Planning, Urban Design and Sustainability
- This report evaluates an application to rezone the site at 3575-3655 Kaslo Street, 3580-3644 Slocan Street and 2755 East 21st Avenue, to increase the building height to 16.5 m (54 ft.) to permit the development of a three-storey B.C. Children’s Hospital complex care transition facility which will replace the former Sunny Hill Health Centre currently on site.
- The proposal also includes a 74-space childcare facility, expected to be retained by the owner. The CD-1 By-law will secure development rights up to those permitted under the existing RS-1 zoning (RS-1 (Residential) District), with the exception of allowing additional height to accommodate the program requirements of the complex care facility.
- The application is enabled by the Renfrew-Collingwood Community Vision and seeks to deliver a unique complex care transition facility to support children and youth living with complex healthcare needs by providing care from multidisciplinary teams, assistance in navigating the health system, and training for caregivers and care providers.
- Staff recommend that the application be referred to a Public Hearing, with the recommendation of the General Manager of Planning, Urban Design and Sustainability to approve it in principle, subject to the Public Hearing, and subject to the Conditions of Approval contained in Appendix B.
Green Buildings – The Green Buildings Policy for Rezonings requires that rezoning applications satisfy the green and resilient building conditions stated within the Policy. The applicant has submitted preliminary modelling analysis detailing design and construction strategies to meet anticipated energy & emissions and embodied carbon targets in the Vancouver Building By-law, a summary of the resilient building measures considered for the application, and a commitment to fulfil energy system sub-metering and enhanced commissioning requirements throughout the project.
Large Developments – The Rezoning Policy for Sustainable Large Developments requires rezoning applications to commit to strategies and outcomes in the specific areas. Subject to conditions outlined in Appendix B, staff support the application’s response to each of these areas:
- Sustainable site design and access to nature: The existing open space and mature tree canopy on the northern portion of the site is an important site amenity for the community and B.C. Children’s patients, families and staff. Buildings have been situated to limit impacts on the existing trees and open space. The centre of the complex care facility includes a green courtyard and spiraling out from this central space, terraces and small nodes of gathering are linked by accessible pathways and an exterior wellness path. A healing loop also weaves through the existing mature trees and connects to the childcare facility. Landscape design will incorporate drought-resistant native species and each courtyard provides space for planting.
- Sustainable food systems: The application anticipates that the project will pursue a edible landscape and community garden on-site. Given the extensive green space on the site, an opportunity also exists to create covered outdoor dining spaces. At the development permit stage, a Sustainable Food System Plan will be required, which identifies a minimum of three food assets to be implemented on the site.
- Green mobility: The application proposes the provision of car-share spaces, additional bicycle parking, bike maintenance and end-of-trip facilities. The application will contribute to street improvements along Slocan Street and East 21st Avenue to enhance the safety and experience of pedestrians and cyclists. The site is also served by a number of bus routes (7, 16, 25) and is within a 15-minute walk to the Nanaimo Skytrain Station. The applicant has provided a preliminary Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Strategy as part of the application.
- Potable water management: The application proposes to reduce potable water use through conservation and efficiency measures including the utilization of more efficient plumbing fixtures, installation of water efficient plant species, and high efficiency water irrigation systems. Conditions will also seek feasibility studies on the implementation of rainwater harvesting and green roofs.
- Rainwater and groundwater management: The application proposes to meet the City’s requirements for absorption and treatment of water on the site through a combination of absorbent landscaping and detention tanks. At the development permit stage, a final Rainwater Management Plan will be required, which will contain targets for capturing and treating rainwater on the site.
- Zero waste planning: A Zero Waste Plan has been submitted outlining anticipated waste generation rates and a range of approaches to encourage zero waste. These include commitments for physical design and operations such as a target of 50% operational solid waste diversion and prioritizing overall waste reduction to decrease operational waste. Each space of the new project site will allocate sufficient space for waste diversion receptacles and where appropriate, bins for compostable organics.
- Resilience: A Resilience Worksheet was submitted as part of the application. The Worksheet assesses the local risk, hazards and identifies consideration and mitigation strategies. The project intends to meet the demand for improved resilience in building-scale design, such as building siting to retain the existing tree canopy, and providing strategies that reduce impacts and mitigate risk such as placing water reservoirs at the higher sloped end of the site.
Natural Assets – The Urban Forest Strategy was developed to find ways to help preserve, protect and strengthen Vancouver’s urban forest and tree canopy for the future. The Protection of Trees By-law aims to maintain a healthy urban forest by requiring permission be sought to remove trees which meet certain conditions. The intent is to retain and protect as many healthy, viable trees as possible, while still meeting the challenges of development, housing priorities and densification. This is in keeping with City goals to achieve resilient and healthy natural systems in our urban areas.
There are 124 on-site trees and 36 street trees on City lands adjoining the site. Seventeen of the 124 on-site trees are proposed for removal and are to be replaced with new site trees. The final number of new trees will be determined through the development permit process. The proposed buildings have been situated to maximize tree retention on site, particularly for the mature London Plane, Horsechestnut and Norway Maple trees in the northwest quadrant of the site. Landscape conditions are included in Appendix B to ensure a pedestrian friendly, vibrant and inviting frontage along the streets and throughout the site