Richmond Centre's redevelopment plan has city handcuffed

Richmond Centre sits on a pre-zoned site and as such its massive redevelopment will not be subject to the usual demands made by municipalities to ensure developers and new residents have contributed fairly to the community's growth.

The plan calls for about 2,000 new dwellings in about a dozen new towers between No. 3 Rd and Minoru Boulevard. The old, brick Sears building and the mall parkade will be demolished, as will the southern most lots. Park Rd. will be extended through the development, which will neighbour City Hall along a new east-west Road.

Because the area was pre-zoned back in the 80's, the City's ability to secure community ammenties, such as affordable housing is severly compromised.

However the site will be subject to amendments to the City Centre Area Plan, enabling city planners to negotiate some community amenity contributions, such as approximately 150 dwellings for low income in 2 purpose-built rental buildings suitable for operation by no-profit housing providers.

This however will only represent 5% of the dwelling space, not the 10% now required under a rezoning application of similar magnitude. 

The development proposed 50% 'family-friendly' housing, meaning half of the total units will be 2 or more bedrooms. Because of the pre-zoning, the developers do not require consultation with Richmond School District, but the application will be forwarded to the Board of Education as a courtesy, where nearby schools are already bursting at the seams.

Due to population growth, the Canada Line is already nearing maximum capacity. Hopefully we will see more trains by 2020, but the line is single tracked to Brighouse Station, which hampers train frequency to the area. There are no current plans to expand capacity, according to TransLink, which also does not require consultation because the site is not immediately adjacent to the site.

Is this the way you saw Richmond growing, moving forward?

City Centre surges on development tidal wave_6



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