Fences are up, trucks moving onto the site, drywall has been seen being removed from one building. [Update March 10, 2014 demolition is under]. Almost two years after City Council approved the rezoning conditions for the “Rize site,” it appears construction is nigh, of a 19-storey building….or is it 22?…with 241 market condos….or is it now 336? Actually, no one knows. The first and lower numbers were what were approved by Council, and more recent designs showed the higher numbers.
The fact is that the zoning bylaw has not been written, or passed by Council, so there is no answer to this. No formal decision has been made by the only City Body with authority to make it: Council. The Urban Design Panel has also not approved the building, nor the Development Permit Board, and hence there should be no development permit issued and no demolition is therefore possible.
Update: demolition underway (March 10th)
SO, AGAIN, WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?
Your Residents Association would surely like to know, and we are headed out to find out. It seems every rule in the book is being broken, or should we say, continuing to be broken. There has never been anything right with this development from the very start.
And Brewery Creek lies in wait, 30 feet down under Watson Street, with enough water to flood out any excavation permanently. Does anyone have a plan for what to do with this water? A legal plan?!
First item to check is whether a demolition permit has been issued for the site.
There is in almost every city on earth a rule that demolition of any building–except a hazardous structure–can only occur once a building permit has been issued for the building that will replace it. This only stands to reason. A developer could otherwise rip down anything, leave a big hole, and then gain leverage to ask for the biggest thing he, or she, wants. No, this is against the law, and it appears to be so here in Vancouver as well. Here it is:
Zoning and Development Bylaw 3575 (updated July 2010)
10.12 Demolition of a Building
10.12.1 Except as exempted by the provisions of section 5, no person shall carry out any construction, engineering or other operation in, on, over or under any land which will result in the demolition of a building without first obtaining a development permit for the demolition from the Director of Planning.
10.12.2 Except as set out in section 10.12.3, where development necessitates the demolition of existing residential rental accommodation, no development permit shall be issued for the demolition unless and until a development permit for the new development has been issued.
The development permit for the new development shall not be issued unless and until all building permits for the new development and a building permit for the demolition are issuable.
10.12.3 The following cases of residential rental accommodation are exempted from the provisions of section 10.12.2:
(a) where located in RA-1, or any M or I district;
(b) where located in a building damaged or destroyed by fire to the extent of 60 percent or more of its value above the foundations, as determined by the City Building Inspector;
(c) where located above a commercial use and where the residential rental accommodation does not predominate in terms of floor space;
(d) where located in a building deemed by the City Building Inspector to be beyond re-use or rehabilitation for residential purposes;
(e) where located in a building deemed by the City Building Inspector to be appropriate for demolition because of hazard to public health or safety;
(f) where located in a multiple dwelling in which units are individually owned in accordance with the Condominium Act and no fewer than 75 percent of them are owner-occupied;
(g) where located in a multiple dwelling consisting of a co-operative tenure established prior to legislation permitting condominium ownership; or
(h) where located in a building deemed by City Council to be appropriate for demolition because the premises are a nuisance.
10.12.4 Except as set out in sections 10.12.6 and 10.12.7, where development necessitates the demolition of (a) a building listed on the Heritage Register or (b) a residential building located in the RS-1, RS-1S, RS-3, RS-3A, RS-5, RS-5S, RS-6, and RS-7 or FSD District no development permit shall be issued for the demolition unless the Director of Planning is satisfied that all applicable policies and guidelines adopted by Council have been met, and until a development permit for the new development has been issued. The development permit for the new development shall not be issued unless and until all building permits for the new development and a building permit for the demolition are issuable.
10.12.5 Except as set out in sections 10.12.6 and 10.12.7, where development necessitates the demolition of a building listed as an “A” Evaluation Group heritage building in the Heritage Register and located in the RM-5, RM-5A, RM-5B, RM-5C, RM-6 or DD District, in addition to the provisions of section 10.12.4, no development permit shall be issued for the new development until the Director of Planning is satisfied with a calculation of density bonus provided by the applicant in accordance with the applicable policies and guidelines adopted by Council.
10.12.6 A building deemed by the City Building Inspector to be appropriate for demolition because of hazards to public health or safety is exempt from the provisions of sections 10.12.4 and 10.12.5.
10.12.7 A building deemed by City Council to be appropriate for demolition because the premises are a nuisance is exempted from the provisions of sections 10.12.4 and 10.12.5.
Your Resident Association knows the laws that protect the people of our neighbourhood, and the city. We believe firmly that those laws are there for a very good reason. Furthermore, we feel strongly it is our duty to protect those laws against those who would try to profit by ignoring them, including our City Council itself.
We’ll let you know what we find out.
The following photos were taken on February 19, 2014 (evidence of drywall removal, container parked at rear of the building at 228 East Broadway and Watson Street):
The building was already extensively marked with graffiti:
Sunday, March 9, 2014: