground.
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