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Off-arterial apartment buildings
Less noise and pollution
Another way to improve livability for apartments: allow apartment buildings to be built away from busy streets, separated by at least an alleyway, rather than right on the street, subject to traffic noise and air pollution.
According to Sam Sullivan, the West End is an example of this approach to planning:
Sutton Brown opposed housing on arterial streets. His West End shopping streets have only one story, with no residential above.
Vancouver’s SRP (Secured Rental Policy) allows for rental buildings at off-arterial locations, but they’re limited to four storeys. They also have to be within 400 m of a larger neighbourhood shopping area or within 200 m of a smaller neighbourhood shopping area. Rezoning is still required.
According to CityDuo’s Secured Rental Policy Tracker, so far there’s been four rezoning applications submitted for four-storey rental buildings at off-arterial locations:
657-685 E 18th Ave, submitted February 2022, approved April 2023
3581 W 30th Ave, submitted June 2022, approved July 2023
109 E 40th Ave, submitted August 2022, approved June 2023
2560-2580 Trafalgar St, submitted August 2022
Quote from Sam Sullivan: From a video by Sam Sullivan on Gerald Sutton Brown, Vancouver’s chief planner from 1952 to 1973. Direct link to quote. For an academic article on Gerald Sutton Brown (using “high modernism” as the framework), see Will Langford, "Is Sutton Brown God?" Planning Expertise and the Local State in Vancouver, 1952-1973. BC Studies, Spring 2012. The title refers to a sarcastic protest sign.