UPDATE: The Development Permit Board (DPB) Meeting has been changed to Monday May 16. Comments will be considered up until the date of the decision. Contact: Wendy LeBreton, Project Facilitator, firstname.lastname@example.org, 604.871.6796
The Lord Roberts playground and field at Comox and Cardero street is perhaps the most important public space for children and parents in the West End. While other public spaces abound on the neighborhood’s edges, such as English Bay beach, Stanley Park, and the seawall, the playground and field is one of only a handful of open, accessible public play spaces. It is very well used by the community, even in the winter months.
WEFA (West End Families in Action) is concerned about the shadowing that will be caused by the 1661 Davie Street – DE419982 in the winter months, between November and March. While we acknowledge that the development will not affect the playground during school hours, and that the most significant shadowing is caused by the two existing buildings in the 1600 block of Pendrell St., we note that the additional impact of the 1661 Davie St. development will almost completely shadow the playground during the 3:00pm – 4:30pm time period.
This is, in our opinion, the most important time of the day because it is when the playground functions as a public space. During school hours, the space is reserved for students. After 3 pm, it opens to the community and is used extensively by the 600 students of the school, their families, and by many local preschool-aged children and home daycare providers. In addition, two after-school programs use the space on an almost daily basis (the YMCA after-school program operates out of the school itself, while the Gordon House program picks up kids at the school and often remains at the playground for 60 – 90 minutes after school lets out). From our experience, we estimate that on winter days at least one hundred parents and children use this important public space between 3 pm and 4:30 pm. When the weather co-operates, usage can easily double.
WEFA urges the City of Vancouver and the developer to explore massing options for the 1661 Davie St. development that will lessen the shadowing impacts on the Lord Roberts playground and field. While it is true that it is often overcast in the winter, we feel that the additional shadowing caused over the estimated 60-year life of the proposed buildings is a significant and cumulative disadvantage of the proposal.