Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Let's meet at the CCP Christmas tree

According to the following Burnaby NewsLeader article, the Entertainment Plaza next to Brentwood Station will be called the Central Civic Plaza.  Part of the plaza will include a large tree that would be lit for holidays as has been suggested before on this blog.  A farmers market may also be hosted at the CCP which would make more sense than the current location at the City of Burnaby parking lot which is not serviced by rapid transit.

The plaza will certainly be a significant meeting place as transit users, shoppers, and locals mix in the plaza for the variety of different reasons that will exist to be there.

Burnaby NewsLeader article below:

Phase 1 of Brentwood mall redevelopment takes step forward

By Wanda Chow - Burnaby NewsLeader
October 29, 2013 12:00 PM

Redevelopment of Brentwood mall is a step closer to reality now that its owners has readied its rezoning application for a public hearing on Nov. 26.

With Burnaby council granting final approvals in September to the conceptual master plan for the 28-acre site, a development plan for the first phase of the project has been completed for the southwest corner of the site.

Shape Properties Corp. is proposing a new externally-oriented commercial centre, a public plaza and high street.

"At its heart is a new multi-level Central Civic Plaza, which seamlessly engages and connects transit passengers, pedestrians and cyclists along Lougheed Highway and Willingdon Avenue to the Brentwood SkyTrain Station, commercial retail and restaurant services and future office and residential uses on-site," said a city staff report.

The plaza will include outdoor seating, landscaping and a central fountain surrounding a large tree which could be lit for holidays or special events. The intent is that the space would host city-hall-supported events such as farmers markets, environmental events and large public gatherings, the report said.

All parking, except for surface parallel parking spots along the high street, will be underground and accessed by ramps adjacent to the Halifax Street and Alpha Avenue entrances. The amount of parking exceeds the requirement for retail and any extra commercial parking could be made available for residential use, it said.

A secondary entrance and exit point is proposed on Lougheed between Alpha and Beta avenues, mainly to serve underground loading requirements for the site, keeping loading separate from busier entrances off Alpha and Halifax.

A detailed traffic and transportation study for Phase 1 was submitted which noted "that the proposed access, road and intersection improvements to be completed
along Lougheed Highway and Willingdon Avenue as part of the necessary site servicing, concomitant with the required on-site Transportation Demand Management measures, will mitigate traffic generated by the proposed development with an anticipation that no substantial impacts to area traffic will result from the site's proposed development."
Also helping substantially to provide more transportation options to residents, employees and customers of the project will be the addition of a new intersection at Alpha and Lougheed, a new road connection between Alpha and Halifax, and improved transit access and bicycle and pedestrian facilities.
The public hearing will be held Tuesday, Nov. 26 at 7 p.m. in Burnaby city hall council chambers.


Friday, October 18, 2013

Brentwood Mall preparation underway

Construction of Phase 1 of the Brentwood Mall Redevelopment is expected to begin sometime in 2014.   Due to the massive scale of the entire project from Phase 1 to 4 over the next 30 years, major infrastructure upgrades need to be undertaken to allow for current and future development.

Last week, the site of the future Entertainment District saw the arrival of piping, machinery and a site office next to Brentwood Town Centre Station.  Some of the work has gone well into the night to avoid causing too many traffic delays during the day.  While this has been going on, part of the paved shoulder under the SkyTrain tracks in the  eastbound lane has been removed to possibly divert westbound automobile traffic passing the Brentwood site along Lougheed Hwy during construction.


Meanwhile, the Solo District Project continues to unfold across the corner from the Brentwood Mall site.

The following link on Skyscraper Page has some photos that have been submitted by member users of that page.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Rat-running a serious concern for residents

As multiple high-density developments continue to be approved, concern has been increasing about rat-running through residential streets.  I've already posted several times about the problem of increased traffic through Brentlawn Drive and the problem of aggressive drivers using Brentlawn as a freeway.  As the residents of Brentlawn are organizing to meet with the City of Burnaby, a group of residents on Graveley Street have been doing the same.  Both groups will be meeting with the City Traffic Committee on November 5 to express their concerns and press for solutions.  I hope the meeting will result in more than just lip service.

Burnaby NewsLeader article below:

Graveley Street residents seek relief from ratrunners

Cherie Moses moved two years ago to North Burnaby from Edmonton where, she says, vehicles usually stop at stop signs.
That's apparently not the case here, she said, at least not on Graveley Street, where she lives.
Indeed, during an interview with a NewsLeader reporter Tuesday afternoon an SUV ran a stop sign to beat the traffic lights which had stopped traffic on Willingdon Avenue.
It's a regular occurrence on Graveley, between Carleton and Willingdon avenues, said Moses, 64, as is speeding, revving up the steep hill on the Carleton end, and people's parked cars being damaged in hit-and-runs.
There's also an issue of people parking on the street while they go to work nearby or take SkyTrain.
"Everybody seems to know about Graveley except city hall," she shouted above the revving traffic near the Carleton end.
When her complaints to Burnaby city hall didn't result in any resolution, Moses started talking with her neighbours and learned she wasn't alone in her frustration.
"I finally realized there were people on the street wanting change for a long time but they'd given up."
They began coordinating their efforts and last month a group of neighbours met with Coun. Sav Dhaliwal, chair of the city's traffic safety committee, and two planning staff to show them the problem first-hand.
Their concern is only heightened by plans for major new developments at the Brentwood mall site and 1st and Gilmore avenues.
"Development is sexy but traffic control isn't," Moses said. "They're obviously planning for more traffic but they're not taking into consideration what's happening right now. It can only increase."
Gerry Rosen, 71, who lives near the Carleton end, said the traffic is ratrunning through the neighbourhood to avoid congestion at Lougheed Highway and Willingdon. Instead, commuters go from Gilmore to Douglas Road, Carleton and Graveley, cross Willingdon and make their way through one of the streets north of the mall, such as Brentlawn Drive, over to Delta Avenue and onto Lougheed.
Speed humps on Graveley are flatter than they'd like, leading to vehicles cruising over them instead of being forced to slow down.
Several residents have had parked vehicles damaged in hit-and-runs, mostly taking off side mirrors, while Rosen himself had $900 worth of damage caused to his car in August.
"You try and back out of your driveway during rush hour, sometimes you're taking your life in your hands," he said.
He's lived on the street for 18 years and believes the traffic has gotten progressively worse. He's seen close calls and incidents of road rage, and worries about the kids in the neighbourhood.
In fact, the pedestrian crossing on Willingdon and Graveley came about after a mother was struck and killed by a pickup truck while crossing the street while pushing her toddler daughter in a stroller.
Traffic counts on that stretch of Graveley done during the summer found 1,200 to 1,400 vehicles a day were using the street, said Doug Louie, the assistant director of engineering in charge of traffic and parking management.
While he said "that's not unexpected," he acknowledged that it's a little higher than a typical residential street of single-family homes which generally sees about 1,000 cars a day on the high end.
Louie said the engineering department will look into any concerns the residents point out to them, including the possibility the speed humps are flatter than they should be, noting they're designed for speeds of up to 40 km/h.
City hall knows that Lougheed and Willingdon is very busy and may result in impacts on surrounding streets, he said.
"We are looking at making changes to the surrounding street network." For instance, they're considering extending Dawson Street east of Beta Avenue to improve traffic flows.
A realignment of 1st Avenue—the development at Gilmore, if approved, would involve Douglas Road being broken up by an expansion of Willingdon Heights park—could also change traffic patterns, and staff are looking at the potential impacts, he said.
Dhaliwal said after witnessing the issues first-hand that "they have legitimate concerns." However, "these concerns are probably a little bit more serious than some but not as serious as others."
Traffic issues are a problem throughout Burnaby, he stressed. But city staff have been directed to look at Graveley in light of the proposed development at 1st and Gilmore, and see if restricting left-turns at Douglas could help reduce ratrunning.
Dhaliwal said he's also asked staff to look at the effectiveness of the speed humps, potentially adjusting the pedestrian signal at Willingdon so drivers on Graveley can't use the timer in their efforts to beat the signal.
And he'll be asking Burnaby RCMP to do some spot enforcement on the street.
Meanwhile, the Graveley residents aren't taking it easy. They've started a petition calling on city hall to conduct a planning process looking at traffic calming, pedestrian safety and parking in the area.
They plan to present it and their concerns to the traffic safety committee on Nov. 5.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Public Hearing set for Oct 29

Two Brentwood area projects (by Aviara and Shape Properties) are  going to a public hearing at the City of Burnaby on October 29th.

Burnaby NewsLeader article below:

Brentwood-area projects go to public hearing Oct. 29

Two major projects in the Brentwood area will go to public hearings on Oct. 29.
A 52-storey highrise apartment tower and two four-to-six-storey apartment buildings  are being proposed for 1735 and 1763 Douglas Road and 1710 Gilmore Ave. by LM Aviara Communities Ltd.
The project would include a total of 595 apartments, said a city staff report, which noted the site is large enough to accommodate up to three residential towers of about 25 storeys each.
Over at the Brentwood mall site, owner Shape Properties has applied for a rezoning to allow for improvements to the existing building's exterior, a minor expansion of the retail space and a new temporary building at the northwest corner of the site to accommodate financial institutions during the major redevelopment of the property.
The public hearing will be held at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 29 in Burnaby city hall council chambers.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Final go-ahead for Brentwood Mall Redevelopment

The Brentwood Redevelopment has received its final clearance form the City of Burnaby to proceed.

Burnaby Now story below:

Brentwood mall redevelopment gets final stamp of approval 

Stefania Seccia / Burnaby Now
September 26, 2013 09:34 AM

Brentwood Town Centre’s conceptual master plan for redevelopment has gone from proposed to official, as council adopted the rezoning amendment at its last meeting.
On Sept. 23, Burnaby city council gave reconsideration and final adoption to the Shape Properties proposal to develop a multi-phased, mixed-use, highrise apartment and office development, with ground-oriented townhousing and street-fronting commercial uses at Brentwood mall.
As the Burnaby NOWpreviously reported, Shape Properties acquired Brentwood mall in 2010, and the first phase of development will include a public plaza and two 60-storey towers – one at the corner of Lougheed Highway and Alpha Avenue, and the other on the corner of Willingdon Avenue and Halifax Street – which would be Burnaby’s tallest highrises.
The first phase involves a massive transformation of eight acres connected to the SkyTrain at Lougheed Highway and Willingdon Avenue.
A movie theatre, interactive art installations and top-end restaurants may be part of the plaza being developed in the first phase.
The overall anticipated number of residential units is between 2,000 and 4,200 – housing about 8,400 people.
The redevelopment will be divided into four phases over the next 20 years, including 10 residential buildings, two office towers ranging from 30 to 40 storeys, a redeveloped commercial centre, a 50,000 square-foot food store and a variety of outdoor spaces.
In July, Shape Properties applied for another rezoning application to amend a zoning bylaw to permit exterior tenant improvements and a minor retail building at 4567 Lougheed Highway.
© Copyright 2013

City needs to lower speed limits

Recently the Union of BC Municipalities rejected a BC Provincial Government proposal to reduce residential speed limits from 50 km/h to 40 km/h.  I support such a proposal and agree with the following letter-writer to the Burnaby Now.

Lower residential speed limits needed

Thomas Hasek / Burnaby Now
October 2, 2013 07:54 AM

Dear Editor:
Earlier this month the Union of B.C. Municipalities voted down a proposal from Victoria to lower the speed limit in urban areas to 40 km/hr from 50. The prevailing arguments seemed to be that it would bog down traffic too much and is not appropriate in many localities. Fair enough, but what about trying to introduce a lower limit on strictly residential streets and possibly even raising it on arterials? Imposing a one-size-fits-all rule for the whole province may not be feasible, but at the municipal level we could surely try and reduce vehicular carnage. I note that Vancouver has a 30 km/hr limit on designated bike routes, and perhaps that could be applied in Burnaby as well.
I happen to live on a bike route, and along my street I have seen cars reaching over 100 km/hr in the two blocks (250 metres) between stop signs, even if drivers don't ignore the stop signs altogether. The uncontrolled intersection between the signs finally had stop signs installed in one direction a few years ago after much lobbying and several major collisions, one near fatal. I realize that speeding is as much an issue of enforcement as regulation, but if regulation is stringent, enforcement is readily enhanced.
What I would propose is a 30 km/hr speed limit on strictly residential streets, particularly those that are less than two traffic lanes wide with parked cars on both sides, like the newly paved and curbed roads that now appear to be standard. Designated - and wider - arterials, no more than about 500 metres from any residential property, might have their speed limit raised to 60 km/hr to compensate, and traffic would likely move faster on average. Major arterials like Kingsway or Willingdon Avenue, particularly in rush hour, might even have the speed limit raised to 70 km/hr to reflect the reality of traffic when the curb lanes are clear.
Thomas Hasek, via email
© Copyright 2013

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Shoppers Drug Mart part of Solo District

We've already known for a while that Whole Foods will be an anchor store in the Solo District project. Now it has been learned that Shoppers Drug Mart will be part of the Altus Phase 2 of the project.  The addition of Shoppers Drug Mart will also be accompanied by a Signature LCB Liquor Store in the retail space in Phase 2.  The current Liquor Store at Brentwood Mall will close with the arrival of the new store in Solo.

The details of regarding Shoppers and the LCB Store are in the following City of Burnaby link:


Burnaby NewsLeader article below:

Signature liquor store proposed for SOLO District

A new "signature" liquor store is being proposed for the SOLO District project under construction at the southwest corner of Willingdon Avenue and Lougheed Highway.
Signature Liquor Distribution Branch (LDB) stores are the largest of the provincial government-owned and operated liquor outlets which offer the largest range of products and special events such as product tastings.
The proposal is to open up such a store in the 48-storey residential-commercial tower now being built as the second phase of Appia Development's SOLO project. It's expected to be completed in 2015.
If approved, the store would be located on the second level over two levels of parking and retail space, and underneath 11 storeys of offices and 33 storeys of condominium apartments, according to a city staff report.
The proposal would fall in line with a liquor store location framework, adopted by city council in 2006, which called for the establishment of a government signature liquor store in each of Burnaby's four town centres.
"The purpose of this objective is to offer equity and certainty for consumers throughout the City in terms of product availability, convenience, and stable pricing," the report said.
A smaller LDB store currently in Brentwood mall is expected to be replaced by the proposed signature store, said the report.
The store would be located on Skyline Drive, a new street that would be built through the development site parallel to Lougheed.
And while signature stores are generally open later than smaller liquor stores, such hours would be consistent with at least two other major commercial tenants confirmed for the project, Whole Foods Market and Shoppers Drug Mart, the report noted.
Burnaby's planning department will work with the applicant to create a development plan suitable to be presented at a public hearing in the future.