West Vancouver council made a unanimous decision at a meeting on July 16 to reject a proposed 360-unit condo development on Taylorwood Place in the Cedardale area of the district.
The development by Michael Geller planned to rezone a 6.5-acre site from existing single-family homes to make way for 390 condos in four six-storey and one five-storey buildings. The developer offered 40 per cent of the condos as purpose-built rentals, but the council rejected the application due to negative feedback from the community.
“Council is aware that there is a strong opposition to the proposed development, and I don’t want to pre-empt the debate and democratic process, but I’d like to convey to you that council is not inclined to move this forward based on the information we have,” said Mayor Mary-Ann Booth.
A rezoning application by Polygon for 160 condos and town homes was also rejected in 2010 due to concerns raised by the community at that time.
Councillor Craig Cameron said the impact and scale of the new project made it unsuitable for zoning. He said such development applications could only proceed after the completion of the local area plan when thorny issues such as traffic could be debated.
“This is quite dense. It is not modest and is quite transformative. We need more contextual direction,” he said. He also added, however, that a lot of people enjoyed the neighbourhood and saw no benefit in changing the status quo, but that wasn’t an option anymore. “We need more infill. Building more of what we have, single-family homes, is not the future, and we need more purpose-built rentals,” he said.
Councillor Bill Soprovich wasn’t pleased with the developer making a presentation to the council before the completion of Taylor Way local area planning. “We have to look at the bigger picture and local area planning can provide that.”
Councillor Marcus Wong said local area planning process would provide a better picture of the level of density the community could support, adding that he was a supporter of the diverse type of housing as he was also part of the so-called missing middle.
Councillor Sharon Thomson said she would have liked more mixed-use commercial with coffee shops, drug store and different types of housing.
Mayor Booth agreed with Thompson, and said she had attended the community information meeting and expected more of a creative mix of town homes and row homes. “I don’t support this. It looks like it has been shoehorned here. There isn’t any creativity or any respect for the character of the neighbourhood, and I hope that feedback is helpful in considering this in the future,” she said.