Monday, July 3, 2017

Sun/Shade & Urban Development – June 2017

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

RT @petergoffin: Toronto is worried highrises will cram our neighbourhoods. But should we be afraid of a dense city?

Is ‘density’ a dirty word in a growing Toronto? | via @TorontoStar

Photo published for Is ‘density’ a dirty word in a growing Toronto? | Toronto Star

“Over the past five years, Toronto has added more residents than almost any other city in Canada, and older communities are feeling the growing pains.

In the High Park neighbourhood, dozens of lawns are dotted with plastic signs reading “Say No to Double Density” — a reference to a pair of development proposals which could add six midrise and highrise towers, with a total of over 1,700 apartments, to a two-block area nearby.

These new constructions would fit in between a handful of rental apartment buildings already on the properties, roughly doubling the number of residential units in the two blocks.

“One of the biggest concerns is losing the character of the neighbourhood,” said Cathy Brown, who lives in a mid-century building on one of the proposed development sites.

“Right now you can walk through, it’s peaceful, it’s relatively quiet,” added Brown, who co-chairs High Park Community Alliance, the local resident group fighting the developments.

The new buildings would create more traffic, overcrowd local schools, jam up High Park and Keele subway stations, limit public recreation space, worsen wind tunnels and literally cast a long shadow across the neighbourhood, say Brown and other community members.”… 

Recent articles about the role of sun and shade in urban development -

Toronto condos

Behind closed doors, the right deal gets made on a skyscraper | Boston Globe

A rendering of Millennium Partners' proposal for the site of the Winthrop Square Garage.

“As the highly-charged controversy over the Winthrop Square tower nears resolution through old-school, closed-door negotiations at the State House, I have to believe Bill Bulger is somewhere smiling.

Few remember that the legendary former Senate president is the chief architect of the environmental protection laws now being cast aside to allow construction of a 775-foot skyscraper on the site of a dilapidated, now shuttered city parking garage.”… 

“Relatively late in the process, the city became aware that the project stood to violate two state laws that regulate the shadows that can be cast by development in parts of downtown. Proponents of the deal pointed to tens of millions of dollars earmarked for improvements to the Common and Franklin Park, as well as money to refurbish public housing in East Boston and South Boston, as good reasons to find a way around the shadow laws.

Opponents saw a sweetheart deal for a developer and a nasty precedent for others willing to pay the city enough to circumvent the law.”…

BPDA Board Approves New Residential Tower in Bay Village | Boston Sun

“After much debate between residents of the Bay Village, the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) board approved the 199-foot, mix-use building at 212-222 Stuart Street with a unanimous vote at the hearing held on Thursday, June 15.”…

““Certain residents did raise a number of concerns throughout the process including height, wind impact, shadow impact and lack of connectivity to the Bay Village neighborhood,” said Mike Rooney the project coordinator for this site from the BPDA. “The proponent responded to these concerns with design changes and mitigation efforts.””…

Last minute hiccup? >

William Galvin seeks pause on shadow law vote | Boston Globe

“It looked like smooth sailing for a bill that would allow more shadow on Boston Common and help clear the way for a new downtown skyscraper. Until Secretary of State William F. Galvin spoke up during a State House hearing Tuesday.

Galvin asked lawmakers to delay for at least two weeks a vote on changing the existing shadow law — until the Massachusetts Historic Commission, which he oversees, has time to study the building’s impact on the Common, Public Garden, and other historic downtown sites.

“This is not something that should be done recklessly,” he said. “It’s a very significant piece of legislation.””…

“Galvin said the Historic Commission hasn’t had time to review shadow impact studies it received late last week. He also said he’s hesitant to undo a law that has protected the historic parks for more than 25 years.”…

High-rise condo plans raise concerns for Miltonians | Inside Halton

High-rise condo towers proposed near Milton GO station

“The word “insane” was on the tip of more than one resident’s tongue at Milton Council Monday evening (June 26) in describing how they feel about plans for three high-rise condo towers near the Milton GO station.

The proposal from Hodero Holdings Ltd. of Oakville calls for a trio of buildings of three different heights - 27 storeys, 29 storeys and 31 storeys – containing about 800 condominium units at the southwest corner of Thompson Road and Drew Centre.”…

“A shadow impact study prepared for the development showed there would be a minimal impact on the surrounding area during the spring and fall equinox…”…

Cheers, Ralph

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