Safeway Megatower proposal facing stiff opposition, City documents reveal
Tally shows 90% of comments received were negative
News Release January 30, 2022
Using a Freedom of Information request to the City of Vancouver, the “No Megatowers at Safeway” citizens’ group recently received documentation detailing the extent of community opposition sent to the city, concerning the proposal to develop three luxury mega-towers and a sprawling Safeway store at Broadway and Commercial in Vancouver.
The group sought – and obtained records – from the City for a one-week period in November 2021. The documents contained citizen input sent to the City about the proposal.
During that snapshot in time, 75% of responses were negative, and 15% were mixed, for a total of 90% of respondents expressing grave concerns. Those who checked the “mixed” box on the City’s feedback site nevertheless expressed highly critical views of the existing proposal. Support for the project was 10%.
The sampling reveals the depth of community concern and opposition to this proposal.
Here is a sample of the comments:
“I’m a renter and would love to have more affordable housing options in the neighbourhood but this does not fit. Is it really that hard to develop something that doesn’t look like a soviet housing block with a few trees thrown around it?”
“I’m all for densification but not 30 storeys. Our city can do better. I’ve lived in this neighbourhood since 2006. I know many residents that have lived here much longer. Please don’t mess this up.”
“Affordability continues to be a problem. Out of the entire development, only 14% of the suites are below-market. This large development will result in a massive land lift in this area. The lower rise affordable walk-up rental buildings in the vicinity will be torn down, replaced by gentrified, expensive suites, pushing away long term residents who will no longer be able to afford to live here.”
“As a local resident, I think the planners are being far too greedy with the height of these towers. They will absolutely overshadow the local area. How can you put something so tall next to an entire neighborhood of buildings that are at most 3 or 4 storeys and mostly 2?”
“This is a horrendous giant eyesore, and will negatively affect the whole outlying area. There will be great pressure on homeowners to sell their rental units, causing a spike in the cost of rentals. The local businesses will be under great pressure from the new owners that will likely cause many to be unable to compete, as well as block the view and sun from many properties.”
“I’m sorry, but this plan is outrageous – a gross insult to the existing community and longstanding character of Commercial Drive.”
Total, week of Nov 9-15, 2021: 157 comments: 118 opposed, 16 mixed; 23 in favour.
No Megatowers at Safeway urges the City of Vancouver to scrap the proposal entirely and go back to the drawing board with a plan which respects the direction in the Grandview Woodland Community Plan and presents an affordable, human-scale development with increased density near this key transit hub.
The City’s feedback box is still open: https://shapeyourcity.ca/1780-e-broadway
Contact: No Megatowers at Safeway at email@example.com
For comment: Craig Ollenberger, Grandview Woodland Area Council, 604-320-6560