Date: June 22, 1999
RTS No. 0844
CC File No. 8008
P&E: July 22, 1999
Standing Committee on Planning and Environment
Director of City Plans, in consultation with the Rapid Transit Project Co-ordinator and the General Manager of Engineering Services
Interim Policies and Planning Program for the
Grandview/Boundary Industrial Area
A. THAT Council endorse the work plan for the Renfrew and Rupert Station precincts and Grandview/Boundary area planning process as outlined in this report and in Appendix A.
B. THAT Council adopt the I-3 High Technology Interim Rezoning Policies and Guidelines: Grandview/Boundary Industrial Area, as outlined in Appendix B.
C. THAT Council adopt the Rupert and Renfrew SkyTrain Station Precincts Interim Rezoning Policies: Grandview/Boundary Industrial Area as outlined in Appendix C.
D. THAT Council adopt the Highway-Oriented Retail (HOR) Interim Rezoning Policies and Guidelines: Grandview/Boundary Industrial area, as outlined in Appendix E.
E. THAT Council adopt the I-2/I-3 Educational, Institutional, Cultural, and Recreational Uses Interim Guidelines for Conditional Approvals: Grandview/Boundary Industrial Area, as outlined in Appendix F.
F. THAT no Community Amenity Contributions (CACs) be charged on applications for rezoning to I-3, station precinct commercial, or highway oriented retail uses in the Grandview/Boundary area, where the maximum allowable floor space ratio achieved through rezoning does not exceed the currently permitted 3 FSR.
G. THAT for privately initiated applications for rezoning or conditional uses, agreements for the provision of on-site and adjacent off-site engineering services (e.g., sewer, water, roads, and traffic improvements) be negotiated as a condition of approval.
H. THAT the city-wide interim Development Cost Levy (DCL), to come into effect on January 28, 2000, at a rate of $1.00 per square foot for non-residential uses in industrial areas, $0.51 for daycare, and $2.50 for commercial, retail, and all other uses, as further described in this report, apply to new development in the Grandview/Boundary Industrial Area.
I. THAT, as part of the Grandview/Boundary Industrial Area Planning process, staff report back with options for an area specific DCL District By-law if funds required to service the area exceed revenues collected through servicing agreements and resources available from the City Interim DCL fee.
GENERAL MANAGER'S COMMENTS
The General Manager of Community Services RECOMMENDS approval of A through I.
The Livable Region Strategy and Transportation 2021 call for a jobs/housing balance in the City and the location of employment centres close to transit.
In June 1995, Council adopted CityPlan which provides for the development and reinforcing of neighbourhood centres; directs major office development to the downtown and Central Broadway; provides for a diverse economy; and jobs close to home.
In 1985, Council adopted the Hastings Sunrise Plan which includes policies for the protection and encouragement of industrial areas, limiting retailing on Grandview Highway, reinforcing neighbourhood commercial areas, and providing design guidelines including:
- retain the 12.2 m (40 ft.) landscaped setback requirement along Boundary Road, Grandview Highway, Broadway, and Lougheed Highway frontages, and
- establish a 7.32 m (24 ft.) landscape setback requirement along the east side of Renfrew Street for a distance of 158.5 m (520 ft.) south of Broadway.
In 1990, Council adopted the Still Creek zone in the Grandview/Boundary area to protect and enhance Still Creek.
In March, 1995, Council approved the Industrial Lands Strategy which seeks to retain most of the City's existing industrial land base for a variety of industrial and city-serving activities. The strategy identified the Grandview Highway and Marine Drive frontages for highway-oriented retail uses which are not appropriately located downtown or in neighbourhood centres.
In November, 1996, Council approved a new district zoning schedule (I-2) as an implementation measure for the Industrial Lands Strategy to better accommodate the needs of contemporary industry and to ensure compatibility of industrial areas with adjoining residential areas.
On February 25, 1999, Council referred a draft I-3 High Technology District Schedule to Public Hearing.
PURPOSE AND SUMMARY
This report presents directions for a broad concept plan for the Grandview/Boundary Industrial Area, and notes issues that will need to be addressed through in the rapid transit station and area planning work. In order for some development to proceed during the planning process, this report seeks Council's approval of interim rezoning policies in the Grandview/Boundary area for high technology (I-3) uses, highway-oriented retail (HOR) along the Grandview Highway frontage, and for conditional approval of recreational, educational, cultural, and institutional uses in the existing I-2, CD-1 (Still Creek) and proposed I-3 areas. Also, the report seeks Council approval for limited convenience retail and services in and immediately adjacent to the proposed Rupert and Renfrew SkyTrain stations.
Preliminary area directions have been incorporated into the interim policies to guide negotiations and review of owner-initiated rezonings and conditional development applications while area planning is underway. The preliminary concept plan discussed in this report will be refined as part of transit station precinct and area planning. Any interim rezoning will need to take the long term perspective into account.
A work plan for the station precincts and larger area planning is described for Council's endorsement. Planning staff resources have already been allocated for this work as part of the SkyTrain Program funding.
The Industrial Land Strategy and the Grandview/Boundary Area
Council adopted the Industrial Lands Strategy in 1995 to ensure that the city's industrial areas were retained for future industrial and service uses. Its size (81 hectares; 200 acres) and strategic location near regional transportation corridors make the Grandview Highway Industrial area an important component of this strategy. At the same time, Council directed staff to investigate the creation of highway-oriented retail zones along the Grandview Highway and Marine Drive industrial frontages to prevent further encroachment of retail uses in industrial areas.
Recently, concern has been expressed that some information technology firms are having difficulty finding sites in the city, especially larger companies that may have outgrown their space in the downtown. Some firms are looking for large floor plates that are not readily available in existing commercial areas. In February 1999, Council referred a draft I-3 District Schedule to Public Hearing to create the possibility for high technology areas in False Creek Flats and Grandview/Boundary.
Study Area and Context
The Grandview/Boundary Industrial Area, illustrated in Figure 1, is bounded by Grandview Highway, Boundary Road, Broadway/Lougheed, and Slocan Street. The area represents about 12% of the City's industrial land base. It was laid out in the 1950's as a modern industrial park with large lots and rail service. The construction of the adjacent Trans Canada Highway increased the regional and national links for the area. The proposed focus of planning work is the area located south of Lougheed Highway/Broadway. This is the area that will be directly affected by the SkyTrain initiative discussed in this report.
The areas to the north and south are mainly single-family. Vancouver Technical Secondary School is located to the west. Other nearby facilities include the Italian Cultural Centre and Thunderbird School and Community Centre. The area in Burnaby immediately east of Boundary, is industrial, and like the Grandview/Boundary area, is home to movie studio facilities. There are small pockets of C-1 zoned local commercial uses located at the Broadway/Lougheed and Grandview Highway intersections of Rupert and Renfrew streets.
Although changed from its original course and character, and buried for some of its length, Still Creek is an important area feature with greenway, amenity, and natural habitat potential.
FIGURE 1: STUDY AREA AND EXISTING ZONING
Zoning and Existing Uses
Most of the study area is currently zoned I-2 (light industrial), which allows for a range of industrial uses as well as ancillary retail and office uses. The zoning also allows for a number of cultural, recreational, educational, and institutional uses on a conditional approval
basis. There is also a Still Creek CD-1 zone to protect and enhance Still Creek. The Still Creek CD-1 is generally consistent with the I-2 District Schedule. The Revy store at Slocan and East 11th Avenue and the Real Canadian Superstore have site-specific CD-1 designations.
Warehousing and manufacturing uses predominate in the study area, with major locations being the former Eatons Warehouse and the Liquor Control Board. Other major industries include Paramount Film Studios, Vancouver Film Studios, CAE Machinery, and service industrial uses. Industrial vacancy rates remain low.
Three Recent Changes and Initiatives in the Area
1. Highway-Oriented Retail
The Grandview/Boundary area has been experiencing pressure from large format or "big-box" stores which have tended to seek out large sites with low land costs and plenty of space for surface parking. For the most part, the trend in this area has been to convert existing warehouse/manufacturing type buildings to the new use, rather than build to suit. The Grandview frontage is now home to a number of such large retailers, including the Real Canadian Superstore, Roots, Petcetera, Revy Home and Garden, Price Club/Costco, J.R. Furniture, the Brick, and United Furniture Warehouse. Some sites have been rezoned to explicitly permit retail use (Superstore, Revy Home and Garden); others have time-limited Board of Variance approval (Costco, United Furniture); and other retail businesses do not conform to the current I-2 zoning. The result of these changes is an almost continuous retail frontage for a distance of approximately 900 m² (2,950 ft.) from Rupert to Renfrew Street.
The largest store in the area is the Real Canadian Superstore at 15 793 m² (170,000 sq. ft), and the smallest store is the Computer Clearance Centre at 957 m² (10,300 sq. ft.). There are over 53 130 m² (572,000 sq. ft.) of retail space now located within the industrial area on or near the Grandview Highway frontage.
There is strong demand within the City for highway-oriented retailing which is primarily car-oriented and cannot easily locate within established neighbourhood centres. The Grandview Highway and S.E. Marine Drive frontages were identified by Council in 1995 as locations for possible highway-oriented retail as well as entertainment, educational, institutional, and recreational uses. The rationale was that allowing such uses along these frontages would relieve the pressure to convert other industrial land and allow space for some uses that are difficult to accommodate either in neighbourhood centres or the downtown.
In March 1998, the City released a discussion paper on proposals to rezone part of the Grandview Highway frontage for a limited range of highway-oriented retailing. At public meetings held to discuss the paper, some land owners in the area suggested that a larger area be zoned for retailing and that no restrictions on the type or size of retail be imposed. An expansion of office uses were also proposed. Two subsequent initiatives, the proposed routing of SkyTrain through the area and a proposed new high technology industrial zoning, have significantly changed the nature of the planning issues in the Grandview/Boundary area that formed the policy context at the time of the 1998 discussion paper.
2. SkyTrain Extension
On June 24, 1998, the Provincial Government announced a new SkyTrain route in the BNSF Railway corridor through the Grandview/Boundary industrial area, with the section from New Westminster to Commercial Drive to be operational by 2001. SkyTrain stations are planned to be located at Renfrew and Rupert Streets. Station location planning is essentially completed, and station programming and design is underway, as is planning for the two station precincts (area immediately adjacent to the stations). Transit interface planning and greenway planning are also in progress.
3. The I-3 High Technology Zone
In February, 1999, Council referred to Public Hearing a new I-3 District Zoning Schedule to provide for a wide range of high technology activities. A full discussion of the demand for high technology uses is covered in a February 16, 1999, report from the Director of Planning on "Proposed High Technology Zone - I-3". Two areas near existing or proposed rail rapid transit - West False Creek Flats and Grandview/Boundary - were identified as good locations for high technology uses. Both areas provide opportunities for high technology I-3 "campus-type" development. Employment in these locations will contribute ridership to new rapid transit services. A submission by Bentall Corporation to create an urban high technology business centre is the first site in the Grandview/Boundary area to be proposed for development under the I-3 High Technology District Schedule.
1. Concept for the Grandview/Boundary Industrial Area
Together, the advent of SkyTrain service in the Broadway/Lougheed Corridor and the I-3 high technology initiative offer an opportunity to develop the Grandview/Boundary industrial area over the next few decades as an employment-intensive centre. Given the current policy context and recent initiatives in the area, staff have identified opportunities for the future development of the Grandview/Boundary area. (See Figure 2). Over time, the area could include:
(a) Choice of use between light industrial (I-2) and high technology uses (I-3), generally within walking distance of the two SkyTrain stations. This allows maximum opportunity to take advantage of the transit stations and arterial connections. This choice permits high technology precincts to develop while retaining opportunities for more traditional industrial uses to remain in the area. Recommendation B provides interim policies for considering rezoning to I-3;
(b) Local convenience shops and services catering to the workforce and transit users could be located in SkyTrain stations and in the surrounding station precinct to provide services and enhance security through pedestrian activity (Recommendation C);
(c) A highway-oriented retail area developed along Grandview Highway to rationalize its present use pattern and take advantage of exposure to automobile traffic (Recommendation D); and
(d) Institutional and educational uses related to high technology will be encouraged in locations best served by transit and arterial routes (Recommendation E). Certain conditional uses (e.g., cultural), not related to high technology, will not be a high priority.
(e) Given the importance of the industrial land base and absence of residential amenities the area's long term policy directions are not proposed to include major office, residential, large format cultural or theatre-type entertainment complexes.
(f) Grandview Highway continues as a major arterial, but with improved and safer access at key points to the area;
(g) New rapid transit service with station precincts developed to provide bus, pedestrian, and bicycle linkages; and
(h) Improved local access to and within the area, with a rationalized internal street layout, and improved north-south access within the area and across the transit corridor for vehicles and pedestrians, including the Slocan bikeway and a greenway/bikeway under and/or adjacent to the guideway as a legacy of the SkyTrain project.
(i) As the area changes from low intensity industrial uses to more intensive high technology, opportunities to improve amenities, built form, and landscaping become realized; and
(j) The Still Creek right-of-way is developed as a recreational amenity and natural habitat as well as a pedestrian/cycling corridor.
FIGURE 2: PRELIMINARY CONCEPT PLAN
To be fully realized, these opportunities will require significant discussion with and support from stakeholders and the community within the framework of an adopted concept plan. They are a long-term prospect, subject to market demand and take-up in other industrial areas.
2. Major Issues to be Addressed as Part of Long-term Planning
Planning for longer term area opportunities raises a number of land use issues and other aspects of area infrastructure and development that will need to be explored in consultation with land owners, tenants, and the surrounding community. Several issues must be addressed to develop a longer term area plan:
(a) Establish permitted land uses and location for I-3, highway-oriented retail, service, institutional, educational, and other uses.
(b) Identification of locations for I-3 uses and testing and refinement of interim guidelines for approval of high technology applications. Interim guidelines are proposed for these uses.
(c) Design of transit stations and related amenities (e.g., plazas, services, landscaping, greenway), infrastructure (e.g., bus stop locations and shelters, road realignment, crosswalk and sidewalk improvements, utility relocation) and safety issues. This work is underway as part of current SkyTrain planning work.
(d) Development of station precinct plans for the areas adjacent to the stations, including opportunities for street-oriented convenience retail and services for transit users, the surrounding community, and area workers. This includes refinement of design guidelines for precinct development.
(e) Development of improved access from arterials and a new internal street system to link industrial properties, and to connect pedestrian routes within the area (and to the surrounding area) as the focus shifts from Broadway and Grandview to the streets where SkyTrain stations will be located.
(f) Development of a highway-oriented retail (HOR) zoning schedule and definition of area to be rezoned. Interim guidelines are proposed for HOR. These need to be reviewed and refined through the planning process.
(g) Establish parameters for mixed use development, particularly retail/industrial along Grandview Highway and Commercial/Industrial in Transit Station Precincts.
(h) Testing and refinement of interim guidelines for approval of educational and institutional facilities to serve high technology needs. Review of possible inclusion of cultural and entertainment uses (conditional in I-2) in the Grandview Highway Highway-Oriented Retail area. Interim guidelines are proposed for these uses along the Grandview frontage and for institutional/educational uses as part of I-3 developments.
(i) Establish parking requirements for permitted uses.
(j) Identify requirements for Greenway, street rights-of-way, dedicated open space, and Still Creek enhancement, including daylighting wherever possible.
(k) Definition and conceptual design of landscape set backs along Broadway, Grandview Highway and Boundary Road, and other streets where appropriate.
(l) Refinement of design guidelines for the Grandview Highway and Broadway "gateways" to the City.
(m) Upgrading of water, sewer, and electrical services to serve new uses.
(n) Provision of CACs and DCLs to recover amenity and infrastructure costs.
3. Work Plan For Station Precinct and Area Planning
Appendix A summarizes key work items for the Grandview/Boundary area planning program. Timing for delivery of products is tentative, given that SkyTrain planning is the first priority for staff.
Area Planning Work to be done during 1999 will focus in working with owners and nearby residents to develop broad land use directions for the study area and a concept plan to guide requirements for new streets, infrastructure, and greenway proposals.
Area Planning Work during 2000 will involve establishing zoning policies and guidelines, identifying a public benefit strategy and, if required, an area specific Development Cost Levy.
Planning for the SkyTrain station design and immediate station area precinct will happen concurrently. SkyTrain station locations and guideway alignment have been confirmed and preliminary station programming and design are well underway. The City's Rapid Transit Office continues to collaborate with Rapid Transit 2000 in these processes, and have co-hosted two events in the Grandview/Boundary area to inform and engage the public in this project. Other tasks being undertaken in the 1999 SkyTrain process include:
· transit interface planning
· pedestrian circulation
· street redesign
· traffic management planning
· parking protection studies for potentially impacted areas
· Greenway planning and design
· the design review and approval process for SkyTrain stations
Appendix A includes an illustrative list of tasks for preparing Precinct Plans for the area surrounding the Rupert and Renfrew Stations.
No new planning resources are needed to do this work beyond those already allocated through the SkyTrain program.
4. Owner-Initiated Rezonings While Area Planning is Underway
While area planning is underway, industrial I-2 uses will continue to be supported everywhere in the study area. However, some landowners may wish to proceed with high technology I-3 development, highway-oriented retail uses along the Grandview Highway frontage, or commercial uses adjacent to transit stations. Other owners may wish to proceed with uses permitted as conditional under I-2 (e.g., educational and institutional). Staff recommend that owner-initiated rezonings for these uses be allowed to proceed providing they deal satisfactorily with the issues that the area plan is expected to address.
In considering rezoning applications while area planning is underway, two cautions are noted:
- Council must be satisfied that the rezonings and conditional approvals do not preclude planning for the comprehensive redevelopment of the area. Appendices B, C, E, and F provide guidance for considering rezonings; and
- Resources are available to do the station and area planning work. Rezoning applications will be processed by rezoning staff using usual City processes. Program timelines will be affected if a significant number of rezoning applications are received and area planning staff are diverted to process applications.
Key planning directions for considering owner-initiated rezonings and approval of conditional uses are outlined below. Good urban design is an important component of high technology areas. Staff have augmented the Interim Rezoning Policies with design guidelines. These guidelines will assist applicants and staff to assess the merits of owner-initiated rezoning applications and will serve in the review of conditional applications in the absence of a concept plan. It should be noted that these are preliminary guidelines which will be amended as area planning proceeds.
(a) Rezoning to I-3
The intent of the I-3 Schedule is to expand the scope of high technology uses on industrial land, particularly for the information technology sector. Details on the intent and standards associated with I-3 have been reported. In summary, the I-3 Schedule includes the same FSR and height provisions as the current I-2 Schedule, and provides for the following:
(i) FSR up to a maximum of 3.0;
(ii) Height - 18.3 m (60 ft.) relaxable on a conditional basis to 30.5 m (100 ft.) subject to impacts on adjacent residential areas; and
(iii) Uses - Outright uses include light manufacturing, information technology, and services (laboratories, studios and radio-communication); conditional uses include limited offices, cultural, recreational, institutional, manufacturing, and various service uses.
Appendix B provides policies to assist staff and Council in assessing I-3 rezoning applications prior to completion of the station and area planning process. Subject to consistency with the concept plan and interim policies, staff propose that I-3 rezonings be considered throughout the study area on sites currently zoned I-2 or Still Creek CD-1.
(b) Rezoning for Commercial uses in Station Precincts
The intent of encouraging commercial and other complimentary uses in the station precinct areas is to provide services for transit users and nearby employees and, to a lesser extent, surrounding residents. Commercial uses at SkyTrain stations will enhance activity and safety. As outlined in Appendix C, key criteria for rezonings in the station precincts include:
Extent of the precinct;
Uses located at or directly accessible from grade;
Pedestrian-oriented storefronts; and
Uses complementary to transit use (i.e., not requiring
destination automobile trips).
(c) Rezoning to Highway-Oriented Retail along the Grandview Highway Frontage
Much of the Grandview frontage has already converted to large, car-oriented retail businesses. While some sites have been rezoned and have contributed to the area infrastructure, others remain on temporary approval or as illegal uses. In order to permit rezonings, different views about how to define the frontage and what type of retail development to permit need to be resolved. A comparison of various land area options for rezoning are attached as per Appendix D.
CityPlan and the Livable Regional Strategic Plan direct general retail to neighbourhood centres and major regional centres like the downtown, Oakridge, and Metrotown. While the Grandview frontage offers an opportunity to locate a type of retail not easily accommodated elsewhere in the City, staff are concerned about the possible adverse impacts on other regional and neighbourhood shopping centres. Consequently, the rezoning policies outlined below are designed to provide for "big-box" type retail as a different shopping experience from local and regional centres.
Advice from market experts indicates that although the introduction of "big-box" retail and "warehouse clubs" may take some trade away from the more traditional regional shopping malls, it should not compete directly with local centres or downtown. Because approval for highway retail is proposed to proceed through owner-initiated site specific rezonings, the overall effect can be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
The following are the proposed directions for owner-initiated CD-1 Rezoning for Highway-Oriented Retail along Grandview Highway.
(i) Proposed FSR for Highway-Oriented Retail Use
Proposal: 0.6 FSR maximum for highway-oriented retail subject to achieving appropriate site access and managing traffic impacts, landscaping, and urban design.
Comment: The FSR of current retail development in the area, and of other similar development (e.g., Bridgeport Road in Richmond), is between 0.4 and 0.5 FSR. Staff proposes a FSR of 0.6 to encourage furniture and other uses which cater to occasional shopping. The highway-oriented retail could be developed in conjunction with existing I-2 or new I-3 uses. Therefore, a CD-1 could have a maximum density of 3.0 FSR, with 2.4 FSR for I-2 or I-3 type uses and 0.6 FSR maximum highway-oriented retail.
Proposal: Outright height limit of 12.2 m (40 ft.).
Comment: The proposed retail development is typically single storey with high ceiling spaces. Nearby C-2 zones permit an outright height of 40 feet. Mixed use development can be accommodated within this height provision. For rezonings under the Interim policy, staff do not recommend relaxing this height along the frontage given the location and view sensitivity of the residential area to the south. Heights will be reviewed as part of the area study.
(iii) Size of Retail Outlet
Proposal: Minimum store size of 929 m² (10,000 sq. ft.).
Comment: Given the intent to provide an opportunity for mid-to-large format stores and at the same time protect neighbourhood centres, staff recommend that a minimum store size be adopted. The proposed limit is based on what is currently developed 929 m² to 1 858 m² (10,000 to 20,000 sq. ft.) and is the typical size of outlet stores. This is larger than stores which typically locate in C-2 which are 186 to 465 m²; (2,000 to 5,000 sq. ft.). While this may allow a "power centre", it will prevent general retail or a shopping mall which could complete directly with neighbourhood centres and regional town centres. Smaller retail is currently permitted in the C-1 Districts in the area and more will be considered as part of the station precinct planning.
Proposal: Parking requirements will be generally consistent with the requirement for Grocery Stores in the Parking By-law. Where the retail use is furniture, or a similar use, the Director of Planning may determine that a lower parking standard for General Commercial will apply.
Comment: This is consistent with requirements elsewhere in the City. If mixed use is proposed, parking standards will be negotiated as a condition of the CD-1 to service the mix of uses.
(v) Type of Goods
Proposal: Staff recommend that the type of retail not be limited but that food and clothing retail uses be subject to an impact analysis.
Comment: In the initial discussion paper, staff recommended limiting the type of goods sold due to concerns about competition with other retail centres. In particular, food and clothing retail uses may compete with neighbourhood centres and downtown shopping. Food outlets are important anchors for local shopping districts. The recent supermarket report indicated that there has been a reduction in the number of neighbourhood supermarkets on the east side over the last ten years. Staff therefore considered whether or not to prohibit further food and clothing retail.
Staff propose that food retailing be permitted on Grandview Highway. This means that legalizing and upgrading access to the Costco site could occur. Given the existence of Costco and the Real Canadian Superstore it is unlikely another major food outlet will seek to locate on the frontage. Should one be proposed it can be considered following an impact study.
Staff also concerned that retail clothing may compete, at least indirectly, with neighbourhood centres. However, here are only a few "outlet" clothing stores marketing in Canada that would meet the size restriction and 929 m² (10,000 sq. ft.). These larger stores should not compete directly with neighbourhood centres (although they may compete with regional malls). The specific concern is that allowing clothing means stores like Walmart could be considered. This poses a difficulty as internal store use and sales are difficult to enforce.
On balance, rather than prohibiting these uses, staff believe the best approach is to require an impact analysis for any retail uses that include food and clothing.
(vi) Extent of Highway-Oriented Retail Area.
Proposal: Staff recommend that owner-initiated CD-1 rezonings to highway-oriented retail be permitted along the Grandview Highway frontage from Renfrew to Boundary Road, subject to a detailed analysis of impacts including traffic, effect on retail competition in neighbourhood centres, and effect on adjacent industrial sites. See Figure 3 on the next page.
Comment: Staff examined three options which are attached as Appendix D. They include a consolidated frontage option which would permit consideration of highway-oriented retail rezonings from Renfrew to the NE corner of Rupert (Petcetera). This is the most conservative option which reserves the most land in the area for industrial uses, concentrates the retail area, and minimizes traffic impacts. However, it isolates the current Costco and Roots retail sites.
Staff also examined an option put forward by some owners to permit rezonings in the area from the Grandview Highway frontage north to the tracks. Staff do not support this option as it would include about 40 percent of the area which staff believe would be better used for industrial and high technology uses which can be served by transit.
FIGURE 3: PROPOSED HIGHWAY-ORIENTED RETAIL FRONTAGE
The third, recommended option would permit consideration of highway-oriented retail rezonings along the entire Grandview frontage from Renfrew to Boundary Road as originally contemplated in the Council instruction and in the March 1998 Discussion Paper (see Figure 3). This allows the same opportunity for all frontage owners and takes full advantage of the arterial location for larger scale retail uses not suitable for neighbourhood centres. It would allow approximately 22% more land to potentially rezone than the consolidated option. This option was presented at a meeting with land owners and was supported by most, though not all, owners.
Staff recommend this option noting that the interim rezoning policies are conservative. Rezonings will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and require an extensive analysis of impact for food and clothing retail uses. This option does not include the Real Canadian Wholesale Club site (4.7 acres) located on Renfrew Street. This site is currently not a legal use, it is not located on the frontage, and is immediately adjacent to the proposed SkyTrain Station. Staff believe more intense development with uses served by transit would be more appropriate. Guidelines for considering applications for HOR are attached as Appendix E.
Given the Industrial Land Strategy and CityPlan Policies, staff suggest limiting rezonings to Grandview frontage. Should Council wish to take a more conservative view, then Option A (consolidated frontage) outlined in Appendix D could be adopted as part of the interim rezoning policy.
(d) Conditional Approval of Recreational, Educational, and Institutional Uses in the I-2 Zone
Recreational, educational, cultural and institutional, uses are conditionally permitted now in the I-2 zone. These are uses which serve a large area, are difficult to locate in neighbourhoods, would benefit from the location on arterials, and may also benefit from being near transit. However, they are not often permitted because of impacts to adjacent industrial uses. They can increase the value of industrial land, thus discouraging industrial uses.
Like large format retail, many of these uses have potentially significant traffic impacts. An optimum circumstance would be to locate uses such as recreational and cultural on sites to take advantage of arterial locations and complementary or off-peak parking. Until the area planning process is complete, staff recommend that these uses be considered as conditional uses only on the Grandview frontage. Institutional and educational uses, related to high technology, could be considered as part of the high technology precincts or close to transit. These directions are included in the guidelines for conditional I-2/I-3 approvals in Appendix F. Issues associated with conditional uses need to be resolved as part of the area planning process.
The table in Figure 4 that follows summarizes the basic existing or recommended provisions for the four rezoning proposals discussed in this report.
FIGURE 4. HIGHLIGHTS OF ZONING PROVISIONS, BY ZONE
I-3 High Tech
HOR Highway-Oriented Retail
Land use emphasis
Some high technology uses
High Technology light industry, information technology
Large Format Retail
Can be combined with I-2 and I-3
convenience shops and services
Ancillary or Conditional Use
a) Ancillary retail & office;
b) Conditional recreational, educational & institutional cultural
a) Ancillary retail & office
b) Limited recreational, educational & institutional cultural
As per I-2 and I-3 Schedules
As per I-2 and
In I-2 and Still Creek CD-1
zones of Study Area
In I-2 and Still Creek CD-1
zones of Study Area
Grandview Highway frontage, Renfrew to Boundary Road
At grade on street faces near Rupert & Renfrew station entrances
Size and/or Density (FSR)
Minimum 929 m²
(10,000 sq. ft.), plus maximum FSR of 0.6 for HOR, 2.4 for other I-2 or I-3 uses
Floor area exempt from FSR limits not to exceed 232.3 m²
(2500 sq. ft.)
for an eligible site
Height : outright
18.3 m (60 ft.)
30.5 m (100 ft.)
18.3 m (60 ft.)
30.5 m (100 ft.)
12.2 m (40 ft.)
conditional to 18.3 m (60 ft.) as part of mixed use development
under base provisions of I-3, HOR or I-2/I-3
5. Still Creek
If sites located in the Still Creek CD-1 wish to pursue rezoning for highway-oriented retail, I-3, or approval of conditional uses, they will be required to include the Still Creek CD-1 provisions in the site specific CD-1.
6. Landscaping Setbacks
This area serves as a "gateway" to the city and it is important to have a consistent, attractive image. For this reason staff strongly recommend that no relaxations of the required 40 ft. landscaped setback along both Grandview Highway be considered. Given the multiple ownerships and difficult subdivision pattern, the Interim Rezoning Guidelines contain provisions for required landscaped setbacks on other streets.
7. Central Valley Greenway and Bikeway
In 1995, Council approved the Greenway Plan, which includes the Central Valley Greenway and Bikeway, intended to connect False Creek though the Grandview Cut to Boundary Road, then onto the regional trail system. About 2 km of the Central Valley Greenway is located in the Grandview Boundary Industrial Area between Boundary Road and Slocan. As part of ongoing discussions and negotiations between the City's Rapid Transit Office and the Province's Rapid Transit Project Office, staff are identifying SkyTrain legacy opportunities that will include, among other amenities, a Greenway and bikeway route through the study area.
8. Amenity and Infrastructure Contributions
The Grandview-Boundary lands are a large area requiring extensive upgrading of services if new uses result in increased employment and traffic to the area. Over the long-term, the SkyTrain service will improve access for non-automobile travel.
Other services and amenities such as a new internal road system; upgraded sewer, water, and drainage; and parks, Greenway, the daylighting of Still Creek and open space will require public investment. In the past, large sites undergoing redevelopment - such as North False Creek - have been owned by one company and the City has negotiated a package of services and public benefits as part of the application to rezone for higher density uses. The situation in the Grandview/Boundary area is different for two reasons:
· there are multiple owners and not all owners will want to redevelop for the same uses and in the same time frame; and
· there is no concept plan in place on which to base DCL and CAC charges.
Staff propose the following policies for financing service improvements in the Grandview/Boundary Industrial Area during the area planning process:
(a) Applications for I-3, station precinct commercial, and highway-oriented retail uses will be considered as privately initiated rezoning applications. Provision of on-site and adjacent offsite engineering services (e.g., sewer, water, roads, traffic improvements) will be required as a condition of rezoning. This is usual City practice.
(b) Applications for conditional approval uses (e.g., educational, recreational, institutional) will require, as a condition of approval, provision of on-site and adjacent offsite engineering services.
(c) For sites located in the Still Creek CD-1 District, existing provisions for day lighting and enhancing the Creek will continue to apply.
(d) On January 28, 1999, Council approved an interim city-wide Development Cost Levy (DCL) to come into effect on January 28, 2000. The adopted city-wide DCL rates ($1.00 per square foot for industrial use, $0.51 for daycare, and $2.50 for commercial, residential, and all other uses) will apply to new development in the Grandview/Boundary Industrial Area. Following Council's decision of April 13, 1999, all uses under I-3 will be charged the industrial rate. Staff recommend that, consistent with city-wide DCL policy, retail uses approved under the HOR rezoning policy and SkyTrain Station Precinct rezonings to permit office and retail uses pay the commercial-retail rate of $2.50 per square foot.
(e) Consistent with Council's decision of April 13, 1999, no CACs will be charged on sites where the maximum allowable floor space ratio achieved through rezoning does not exceed the currently permitted 3 FSR.
Two tasks included in the Grandview/Boundary Industrial Area planning process are to review service and amenity requirements and to assess the economic consequences of financing growth charges. If funds exceeding the city-wide DCL charges are required, these will be reported to Council toward the conclusion of the planning process for consideration as an area specific DCL District.
The recent initiatives of SkyTrain and a new high technology zone, offer exciting opportunities for the Grandview/Boundary area. While longer term area planning is underway, interim rezoning policies will allow the rationalization of existing uses and flexibility for new industrial and related uses to develop.
* * * * *
THE GRANDVIEW/BOUNDARY INDUSTRIAL AREA PLANNING PROGRAM
RENFREW AND RUPERT PRECINCT PLANS
1. Define Specific Precinct Area and Boundaries
- define limits of land uses directly impacted by station (4 quadrants);
- define limits of vehicular traffic; and
- define limits of pedestrian/bike and other transportation elements (parking etc.).
2. Develop Concept Plan
a. Precinct Inventory and Verification
- site verification of facilities;
- site base mapping and assembly;
- basic presentation graphic and format; and
- complete base mapping.
b. Precinct Analysis and Programming
- adjacent land use needs analysis and concept development;
- zoning and land use implications of station and potential;
- built form and site planning implications of station design and potential;
- circulation implications on adjacent land uses and connections;
- develop critical elements of "neighbourhood place-making"; and
- develop criteria for improvements (connections, activity, mixed uses, safety and security).
c. Precinct Concept Plan
- built form and site planning recommendations;
- transportation plan improvements including vehicular, pedestrian and bikeway improvements;
- integration of Central Valley greenway/bikeway;
- sidewalk and crosswalk improvements including ped/bike signals;
- site furniture programming: including seating, pedestrian lighting, waste receptacles and bike racks;
- master street tree planting precinct plan; and
- other ped/bikeway connections e.g., Van Tech High School, Still Creek.
3. Develop Precinct Amenity Package
- select circulation and public realm improvements;
- cost package; and
- develop phasing, organization and responsibilities for implementation.
INTERIM REZONING POLICIES FOR SKYTRAIN STATION PRECINCTS
Intent: The intent of this interim policy is to provide for a range of ground-oriented businesses within and immediately adjacent to SkyTrain stations for the convenience of area workers, transit users, and the nearby community. This will help to create a walkable, comfortable, safe and attractive street environment and public realm conducive to transit use. Automobile-oriented uses and those requiring extensive loading facilities are discouraged.
Policy 1. Extent of the precinct station: For the purpose of these policies, sites within the Grandview/Boundary study area presently zoned I-2 or Still Creek CD-1, and either abutting or directly across a street or railway right of way to a SkyTrain station (see reference maps on next pages).
Policy 2. Location: Uses subject to these interim policies should be located at grade, either within a station, on a station site, or on street faces on Rupert, Renfrew, Hebb Avenue or East 11th Avenue, directly adjacent to or across from a station.
Policy 3. Uses: Generally small-scale uses which help make a station environment more vibrant and also feel safer, and which do not tend to either generate destination automobile traffic or require large off-street loading facilities. These may include:
Convenience stores and services (e.g., news stands, local grocery store)
Professional/community services and offices
Artist studio (excluding associated residential component)
Policy 4. Density: The floor area under the provisions of these policies will not exceed 232.2 m² (2,500 sq. ft.) per subject site. However, the total allowable density within a mixed use development comprised of I-3 or HOR uses will be governed by those uses.
Policy 5. Height:
a) if as a standalone use (i.e., if no other I-3 or HOR uses as per these interim policies): 9.2 m (30 ft.);
b) if incorporated into a mixed use development with I-2, Still Creek CD-1 or I-3, then as per relevant District Schedule.
Policy 6. Built form:
a) small storefronts with entries facing identified streets
b) transparency at grade facing street(s)
c) no blank walls exceeding 1.0 m in length
d) weather protection on street elevation(s)
e) materials: generally as included in I-3 interim design guidelines
Policy 7. Off-street parking: None required for floor area developed under Policy 5.
Policy 8. Mixed Use Development: These station precinct policy directions may also be achieved as an integral component of a mixed use development in an I-3, HOR or I-2/I-3 Conditional Use application. In such an event the height and density limits of the base schedule would apply. Please refer to the applicable policies and guidelines.
Note: Depending on the specific location of the subject site, the application should describe how the Central Valley Greenway and Bikeway, Still Creek, traffic and circulation requirements and utilities are to be accommodated.
EXTENT OF HIGHWAY-ORIENTED RETAIL AREA
In determining the geographic extent of the highway-oriented retail area, staff considered three options in light of the objectives of future station area planning (which will include this area) and the following parameters:
1. Industrial land is at a premium and the balance of the area should be reserved for transit supported industrial uses.
2. It is not clear how much retail will actually develop and what ultimate effect it will have on other retail centres. Limiting the size of store and size of area are the only practical measures to limit effects on other retail areas. (It is important to note that Council also asked staff to investigate the Marine Drive frontage for this use and therefore there will likely be other opportunities for highway-oriented retail).
3. Although market analysis indicates a similar land value for I-3 industrial use and highway-oriented retail, market demand and the relative land value of these uses is not clear.
4. Traffic and other infrastructure impacts must be managed. Grandview Highway is a major commuting corridor. Increased traffic generation particularly in peak period will lead to higher levels of congestion;
5. I-2, I-3 as well as institutional, recreational and entertainment uses are also permitted along the highway frontage.
Option A: Consolidated Retail Area (from Renfrew up to and including Petcetera as well as allowing a rezoning of the Costco site. See Option A Map)
Land area; 31 acres (12.5 ha)
Area of existing retail uses: 475,000 sq. ft. (44 000 m²)
Potential retail area: 810,000 sq. ft. (75 000 m²)
Length of retail strip: 900 m (2,952 ft.)
This option includes most of the existing retail uses. The exceptions are the Real Canadian Wholesale Club and Roots. The Real Canadian Wholesale Club is located on the north side of railway tracks and is not directly on the frontage. Roots is located on the eastern edge of the study area near Boundary Road.
If all the sites rezoned, this option would allow approximately twice the amount of existing retail space, contain retailing to a strip less than one kilometre in length and leave the largest balance of land for industrial uses and future planning. This option limits the encroachment of car-oriented uses into the area and minimizes the number of existing industrial businesses that would be eligible for rezoning to retail. The traffic impacts would be lower than the other options.
However, from the owner's perspective, this option eliminates the opportunity for highway-oriented retail on some frontage sites. This option isolates Roots at the corner of Broadway and Grandview Highway. The owner has indicated that this is an interim use while the land is under study for movie studio use. The Costco rezoning would also be isolated from adjacent retail uses.
The option would result in Real Canadian Wholesale, which is on Renfrew Street, not being permitted to rezone. Staff note that this site is not on the Grandview Highway frontage and is directly adjacent to a proposed SkyTrain station location. In the long term, this site will likely be appropriate for more intensive uses.
OPTION A: CONSOLIDATED RETAIL AREA
OPTION B: Expanded Retail Area (include entire frontage as well as all properties south of the tracks, including Real Canadian Wholesale Club). (See Option B Map)
Area: 82 acres (33.2 ha)
Existing amount of retail space: 572,000 sq. ft. (53 130 m²)
Potential amount to retail space: 2,150,000 sq. ft. (199 735 m²)
Length of strip: 1 750 m (5,740 ft.)
This is an option put forward by some of the land owners in the area. This would take in about 40% of the entire industrial area and result in a retail area more than two and half times the land area of Oakridge Centre. Staff are concerned about the loss of the industrial land base, traffic impacts, and the negative effect on the downtown, regional, and neighbourhood centres. The option reduces sites for uses which could take full advantage of adjacent rapid transit.
OPTION B: EXPANDED RETAIL AREA
OPTION C: Extended Highway Frontage (include all frontage properties from Renfrew to Boundary). (See Option C Map)
Land area: 38 acres (15.4 ha)
Existing retail floor area: 499,000 sq. ft. (46 300 m²)
Potential retail floor area: 995,000 sq. ft. (92 435 m²)
Length of retail strip: 1 500 m (4,920 ft.)
This option takes in all the frontage properties from Rupert to Boundary Road and is consistent with the area originally discussed for highway-oriented retail use. It increases the potential retail area by an additional 7 acres and it creates a retail strip of approximately 1.5 kilometres in length, allowing 22% more retail space than Option A. It could potentially have greater traffic impacts than Option A but less than Option B. This area would take in some existing industrial businesses and residential uses on the frontage. It allows maximum opportunity to use of the frontage for car-oriented retail uses and to integrate the existing retail area uses.
However, staff note that sites nearer to Boundary Road may have difficult access problems for any high volume car-oriented use which may limit the potential for highway-oriented retail in the longer term, particularly if an HOV lane is developed along Grandview Highway.
OPTION C: EXTENDED HIGHWAY FRONTAGE
HIGHWAY-ORIENTED RETAIL GUIDELINES
I-2/I-3 RECREATIONAL, EDUCATIONAL, CULTURAL
AND INSTITUTIONAL USES INTERIM GUIDELINES
FOR CONDITIONAL APPROVAL:
GRANDVIEW/BOUNDARY INDUSTRIAL AREA
(c) 1998 City of Vancouver