February 11, 2015 - Minutes

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City of Richmond Meeting Minutes

Development Permit Panel

Wednesday, February 11, 2015


3:30 p.m.


Council Chambers
Richmond City Hall


Joe Erceg, Chair
Robert Gonzalez, General Manager, Engineering and Public Works
Dave Semple, General Manager, Community Services

The meeting was called to order at 3:30 p.m.




It was moved and seconded


That the minutes of the meeting of the Development Permit Panel held on Wednesday, January 14, 2015, be adopted.




Development Permit 12-624180
(File Ref. No.:  DP 12-624180)  (REDMS No. 4458316)



GBL Architects Group Inc.




8451 Bridgeport Road






Permit the construction of a high rise commercial, hotel and office development at 8451 Bridgeport Road on a site zoned “High Rise Office Commercial (ZC33) – (City Centre).”


Applicant’s Comments


Andrew Emmerson, GBL Architects, with the aid of a visual presentation (attached to and forming part of these minutes as Schedule 1) and a model, provided an overview of the proposed development including its site context and main uses, noting that the subject site is located in a transitional area and its triangular shape presents challenges as well as design opportunities for the applicant.


Mr. Emmerson reviewed the main components of the proposed development and their distinct design features and highlighted the following:




the 14-storey hotel tower at the southeast corner of the site serves as the fulcrum for the overall development and its angled diamond configuration and strong cuts at the lower and upper levels provide a strong corner identity;



the nine-storey office building at the southwest corner has an elongated linear form, providing a contrast to the hotel tower form;



the 12-storey office building at the north has a vertical and more conventional office building form;



the small commercial spaces at the lower levels, interspersed among the tower forms, provide interest and animation at the street level; and



the five-level podium accommodates parking and bonds the three towers together.


Also, Mr. Emmerson commented on the strong sustainability features incorporated into the three towers and the podium, noting the punched window expression on the south and west facades of the hotel tower, the horizontal louvers on the two office towers, and metal screening on the facades of the podium building.


Further, Mr. Emmerson noted that the green spaces on the podium roof cover approximately 50 percent of the overall site area and provide a shared passive outdoor amenity space for the hotel and office towers as well as a designated area including a swimming pool exclusive for hotel use.


Mr. Emmerson then spoke of  the applicant’s approach at the ground level, noting that the towers along Bridgeport Road were pushed back to create an opportunity for the construction of an internal drive aisle for loading and pick-up and drop-off operations and provide a strong buffer between the subject development and Bridgeport Road. Also, he noted that the large and small commercial spaces, tower lobbies and hotel lobby are located on the ground level and the site is accessible on all three sides.


Mr. Emmerson then reviewed the uses of the podium and tower levels as well as the elevations on Bridgeport Road, West Road and River Road, noting the following:



podium parking is segregated for hotel, commercial and office uses;



the different tower forms and heights are intended to provide variety, maximize natural daylighting, minimize overlook and meet tower spacing requirements;



the upper tower levels have a more defined massing;



the materials and colour palette is relatively neutral;



metal screening on the podium face along Bridgeport Road provides an opportunity to incorporate  public art;



double rows of trees along Bridgeport Road and the plaza treatment of the private road enhance the public realm; and



the corner expression of the hotel tower is visible from Bridgeport Road and provides a strong identity to the proposed development.


Julian Pattison, Considered Design, Inc., gave a brief overview of the landscape design, noting the following:



the overall concept of  the landscape design is to provide an intimate pedestrian experience in the proposed development;



the design of the service road as an “elongated civic space” has precedent in the Dutch concept of “woonerf” or shared use of a road for pedestrian, bicycle and vehicular circulation;



the strategy for shared use of the service road includes variation in split stone paving treatment and use of  light bollards for the pedestrian route; and



the “small-scale park” design of the outdoor amenity area on the podium roof reflects the broader natural landscape and encourages interaction among users.


Panel Discussion


Discussion ensued with regard to the landscape treatment on the podium roof. In response to queries from the Panel, Mr. Pattison advised that (i) the main landscape elements include water features, timber benches and raised lawns for shared use and a swimming pool for hotel use only, and (ii) the landscape elements also provide play opportunities for children.


In response to further queries from the Panel, Mr. Pattison pointed out that (i) the main pedestrian access to the subject site along Bridgeport Road is through the hotel plaza, (ii) all frontages of the subject site are treated equally in terms of landscaping to enhance the pedestrian experience on site, and (iii) loading spaces for smaller trucks are spread out in the parkade of the three towers while larger trucks could use the loading spaces along the service road.


Staff Comments


Barry Konkin, Program Coordinator, Development, advised that the rezoning bylaw for the subject site has received third reading and that there is an associated Official Community Plan and City Centre Area Plan amendment. He added that as per staff review, the development proposal is consistent with the City Centre Area Plan guidelines in terms of density, materials use, and design.


Also, Mr. Konkin commented that (i) garbage pick-up is located off the River Road side of the proposed development and (ii) the Brighouse Canada Line station is approximately 400 meters from the subject site.


In response to a query from the Panel, Mr. Konkin advised that the likely pedestrian route from the Brighouse Line Station to the subject site is through River Road. He added that the proposed development would be more accessible when the Canada Line Capstan Station will be constructed in the future.


Gallery Comments


Joseph Fung, 8571 Bridgeport Road, advised that he would like to ask the Panel to address his concerns regarding the proposed development as mentioned in his correspondence to the Panel (attached to and forming part of these Minutes as Schedule 2).




Mr. Konkin advised that Mr. Fung stated in his correspondence to the Panel that he owns a garment manufacturing business adjacent to the subject site and expressed concern that his business’ daily operation including deliveries to and from the site would be adversely affected during the construction stage of the proposed development. 


In response to Mr. Fung’s concern, Mr. Konkin commented that the City’s Transportation Section advised that through the Building Permit, a traffic management plan will be required from the applicant which will ensure that full access will be maintained on Mr. Fung’s property. He further advised that Mr. Fung could also contact the Bylaw Division should he have further concerns regarding access to his property during the construction of the proposed development.


Panel Discussion


The Panel expressed appreciation to the design team and staff for a well-done presentation of the proposed development, noting that the project’s sophisticated design will significantly improve the area.


Panel Decision


It was moved and seconded


That a Development Permit be issued which would:



Permit the construction of a high rise commercial, hotel and office development at 8451 Bridgeport Road on a site zoned “High Rise Office Commercial (ZC33) – (City Centre).”




New Business


It was moved and seconded


That the Development Permit Panel meeting scheduled on March 11, 2015 be moved to March 10, 2015.




Date of Next Meeting:  Wednesday, February 25, 2015




It was moved and seconded


That the meeting be adjourned at 4:09 p.m.




Certified a true and correct copy of the Minutes of the meeting of the Development Permit Panel of the Council of the City of Richmond held on Wednesday, February 11, 2015.



Joe Erceg

Rustico Agawin
Auxiliary Committee Clerk