Monday, July 7, 2014

Sun/Shade & Urban Development – June 2014

The following relate to urban development and urban design in general, and to specific projects with sun/shade issues in particular. They were derived from our twitter feed @SunPosition

Less shadow impact >>>

Smaller But Taller Mirvish+Gehry 2.0 Reboots Landmark Proposal | Urban Toronto

TORONTO, ON - The beta version of Mirvish+Gehry 2.0 has arrived. It's 2.0 because we are looking at a fresh new proposal now—not just the latest iteration of the initial proposal—and beta because what you'll see in this article is not the final plan, but a major step on the way to it. However you felt about version 1.0 and the 1.5 update, clear the decks: there are now two towers where initially there were three, two of the heritage components on the site have been saved, and those who love the Princess of Wales theatre will be very happy to hear that it’s staying around now too.

The update was unveiled at Metro Hall on the evening of May 27 in front of a hundred or so people, including locals, architecture buffs from around the city, development industry professionals, and a number of those who had volunteered on the City-created Mirvish+Gehry working group. The group was instrumental in fashioning a new direction for the project, one which preserved heritage, preserved the cultural asset of the Princess of Wales theatre, and which brought down the overall density of the proposal…

While the towers of first plan reached 84, 86, and 82 storeys (moving west to east), in the new plan the west tower now reaches 92 storeys, or 304.3 metres/998 feet, while the east tower remains at 82 storeys. Despite the new west tower being taller than the previous centre tower, its uppermost volume has been trimmed to a size that will reduce the tower's shadow impact on Queen Street, three blocks to the north, so that it does not add new shadow to the north sidewalk of that street at Spring and Fall equinoxes (when the City always applies shadow studies)…

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There are 4,427 houses & townhomes under construction in Toronto, compared to 44,118 condo units: via @BuzzBuzzHome

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RT JENNI KIMBALL @YOURPOWERHOUSE: Planned Eau Claire twin ultra-luxury condo towers include $13 million penthouse...IMPRESSIVE!

Calgary Downtown night

stock image via Wikimedia Commons

CALGARY, AB - Calgary’s latest luxury condo development project in Eau Claire, along the Bow River, will be the best engineered flood and emergency prepared residential building ever designed in Canada, says the Vancouver-based developer of The Concord.

Concord Pacific announced plans for the development on Tuesday, which has more than 200 luxury homes on two towers, including a $13-million penthouse, at 6th Street and 1st Avenue S.W. near the Peace Bridge…

Footscray: the new South Yarra of the west? via @ABCNews

buildings, city, city lights

stock image via pexels

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - Footscray is set to become the South Yarra of the west, Victoria's Planning Minister Matthew Guy says, after the approval of four new apartment towers.

The four towers are to range in height from 16 to 28 storeys.

Another new 38-storey tower containing 249 apartments has also been approved for Haig St in South Melbourne.

The projects are located in the expanded central-city area that is slated for major population growth under the new strategy called Plan Melbourne…

But Maribyrnong councillor Martin Zakharov says the Footscray developments are too high…

"One of those buildings that's intended now is going to put the Catholic primary school over the road in shadow all year."…

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Tower plans cast shadow over village | getSurrey

Hersham Village - - 51937

stock image via Wikimedia Commons

HERSHAM, UK - Objectors fear the six-storey building would be "the end of Hersham as a village".

A divisive planning application near Hersham village green is set to go before Elmbridge Borough Council’s full planning committee, with objectors keen to make their displeasure heard.

Proposals for a six-storey building comprising 14 flats on the site of Mark House in Queens Road were rejected during a meeting of the north area planning committee by the casting vote of chairman Chris Sadler.

Yet the tight nature of the refusal and its appearance in front of the full committee on June 17 has raised concerns among those opposed to the development.

Retired Lawrence Jackman, of Clarence Road, Hersham, thinks approval would be a disaster for the community.

“It would be the end of Hersham as a village,” he said. “We are lucky here because we have the village green, which is a conservation area. The proposed six-storey block is not what one expects in a village.”…

> Cllr. Roy Green ‏@hershamroy: @SunPosition Hardly a tower just a four storey building

> RB: @hershamroy Couldn't agree more, but I suppose it's all relative.

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Kingston town meeting voids windmill shadow flicker ban | The Enterprise

Danish wind turbine

stock image via Wikimedia Commons

KINGSTON, MA – There wasn’t enough support at town meeting to keep the ban on shadow flicker from future wind turbines.

While a majority of the voters, 76-72, favored keeping the zero hour limit imposed at Town Meeting in April, a two-thirds majority was required, and the previous decision was reversed…

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RT TorontoStar @TorontoStar: Ossington condo project gets a green light from OMB

 Ossington Avenue Sign

stock image via Wikimedia Commons

TORONTO, ON - Slight amendments will see a six-storey mixed-use building built where residents had hoped for only four storeys.

The Ontario Municipal Board has approved a controversial Ossington Ave. condo development, overruling the city’s bylaw on building height, after the developer made several amendments in response to community concerns.

The OMB found that the six-storey, mixed-use building would have minimal negative impacts and fit with the existing streetscape of the neighbourhood. The developer made several amendments to its original plan, including reducing the height slightly and adjusting the design so the building would create less shade for people living in the homes behind it. The proposal will also break up the large commercial space slated for the first level of the development, capping maximum retail floor size at 500 square metres. As a condition of approval, a pedestrian walkway will be added at the back of the building.

The building will still be higher than the four storeys the Ossington Community Association would have liked…

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Planned Prospect Park Tower Throws Shade on Park, Upsets Neighbors via @WNYC

Prospect Lefferts Gardens from balcony

stock image via Wikimedia Commons

BROOKLYN, NY - The Hudson Companies Inc. has started work on a 23-story residential tower a block and a half from Prospect Park in Brooklyn. But some members of the Prospect Lefferts Gardens object to the proposed building, saying it is too tall and will change the texture of their neighborhood…

Prospect Park East Network has filed a lawsuit against the developer, The Hudson Companies, and the construction company. A judge issued a temporary restraining order on the pouring of concrete at the site. The suit alleges that the project will cause secondary displacement of low income residents, and that the state of New York failed to adequately assess the tower's environmental effects on the community…

UPDATE: State Supreme Court Judge Peter Moulton issued a decision that denied the preliminary injunction and vacated the temporary restraining order he had issued.

In an emailed statement, Hudson Companies said it is pleased with the decision. It added that construction continues at the project…

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Shadow on abutting low-rise>>>

RT @OttawaCitizen: Little Italy's skyline up for debate at planning committee

File:Corso Italia Ottawa street sign.jpg

stock image via Wikimedia Commons

OTTAWA, ON - The future of Little Italy’s skyline could be decided Tuesday.

A cluster of towers near the intersection of Preston and Carling, including a pair set to top out at 48 storeys, is already in the works, and developers are also eager to build up the small side streets that run west off Preston and dead-end at the O-Train tracks.

The planning committee Tuesday will hear a recommendation in favour of a controversial proposal to construct a nine-storey condo building on Norman Street. It will also debate an amendment to the Preston-Carling secondary plan, which seeks to open the door to another nine-storey development two streets north on Aberdeen even though the plan itself is hot off the presses and not yet approved…

Worried the plans could have a “profound impact on the future of Little Italy,” Somerset Coun. Diane Holmes says she’ll introduce three motions that seek to chop heights as recommended by staff in the secondary plan. She wants height limits on the north side of Norman and Adeline streets brought down to four storeys (from nine) and heights on the south side of Young brought down to six storeys (from 15).

“This is a four-storey neighbourhood,” Holmes said, adding the combination of residential, business and light industrial land uses in the neighbourhood make Little Italy a “perfect” example of a mixed-use area.

Tamarack Homes initially proposed an 18-storey building for the Norman site but has since reduced the maximum height to nine and five storeys, with a row of townhouses facing the street.

But even those heights require a zoning amendment from the city because, under the old rules, the site is zoned for low-rise development, up to a maximum of four storeys.

Under the new rules outlined in the secondary plan, nine storeys is OK.

The city received more than 40 public comments expressing concerns about the proposed development, which is also opposed by the Dalhousie Community Association, the Civic Hospital Neighbourhood Association and the Little Italy Business Improvement Area.

“If you allow one, more will come,” said Judy Girard, a member of the group Save Little Italy.

She said the city is “pandering to the developers” by zoning that piece of Norman for nine storeys, even though the proposed 112-unit building Tamarack wants to build would be surrounded by mostly single-detached, two-storey homes on the front and rear.

Girard, who doesn’t live on Norman Street, is worried that adding that many new units to the small street would bring all kinds of extra traffic, mean less privacy for residents, create challenges for emergency vehicles and possibly cast shadows over the immediate neighbours.

“To me, it’s ludicrous,” she said.

As for nearby Aberdeen Street, an Ottawa developer called Miramare Developments wants to build and operate a nine-storey retirement home at 75 Aberdeen.

The facility would house about 150 residents and include an entire floor of subsidized suites for people on low incomes.

The secondary plan calls for development on that stretch of Aberdeen to be capped at four storeys, but the committee is expected to debate a motion backed by Coun. Rainer Bloess that asks for an amendment to allow nine storeys as long as any proponents promise to build a retirement home and design it in such a way that it successfully transitions in height from nine storeys down to fit adjacent low-house development.

“We’re just trying not to have the door slammed,” said Brian Casagrande of Fotenn Consultants, speaking for the developer. “We’re just asking them to keep it open so that something like this can actually come through and have a public process and have a dialogue because that’s how the planning process is designed to function.”

Miramare has also secured an agreement to purchase adjacent land on George Street and proposes to create a through-lot so vehicle traffic can enter off Aberdeen and exit off George, thus addressing some of the traffic concerns raised about proposed developments on the short, dead-end streets, Casagrande said.

City planners, however, say a nine-storey building would also create significant shadow and other microclimate effects on the abutting low-rise properties, particularly those along George, and likely “destabilize the neighbourhood and compromise the secondary plan objectives.”

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Cheers, Ralph