Ambitious Grandview Woodland community plan goes to council next week

The media was given a tour today of a controversial development plan for a Vancouver neighbourhood. Jordan Armstrong has more on what to expect.

One of Vancouver’s most iconic neighbourhoods is set for some major changes but not everyone is on board with the city’s ambitious plan for Grandview Woodland.

The East Vancouver neighbourhood is known for its character as well as providing a lot of homes to accommodate more than 34,000 residents. In fact, 60 per cent of the area is made up of rentals and a new community plan is looking at introducing high rises to help house almost 10,000 new residents coming into the area over the next 25 years.

One of the main areas of contention is the corner of Commercial Drive and Broadway and the height of a proposed tower. At first the plan envisioned towers up to 36 storeys but eventually those were lowered 12 to 24 storeys.

“The maximum tower height envisioned on the Safeway site is 24-storeys on top of a new grocery store and retail opportunities,” the city’s assistant director of planning Kent Munro said.

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“That is the highest building anywhere in the plan.”

The plan covers a much wider area than just Commercial Drive.

Grandview Woodlands stretches from Clark Drive to Nanaimo Street and from 12th Avenue to Burrard Inlet. While the residential towers have taken a lot of the criticism, the majority of the planning calls for low- to mid-rise buildings scaled for walkable neighbourhoods.

It’s also a plan that has been in the works for years and is looking to help shape the area 30 years into the future. One of the main considerations of the plan is how to make the area livable and easy to get around in and get access to transit.

“So the plan has a very conservationist approach and these areas try to encourage the retention of these buildings,” city planner Andrew Park told Global News.

But at the same time recognizes we are a stone’s throw away from the busiest transit interchange in the region.”

The multi-million dollar plan that will add 7,000 new homes will go to council on July 26, and if it passes, will set the stage for the neighbourhood’s future growth.

~ with files from Aaron McArthur