Waterloo Region Connected

Full Version: Station Park (née SIXO) | 28 + 20? + 12? + ? fl | Proposed
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How does Toronto and other Metropolitan city councils get NIMBYS to stay satisfied yet still have tall buildings? Maybe our local councils should start doing the same. then maybe the developers would feel more comfortable building 30+floor buildings. Should KW build a landmark tower?
(02-02-2017, 11:41 AM)TMKM94 Wrote: [ -> ]How does Toronto and other Metropolitan city councils  get NIMBYS to stay satisfied yet still have tall buildings?

By recognizing some neighbourhoods as having de facto high zoning (if not the on-paper zoning to match)
By accepting large cash payments for civic improvements in the neighbourhood.
By overruling the NIMBYs.


In Toronto, the Entertainment District had relatively few residents when they started building towers, and now there is a de facto acceptance of 40/50 storey towers, so zoning is approved without much issue.
Toronto has "Section 37" funds, which allow for developers to pay the city for civic improvements, in return for density bonusing. The city gets money to make improvements, and the developer gets to build bigger.
And ultimately, Council has to approve these projects, using the above as rationale.
If you fly over Toronto, you'll get an appreciation for how much it is not at all like New York. You can spot Yonge street easily, it is one of the few areas where there are tall buildings. A great deal of Toronto is <=3 storeys.
It's also easier to build tall where there are no pre-existing lower residences. Hence the massive glut of condo towers south of the railway between the Ex and the ACC; this was all abandoned industrial land, so no NIMBYs to object.
Also, if the zoning is permissive enough (FAR, setbacks and parking minimums!) the developers can simply build within the zoning and no NIMBY hearing is required.
What would be permitted under existing zoning? I would have thought Kitchener market realities would be more of a limiting factor wrt height in this case than zoning or neighbourhood concerns.
To some degree, i can understand residents of the end of Wellington/Walter having some issues with this devolopment, but I'm not sure I completely understand why there would be much upset from residents NE of Breithaupt & Waterloo. I grew up in that incredible neighbourhood, and even though it's so close to downtown, it feels disconnected from it at the same time (in a good way). Really, they could build 100 stories, and Louisa, Shanley, Duke, etc. wouldn't even notice. There's few spots there you can even see downtown except for South (proper) of Wellington on Duke, Waterloo, Moore, etc.
Does Kitchener have a height limit or floor limit?
There were some in Mount Hope (that's what the neighbourhood is called) that had concerns about One Victoria's height, and the redevelopment of Breithaupt Block, as Viewfromthe42 reports, but I feel that it is a small minority. Chicopee, I think you characterize the neighbourhood correctly by saying it is really apart from downtown in a real way. I don't know if this is because of the tracks and the buffer of now-under-used industrial buildings alongside, but it really does feel that way. And you're exactly right about the sightlines which are impacted. Because of the (lack of a) street grid, One Victoria is not visible from many streets in the neighbourhood. I can see the building from my yard, but I enjoy that as I think it's an attractive building and I don't mind being reminded how close I am to downtown (quite the contrary).

We're really getting ahead of ourselves anticipating "NIMBYs" when no one at all has voiced concerns about this development. It's probably not wrong to anticipate some of the residents on Walter expressing concerns. But expecting pushback from residents on the other side of King seems premature.
(02-02-2017, 04:39 PM)panamaniac Wrote: [ -> ]What would be permitted under existing zoning?  I would have thought Kitchener market realities would be more of a limiting factor wrt height in this case than zoning or neighbourhood concerns.
(02-02-2017, 06:14 PM)C Plus Wrote: [ -> ]Does Kitchener have a height limit or floor limit?

No height or floor limit (in the high-intensity areas).  Floor-area ratio of 4.0 is the big one.  1.5m setbacks front and sides.  Minimum 1 parking spot per unit.
(02-02-2017, 06:34 PM)MidTowner Wrote: [ -> ]There were some in Mount Hope (that's what the neighbourhood is called) that had concerns about One Victoria's height, and the redevelopment of Breithaupt Block, as Viewfromthe42 reports, but I feel that it is a small minority. Chicopee, I think you characterize the neighbourhood correctly by saying it is really apart from downtown in a real way. I don't know if this is because of the tracks and the buffer of now-under-used industrial buildings alongside, but it really does feel that way. And you're exactly right about the sightlines which are impacted. Because of the (lack of a) street grid, One Victoria is not visible from many streets in the neighbourhood. I can see the building from my yard, but I enjoy that as I think it's an attractive building and I don't mind being reminded how close I am to downtown (quite the contrary).

We're really getting ahead of ourselves anticipating "NIMBYs" when no one at all has voiced concerns about this development. It's probably not wrong to anticipate some of the residents on Walter expressing concerns. But expecting pushback from residents on the other side of King seems premature.

Based on Viewfromthe42's response regarding area residents complaining about 1 vic & the Breithaupt Block, I figure those same people will oppose this. But you're right, that may be premature (but not surprising). 

Side note: Mount Hope is my favorite neighbourhood in town. I would have moved back there, but I wanted a quick escape from town for commuting, and a minimum of a double garage. Some of those garages along the alley have seen better days.
This development has intrigued me from the beginning.  I have never seen a presentation like this before in KW.  The general public has not seen a render of this development but they can register their name and get a sneak preview before the official unveiling in 50 days.  So I'm thinking that if thousands register their name the unveiling will show a taller building and if there is a lack of interest the buildings will be more modest.  Since I'm a fan of tall buildings downtown I registered my name.  Any thoughts?
More likely the "early preview" is just a way to get fence-sitters to sign up for emails.

I would suggest that SIXO will get (however few or however many) complaints because the Mount Hope (?) neighbourhood complained about the possibility of the transit terminal being as tall as the Google building. While being built behind the Google building from their perspective. And from a grade at least 1-2 storeys lower. So they were complaining about a building being built that they would never be able to see, physically impossible to see, were it built as they were objecting to (6 storeys). Given that, I expect that a 12-storey SIXO would outrage them; 28+ storeys is going to elicit plenty of objections.
No doubt it will receive some complaints. Most developments do get some quantity.

Were the complaints from Mount Hope during one of the charettes (or whatever they're calling them now) that explored the different possible levels of development at the transit sub? If that's the case, I would suggest that it's wrong to characterize them as "complaints"- that process was intended to get feedback from the community. How can someone be called a "NIMBY" when, after being asked for feedback, he gives it?

We'll see. But I think Mount Hope, given that it is not an especially "NIMBYish" neighbourhood, and relatively far from King's Crossing. No doubt there will be some. My personal guess would be that it would be a lot less than is seen about, for instance, the Brick redevelopment.
Regardless of whether feedback is solicited or not, NIMBY in this case refers to not wanting development around one's property, even if such development makes sense and fits with the expected density for a site of that magnitude. This feedback was indeed at one of the transit hub charettes, where residents were asked about development potentials. In general, there were proposals to go low-density (<6 storeys), medium density, or high density, at what is effectively the most density-friendly and density-deserving location in the entire region. The feedback I remember hearing was that the low-density option was still too dense, even as the person giving the feedback wouldn't be able to see a 6 storey building from their property were one to be built for the transit hub.
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