Planning, Urban Design, and Sustainability
- The purpose of this report is to seek Council’s endorsement of the Policy Statement contained in Appendix A to guide the redevelopment of the Skeena Terrace site, a 10.8 acre parcel located within the Hastings-Sunrise neighbourhood.
- The Policy Statement contains guiding principles, objectives and policies related to: land use, density, height, tenant-first engagement, housing affordability, public benefits, transportation and mobility, sustainability and development phasing.
- The Policy Statement is being presented for Council’s consideration and, if adopted, will provide a framework to inform a future rezoning application for the property.
Sustainability and Healthy Built Environments
- Established City of Vancouver policies ensure all new developments, in particular, large developments achieve high levels of sustainability requirements. These policies align with the Climate Emergency Action Plan which identifies strategies to cut carbon pollution in half by 2030 and to be carbon neutral before 2050. This means large developments such as Skeena Terrace must prioritize green transportation options and design low-carbon buildings. Other important city-wide strategies work to ensure everyone has access to nature, clean water and food assets, and that new buildings and infrastructure are resilient to climate change. The design intent of Skeena Terrace is to align with Big Move 1 of the Climate Emergency Action Response and emerging direction of the Vancouver Plan to enable access to daily needs within an easy walk or roll in all neighbourhoods.
- Skeena Terrace is required to integrate best practices for sustainability outlined in the Green Building Policy for Rezonings and the Rezoning Policy for Sustainable Large Developments. Site and building design should factor in expected climate change impacts, designing for wetter winters, drier summers, and an increase in poor air quality events due to wildfires. The policy statement proposes to retain significant existing trees and ensure they are provided ample space to grow while adding to the diversity of street tree species. Green infrastructure, including green roofs, rainwater harvesting and other tools, is proposed to better manage rainwater and support biodiversity. Combined, these efforts provide potential ecological enhancements for the site along with resilience benefits in the case of weather events such as extreme heat and flooding.
- As a site over 10 acres in size, the Rezoning Policy for Sustainable Large Developments requires that the redevelopment includes three “food assets” with significant presence and impact, and to arrange for their programming and maintenance for a minimum of five years after site occupancy. Food assets are public facilities, services, or spaces that that enable a healthy, just, and sustainable food system.
Connections and Transportation
- The Skeena Terrace site will prioritise accessible walking, rolling, cycling, and transit movements so that 80% of all trips are made by these modes, as described in the Climate Emergency Action Plan. These trips will be integrated with the surrounding community via a network of formal and informal internal pathways and landing-pads. Daily needs will be within a convenient distance for walking and rolling.
- Movement by active modes will be the norm, and the site will be designed to provide an accessible, comfortable, intuitive, and interesting walking and rolling experience that integrates with the existing and future off-site networks. The overall site design, including connections, built form, building accesses, and landscaping should all work together to achieve the 80% target mode share. The site will be accessible to motor vehicles for pick-up/drop-off, loading, servicing, and access to underground parking. Parking will be reduced by using Transportation Demand Management tools such as district parking and unbundling. The central portion of Hermon Drive will be designed using the principles of a “living street” where walking and rolling are the dominant activities. As part of the rezoning process, a Transportation Assessment and Management Study will model the trips generated by the development by all modes, quantify the parking and loading needs, and identify strategies to further encourage walking, rolling, cycling, and transit, while reducing vehicle use.