Some Kerrisdale residents opposed to housing development due to ‘shadows’
Some residents of Kerrisdale are battling City Hall over the proposed redevelopment of the Dunbar Ryerson Church into a multi-tower residential hub with rental and market housing.
The development on West 45th Avenue will straddle Yew Street with townhomes and an eight-storey condominium on the east side of Yew. The west side will feature a five-storey building with affordable rental housing and an activity centre. The church, which owns the land and is behind the proposal, will be restored and remain adjacent to the development.
In total, 72 new housing units will be built, including 21 subsidized rental units.
But a group of neighbours say they are concerned about the changes this development could bring to the neighbourhood.
Calling themselves Ryerson Neighbours, the vocal group plans to fight city council on the proposal, saying on their website that they “refuse re-zoning for an eight-storey building to overshadow the church and the street where we bike, walk and live.”
They cite the possible increase in traffic along West 45th Avenue, an insufficient number of parking stalls to accommodate the church and activity centre and the loss of green space and mature trees as reasons why the development should not be approved. A big concern for many is the shadow the building would cast over neighbouring properties.
They also say the plan would set a precedent of rezoning in the area, predominantly home to single family dwellings.
Some say the neighbourhood is in desperate need of more rezoning to increase density. Kerrisdale is one of the least dense and most expensive neighbourhoods in Vancouver, and managed to lose three per cent of its population in the last Census.
“Apparently when you buy freehold title to your house, that entitles you to do what you want with your house but also to dictate to your neighbours what they can do with their houses,” UBC economist Tom Davidoff said sarcastically. “That’s a very funny definition of planning.”
Those in opposition to the proposal plan to convene at a public information meeting on Feb. 27 at the Dunbar Ryerson Memorial Centre.
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