Agenda Index City of Vancouver


Date: October 21, 1997

Dept. File No.: FD

CC File No. 8017

TO: Standing Committee on Planning and Environment

FROM:Director of Community Planning, in consultation with

General Manager of Engineering Services

Director of Finance

Director of Legal Services

Manager of the Housing Centre

SUBJECT: Implementation of High-Priority Public Realm Amenities in Oakridge/Langara

- Walking and Traffic Calming Improvements


A.THAT the Director of Finance be authorized to proceed with financing arrangements to fund the projects as outlined in this report and identified in Recommendations A1 and A2.

A1.THAT walking improvements in the area be approved and constructed in accordance with the plan included as Appendix B, with the cost estimated to be $630,100. The source of funding in the amount of $96,800 to be Development Cost Levies (DCLs) from the Oakridge/Langara DCL area, and $533,300 to be financed by Oakridge/Langara Community Amenity Contributions (CACs) in the interim.

A2.THAT traffic calming measures for the 600 and 700 block West 45th Avenue be constructed generally in accordance with the plan as shown in Appendix G, at a cost of $46,300, to be funded by monies collected as a condition of rezoning from three rezoning applications in the immediate vicinity. The source of funding of $8,300 is to be provided in the interim by Community Amenity Contributions as necessary.

B.THAT the southern half of the 59th Avenue Greenway between Oak and Laurel Streets be constructed in accordance with the plan shown as Appendix I at an estimated cost of $154,500. The source of funds will be: $92,700, Streets Basic Capital Unappropriated Account No. 13/32/9802/999 - Higher Zone Streets (subject to approval of the 1998 Streets Basic Capital Budget); $36,000, Streets Basic Capital Unappropriated Account No. 12/31/6906/999 - City Greenways. The source of the remaining $25,800 is DCLs from the Oakridge/Langara DCL area.

C.THAT the General Manager of Engineering Services initiate a Local Improvement Project for construction of curb, gutter and paving on Heather Street between West 70th Avenue and the lane north of West 70th Avenue, generally as shown in Appendix J.


The General Managers of Engineering Services and Community Services RECOMMEND approval of the foregoing.

The Director of Finance provides the following comments:

Using Community Amenity Contributions as collateral to provide high-priority public amenities in the Oakridge/Langara area is a method that is feasible as an interim measure. There is no adverse impact on property taxes.


Council has many broad policies that emphasize walking, bicycling and traffic calming in neighbourhoods, and reducing the impact of through traffic on local streets. The following policies are specific to this planning area.

Approved by Council July 18, 1995, the Greenways Plan proposes three east-west City Greenway corridors in or immediately adjacent to the Oakridge/Langara planning area. The North Arm Trail on 59th Avenue is directly relevant to this report.

Approved by Council July 27, 1995, the Oakridge/Langara Policy Statement established the basic principle that new developments should contribute to meeting amenity demands they help to create.

Approved by Council June 13, 1996, the Oakridge/Langara Public Benefits Strategy (PBS) identified future amenity requirements and how to help provide them through development contributions. It also identified public realm amenities to be completed within a short period of time, including the projects described in this report and a companion report on park improvements.

Approved June 13, 1996, the Oakridge/Langara Traffic Management Planning report (TMP), identified a number of initiatives to address current issues and mitigate future traffic impacts.

Development Cost Levy (DCL) By-Law No. 7630, enacted September 24, 1996 set the DCL boundaries and a DCL rate of $3.25/sq. ft. of floor space.

Figure 1. Location Map


The Oakridge/Langara Public Benefits Strategy (PBS), approved by Council in June, 1996, recommends that basic walking improvements and certain traffic calming measures be implemented within three years, even if in advance of redevelopment. This report recommends improvements that focus mainly on enhancing the walking environment along the Willow/Tisdall/Heather corridor, through the construction of sidewalks where none now exist, the installation of a pedestrian actuated signal at the intersection of Heather Street and 57th Avenue, and the general enhancement of the streetscape.

The walking improvements also include sidewalk construction related to two park upgrades that are the subject of a companion report to the Standing Committee on Planning and Environment.

To proceed within the three-year time frame envisioned in the Public Benefits Strategy, walking improvements will need to be funded, in part, in advance of receipt of development contributions. The recommended approach uses DCLs in the amount of $142,600 and Community Amenity Contributions (CACs) of $487,500 to make up the shortfall, in an amount estimated to be $630,100. In approving the PBS, Council authorized staff to use CACs for this purpose, if necessary, to be replenished by DCLs as they are collected.

Further, this report also recommends that the 45th Avenue traffic calming measures identified in the approved 1996 Traffic Management Planning report be constructed in the same general time frame, at a cost of $46,300. Of this amount, $38,000 is in hand as a condition of rezoning for the former police station site, with the interim source of funding for the remaining $8,300 to be CACs, to be reimbursed from conditions of rezoning of nearby developments as they occur.

The report proposes to build a portion of the 59th Avenue Greenway, with $128,700 to be funded through two Engineering Services’ capital accounts and $25,800 from DCLs.

Finally, the report recommends that an LIP process be initiated to complete the Heather Street walking improvements between 70th Avenue and the lane north of 70th Avenue, and reported to a future Court of Revision.

A companion report recommends improvements for Tisdall Park and Oak Park, and design fees for Tisdall Park. In terms of income, a letter of credit for $116,260 in DCLs has been collected, and $886,590 in CACs. This is sufficient to cover the cost of the improvements recommended both in this report as well as the companion report on park improvements.


This report recommends a design and funding strategy for specific walking and streetscape improvements in the Oakridge/Langara area. The report summarizes public consultation regarding the proposed projects.


The Oakridge/Langara Policy Statement established the basic principle that private redevelopment in the area is expected to contribute toward public benefits. The Public Benefits Strategy (PBS) built upon this principle and quantified amenity needs. The Development Cost Levies (DCLs) and Community Amenity Contributions (CACs) required from new development will help fund the new amenities. The Oakridge/Langara area DCL By-Law allocates funding for short-term walking improvements, as well as other amenities in the area.

The PBS report states "that priority action be taken on two items, park upgrading on Oak and Tisdall Parks and walking improvements on Heather/Tisdall/Willow." Council authorized staff to undertake the design phase for these projects as soon as staff resources were available, and to report back to Council on details of design, consultation and funding. Accordingly, Community Planning, Park Board and Engineering Services staff resources have worked towards fulfilling these Council directions.

The PBS allocates $1 million from DCLs for walking improvements in the community, but also noted that "if DCL funds are not available at construction stage, staff recommend other funding sources, such as CACs, be explored, to be repaid as DCLs become available." This report recommends that CACs be used for interim financing for the bulk of the recommended improvements, because sufficient DCLs have not yet been collected. When collected, DCLs will reimburse the CAC account.

The 1996 Oakridge/Langara Traffic Management Plan (TMP) also identified existing traffic-related issues and measures required for future mitigation. Some of these are closely linked to walking improvements and are also recommended to proceed at this time.


1. Walking Improvements

(a) Introduction

Community consultation through the 1995-1996 "Neighbourhood Portraits" process identified the lack of a sidewalk network and curb ramps as significant obstacles to convenient pedestrian movement for all users. Most affected are children, disabled persons and elderly residents. Appendix A shows the streets lacking sidewalks in the planning area.

Heather, Tisdall and Willow Streets, in particular, provides north-south access to important community destinations. These include two elementary schools, one high school, two parks, the Marpole-Oakridge Community Centre, the George Pearson Centre, the Jewish Community Centre and the Oakridge Shopping Centre. Some portions of this route lack sidewalks, notably Willow and Tisdall Streets between 41st Avenue and 45th Avenue, and Heather Street between 49th Avenue to 54th Avenue. In these areas, pedestrians must walk either in the roadway or on the grass boulevard due to the lack of sidewalks.

(b) Design

The proposals are intended to provide a safe, convenient and comfortable walking environment for a variety of users. The basic features include:

(i)construction of sidewalks and curb ramps in order to provide continuous pedestrian access on at least one side of the street along the Heather/Tisdall/Willow corridor;

(ii)installation of a pedestrian-actuated signal at the intersection of West 57th Avenue and Heather Street, as recommended in the TMP report;

(iii)paving, curbs and gutters to be installed on Heather Street between 68th Avenue and the lane north of 70th Avenue;

(iv)bulge construction at various intersections to calm traffic, to shorten pedestrian crossing distances and to enhance landscaping; and

(v)additional enhancement to include sidewalk stamping and street trees to be planted by the Park Board where gaps exist.

When the remaining DCLs are received, other walking improvements will be developed as needed. These may include special paving in crosswalks, additional street trees and traffic calming measures if necessary. Staff will report back at the appropriate time on design, costs and consultation process.

It should be noted that curb, gutter and paving on Heather Street between 57th and 59th Avenues are not proposed to be funded at this time. Staff recommend that such improvements be done in conjunction with rezoning of the Pearson Centre lands at the time of redevelopment, with the west side street improvement funded by DCLs and the east side improvements funded by the Pearson Centre redevelopment as a condition of rezoning.

Appendix B locates and describes the proposed walking improvements.

(c) Public Consultation

The "Neighbourhood Portraits" process undertaken in 1995/1996 provided the basis for these walking improvements, as well as park upgrades. The Public Benefits Strategy subsequently approved by Council confirmed their priority. Newsletters describing the objectives of the PBS were widely distributed in the community before and after its approval by Council in 1996. More recently, area residents have been directly involved in the design development of the proposals outlined in this report, as well as the companion park upgrade report. During April and May, 1997, two open houses were held to elicit residents' response to a preliminary design concept. Another open house was held for parents of Dr. Annie B. Jamieson School students at the principal's request, and additional meetings were also held with George Pearson Centre residents, Oakridge Centre Seniors, and the consultative committee of Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School. In total, six public meetings were held.

Table 1 summarizes the results of a questionnaire/survey conducted at these events. A detailed breakdown of the results is provided in Appendix C.

Table 1. Summary of Questionnaire Results

Approximate Total Number of People Attending Open Houses


Number of Questionnaires Received


Supportive Responses


Opposing Responses


About a third of attendees returned a completed questionnaire. Of those, about 90% supported the pedestrian proposals and traffic calming measures.

In addition, seven letters from residents and community organizations have been received to date, six in support and one opposed. The letters are attached as Appendix D. These are on file with the City Clerk.

It should be noted that of the seven questionnaires opposing walking improvements, five were submitted by residents living on the west side of Heather Street between 49th and 54th Avenue. Some of these residents are concerned about the impact of sidewalk construction on private landscaping, which in some cases may encroach on City property. They have also indicated that they consider a sidewalk on the City boulevard as an unnecessary improvement, even at no financial cost to them. A local improvement for a sidewalk in this area was defeated by property owners in 1994.

To discuss these and related issues, staff met with those residents living directly on the proposed pedestrian corridor on Thursday, June 12, 1997, at Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School. Detailed drawings of the affected frontages and the potential location of the sidewalk to accommodate mature planting were available for viewing and discussion. Responses to the revisions were generally favourable to those in attendance. Meeting notes are included as Appendix E.

(d) Costs and Funding

The cost of the walking improvements in the Willow/Tisdall/Heather corridor is estimated to be $630,100. Appendix F provides a detailed breakdown of project costs.

To proceed within the intended time frame, walking improvements will need to be funded in advance of receipt of sufficient DCLs. The recommended approach uses $533,300 from Community Amenity Contributions (CACs) as an interim source of funding to supplement $96,800 in available DCLs.

2. West 45th Avenue Traffic Calming Measures

(a) Introduction

The Oakridge/Langara Traffic Management Plan (TMP) report approved by Council on June 13, 1996, proposed treatment of 45th Avenue between Tisdall and Ash Streets to include bulges at driveways and intersections, and a speed table or raised crosswalk at the intersection of 45th Avenue and Ash Street. Construction of these traffic calming measures will be coordinated with the development of the multi-family residential project at 620 West 45th Avenue, expected to be completed by 1999.

(b) Design

The proposed treatment of this block is consistent with the concept shown in the approved TMP, as shown in Appendix G. The final design and decision to proceed with the speed table was conditional upon Engineering Service's review of the effectiveness of a similar project on the Ridgeway. The raised crosswalk/speed table is not proposed to be installed at this time while other options are evaluated that may also provide an improved pedestrian crossing. In the interim, a marked crosswalk is proposed for West 45th Avenue west of Ash Street.

(c) Public Consultation

Consultation on the 45th Avenue project was conducted as part of the preparation of the 1996 TMP. Appendix H lists the current status of implementation of other traffic management measures derived from the TMP process and subsequent community consultation.

(d) Costs and Funding

The cost for this project as shown is estimated to be $46,300. Funding for these improvements are to be provided as a condition of rezoning above and beyond DCLs and CACs, for three adjacent development sites: 620 West 45th Avenue (approved at Public Hearing on January 14, 1997); 6111 Cambie Street; and 6184 Ash Street. So far, about $38,000 has been received from enactment of the CD-1 by-law for the former Oakridge Police Station site for this purpose. CACs would make up the $8,300 shortfall, and be reimbursed when payments are received from 6111 Cambie Street and 6184 Ash Street, if and when they are rezoned by Council.

3. West 59th Avenue Greenway

(a) Introduction

59th Avenue is one of three east-west City Greenways that either border or cross the Oakridge/Langara area. Within the planning area itself, the 900 block of 59th Avenue does not have curb and gutter, nor street trees. The Oakherst site at 7400 Oak Street on the northeast corner of Oak Street and 59th Avenue was rezoned in 1996 for multi-family residential use; one of the conditions of rezoning includes the development of a greenway treatment on the north side of the street between Oak and Laurel Streets. This report recommends providing a similar treatment on the southerly portion of West 59th Avenue to complete this segment of the greenway. Both sides of this portion of the 59th Avenue Greenway should be completed at the time of development of the Oakherst site, estimated to be completed by 1999.

(b) Design

Appendix I shows the plan for this area as provided by the Greenway branch. It includes these features:

·530·a landscaped median on 59th Avenue and east of Oak Street;·530

·530·paving, curb and gutter and sidewalks from Oak Street to Fremlin Street on both sides of the street;·530

·530·full bulges at Fremlin Street and Laurel Street, and at two mid-block locations at the Oakherst site;·530

·530·street trees; and·530

·530·Greenway standard pedestrian scale lighting.·530

(c) Public Consultation

Consultation for Greenways was broadly conducted during the Greenway planning program. The rezoning process for the former Oakherst Hospital site provided further opportunity for public input, which highlighted the community’s desire for public access to the well-landscaped former private hospital site as an issue. Subsequent consultation has involved City staff, Park Board staff, the Marpole-Oakridge Community Association and community centre staff. An April 3, 1997, open house at the community centre displayed the preliminary design concept and received no negative comments.

(d) Costs and Funding

The cost for completing the City’s portion of the greenway treatment between Oak and Laurel Streets is estimated to be $154,500. Sources of funding are:

·$92,700 from Unappropriated Account No. 13/32/9802/999 for paving, curb and gutter, and street trees on the south side of 59th Avenue between Oak and Fremlin Streets can be provided by the 1998 Street Capital Budget item for paving Higher Zone streets;

·the Streets Basic Capital Account No. 12/31/6906/999 for City Greenways can provide the estimated $36,000 for lighting and the landscaped median at Oak Street;

·DCLs will provide $26,300 for three bulges at Fremlin and Laurel Streets.

4.Local Improvement Project Between 70th Avenue and the Lane North of 70th Avenue

(a) Introduction

Heather Street does not have curb and gutter between 68th and 70th Avenue. Walking improvements are generally described above, but since the southern boundary of the DCL area is located at the lane north of 70th Avenue, a separate source of funding is required. Since the City Charter does not permit use of DCLs outside of the DCL boundary, staff recommend that a Local Improvement Project (LIP) be undertaken to seek owner support for the improvements between 70th Avenue and the lane north of 70th Avenue described below, to be reported to an upcoming Court of Revision.

(b) Design

Appendix J shows the proposed treatment of this area. It includes curb and gutter and street trees on both sides of Heather.

The cost of curb, gutter and pavement between 70th Avenue and the lane north of 70th Avenue, to be shared between benefitting property owners and the City, will be provided at a later date.

(c) Public Consultation

Consultation was conducted through the open houses described in the preceding sections. The LIP process will report back on owner responses through an upcoming Court of Revision.


During the planning process Council endorsed the notion of undertaking some public improvements early in the Oakridge/Langara area, in advance of development, specifically upgrading two major parks and improving walking conditions. Sufficient CACs have been received to provide interim funding to supplement DCLs in order to complete the two proposed park improvements, and will be reimbursed by DCLs as they are collected. There is no impact on taxes.

Tables A and B summarize the funding sources and allocations described in this report and the companion report on walking improvements.

Using CACs where necessary as a source of interim funding for walking improvements until sufficient DCLs are collected is consistent with Council’s direction as contained in the Oakridge/Langara Public Benefits Strategy approved by Council in 1996.

Table A. Summary of Funding Sources






R e z o n i n g s

5650 Oak St. (Vancouver Resources Centre)





7430 Oak St. (Oakherst)




620 W. 45th Ave. (Former Police Station)

$26,3003, 4



C i t y

C o s t

Streets Basic Unappropriated Account No. 13/32/9802/999 -Higher Zone Streets




Streets Basic Unappropriated Account No. 12/31/6906/999 - City Greenways








1 Letter of credit

2 $326,100 owing; payment expected by 1999

3 Includes $20,000 advanced to cover Tisdall Park design fees

4 Approximately $487,100 more expected at building permit stage, depending on final square footage of development

Table B. Summary of Fund Allocation







Heather / Tisdall /Willow Improvements




W. 45th Ave. Traffic Calming




W. 59th Ave. Greenway



$92,700 Streets Basic Unappropriated Account No. 13/32/9802/999 -Higher Zone Streets

$36,000 Streets Basic Unappropriated Account No. 12/31/6906/999 -City Greenways

Walking Improvements Total





Tisdall Park




Oak Park



Park Improvements Total3









1 Interim funding - the CACs will be replaced by DCLs as the latter are collected

2 Cash payment from 620 W. 45th Ave. (Former Police Station)

3 Park improvements are detailed in a companion report

4 $20,000 advanced by 620 W. 45th Ave. to cover Tisdall Park design fees


The recommendations in this report are consistent with fundamental Transportation Plan directions to place the needs of pedestrians and bicyclists above those of the car, and to calm traffic in residential neighbourhoods.


These proposed streetscape improvements help to implement the approved Public Benefits Strategy. While linked to the needs of the new population from redevelopment, construction of these projects at this time also benefits existing residents by promoting a convenient and connected walking environment. Based upon the current level of development activity, it appears that sufficient DCL funds will be available within three years to repay the interim loan totalling $541,600 for the proposed walking improvement and traffic calming initiatives.

* * * * *

See Page

Comments or questions? You can send us email.
[City Homepage] [Get In Touch]

(c) 1997 City of Vancouver