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A Secondary Plan Area by Lukas Holy & Tim Shah
PLAN 548L, The School of Community and Regional Planning University of British Columbia December 2011
Table of Contents
Introduction Design Problem Site Analysis Master Plan Design Opportunity: Three Avenues Mackenzie Avenue Campbell Avenue Connaught Avenue Movement and Connectivity Zoning and Housing Parking Appendix 1. The Use of ElementsDB References
2 3 4 6 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14
Mackenzie Avenue, circa 1915
The Secondary Plan area of focus is the central business district (CBD) of the City of Revelstoke. The area is defined by three avenues (Mackenzie, Connaught, and Campbell); each avenue has its own unique characteristics. The focus of this Secondary Plan is to help define the character of the tree avenues in an effort to foster a greater livability in the CBD.
The three avenues in the CBD have the potential to become distinct and continuous paths that help orient peoples experience within Revelstoke. Currently, the three avenues in the CBD appear to be disconnected from one another and are under threat of losing their individual character and identity. The creation of identity within the CBD can be achieved through more diverse housing stock, commercial amenities and hotel units , expansion of green space and a
commitment to heritage preservation. With the development of the Revelstoke Mountain Resort, there will likely be increased demand for commercial and residential uses in the CBD. While hotel units are desirable and important for sustaining the tourism economy, the downtown should not be developed exclusively for tourists. The CBD requires diverse and affordable housing choices for residents. Balancing these two interests is a difficult proposition. If the downtown becomes a tourist hub rental prices for businesses and residences will rise. The CBD is in danger of becoming exclusive and uninhabitable. By providing a balance of opportunities and mixed uses for residents and tourists, through the proposed delineation of the three avenues, the downtown can become a place of livability for all residents; it can enhance community and public life, and begin to establish authenticity and meaning.
• Enhance the identity of the three avenues that make up the CBD • Create a sense of connectivity between the three great streets of Mackenzie, Connaught and Campbell • Ensure access and opportunity to the downtown for all residents and tourists • Provide housing affordability within the downtown through the provision of rental units and seniors’ housing • Encourage a sense of participation among residents by helping define a green/open space
The CBD in Revelstoke, BC
Grocery Store City Hall
pbell Aven u
Existing Figure Ground
MacKenzie Avenue is a lively pedestrian strip in the CBD. It contains a mix of uses including a number of cafes, bars, restaurants, and other amenities. MacKenzie Avenue would meet many of Jacobs and Appleyard’s (1987) goals for urban life. MacKenzie provides access to opportunity, imagination, and joy as the avenue extends the experience of residents and tourists. The avenue offers a story of the past; its authenticity and meaning helps residents and tourists understand the city’s layout and its moral foundation. MacKenzie also has good walkability as evidenced by the wide sidewalks and diverse array of street features. The unique character of MacKenzie avenue is defined by the relatively small scale of the building fabric that surrounds it.
Shortage of Housing
The site does not offer any diversity of housing units. According to the OCP, the housing rental stock has been declining in the city. With aspirations to increase the livability and attractiveness of the downtown, there is an opportunity for the CBD to absorb some of the residential growth. The shortage of rental units, seniors’ housing and hotel units can all be increased in the CBD.
Proposed Figure Ground
Currently the CBD has large vacant areas, parking lots, wide alleys and a discontinuous street frontage. The Unified Development Bylaw’s (UDB) illustrative plans, identifies a number of gaps in the built form. One goal to improve the public realm is to infill these holes by building over existing underdeveloped portions of lots, such as surface parking lots (City of Revelstoke, 2011). The specific goal is to create a continuous building wall that helps frame the street. The UDB explains how giving the streets walls can create a more comfortable environment to walk in by increasing visual interest, framing the view along the street, and defining the public space. The block with the Power Springs Motel is evidence of a discontinuous and wasteful street frontage.
The site contains a number of heritage buildings such as the Revelstoke City Hall and the Museum and Archives. The OCP is explicit in stating that any proposed development should not diminish the heritage value of the area (City of Revelstoke, 2009). The OCP encourages the retention of heritage features throughout the community; along with taking a proactive and visionary approach toward the preservation of heritage features (City of Revelstoke, 2009). The city is considering expanding its heritage preservation zone to encompass the buildings along MacKenzie avenue. (Orlando, 2011)
Campbell Avenue is the widest street in the CBD and runs directly from the railway to the waterfront. Currently, it is an avenue that provides diagonal parking from1st to 3rd street. It has a unique layout within the city grid because of its historical use as the railway spur that connected the main line to the river. An elaboration on the opportunities of Campbell is provided in latter sections.
Lack of Green Space
The downtown does not offer a defined green open space. To borrow from Randolph Hester, the site requires a space that enables residents and tourists to learn, interact and connect to one another (Hester, 2008).
Poorly used street frontage
Diagonal Parking on Campbell Ave.
Design Opportunity: Three Avenues
Campbell Ave. Connaught Ave. Mackenzie Ave.
The CBD can become well defined through the development of three avenues including MacKenzie, Connaught and Campbell. Each avenue presently has its own unique characteristics; however, there does not appear to be good connectivity between the avenues. This presents an opportunity to not only foster a greater connection between the avenues, but to further enhance their characteristics in ways that define and complement one another. A legible city, as described by Kevin Lynch, is made up of well developed elements such as: paths, districts, nodes and landmarks. Mackenzie, Connaught, and Campbell serve as distinct paths. By encouraging these paths to develop their unique characteristics the CBD can be made more legible (Lynch, 1960). Creating continuity along the three avenues is a goal of this proposal.
The Importance of Great Streets
“Great Streets”, by Allan Jacobs, illustrates several great streets from around the world. Jacobs specifically explains how the interplay of human activity with the physical place has an enormous amount to do with the greatness of a street. Furthermore, a great street should help make community; should facilitate people acting and interacting to achieve in concert what they might not achieve alone (Jacobs, 1993). Similar to the goal of livability, a great street should be a desirable place to be, to spend time, to live, to play, and to work. At the same time a great street markedly contributes to what a city should be; streets are settings for activities that bring people together (Jacobs, 1993). Jacobs thinks that streets should encourage socialization and participation of people in the community; they serve as locations of public expression. If designed well, they can be comfortable and safe; they create and leave strong, lasting, positive impressions, they catch the eye and the imagination.
Green Spine Grocery Store City Hall 2nd Street LEGEND Path Node Landmark District Heritage District
Kevin Lynch map of elements that encourage a legible streetscape
Cours Mirabeau in Aix-en-Provence has a simillar character to that of Campbell Ave.
The Grizzly Plaza is a hub of pedestrian activity; it is a successful community gathering space. The city calls it the entertainment centre of Revelstoke’s historic downtown (City of Revelstoke, 2011). This pedestrian environment extends along MacKenzie from the plaza to 3rd street. Jacobs (1993) explains, the essential purpose of a street which gives it a special character is its sociability. MacKenzie Avenue already serves this function and its pedestrian node at the north end of the avenue is a popular spot for summer festivals. This provides a sense of place in addition to access to opportunity, imagination and joy as residents and tourists can experience a special part of Revelstoke’s culture (Jacobs, 1993). The avenue has a compact form with low buildings (1-2 storeys) and a narrow street frontage. There is evidence of pedestrian infrastructure such as tree plantings, benches and sculptures which create a more pleasant and enjoyable walking experience. The combination of these street and building characteristics on MacKenzie Avenue offer a pedestrian environment for interaction and access to various amenities. Heritage buildings on Mackenzie avenue should be preserved; any new buildings should employ verncular architecture.
Heritage Buildings and Public Art
Vernacular Architecture along the high street in Banff
Inviting Pedestrian Realm
There is an opportunity to transform the parallel parking lanes of Campbell Avenue into a public green space in the middle of the town. This would enhance a natural link from the CBD to the waterfront. Campbell is identified as an opportunity site in the UDB. The highest buildings in the CBD are proposed for Campbell. The width of the avenue justifies a larger building scale. The proposal for Campbell Avenue is inspired by the prominent Paseo de Gracia in Barcelona. This street has similar characteristics to Campbell. Both streets have wide sidewalks that accomodate an alley of trees. The proposal aims to develop an active street frontage on Campbell Avenue. Retail and commercial outlets will be provided at street level. The amenities can attract tourists and residents and bring them closer to the green space. urban life: community and public life. Indeed, the public space we create through the green spine is open to all members of the community. It is a meeting point for residents and provides them with an opportunity to actively engage with the space and the citizens that embody it. Trees are to be added at the curb lines, if close enough to each other they will create a pedestrian zone that feels safe. As Allan Jacobs once said “the best streets are comfortable, at least as comfortable as they can be in their settings; they offer warmth or sunlight when it is cool and shade and coolness when it is hot”. (Jacobs, 1993, p.139)
4 to 5 Story Residential
Local Grocery Chain
Single Lane Traffic
Two Story Entrance
Large Retail Outlet
The central idea behind making Campbell a “great street” is to provide a public space. The idea of a green spine is a close spacing of trees running along the avenue from 1st to 3rd. The green spine is not only an accessibility feature, but it fits with one of Jacobs & Appleyard’s goals of
Paseo de Gracia, Barcelona
Connaught Avenue is the middle street between MacKenzie and Campbell. It would be home to hotels, residential dwellings and office uses. This avenue is meant to be a reprieve from the vibrant and lively streets of Campbell and MacKenzie. On this quiet avenue, residents and tourists will have a space in the CBD that offers all the benefits of urbanity, with the exception of commercial and retail outlets. The intention of this street is to offer a place of residence for families, seniors and lower income residents of Revelstoke, along with hotel units for visitors and tourists. There are a few proposed mixed use buildings on this avenue with the first floor designated for office uses. Despite the vision of Connaught Avenue as being a quieter escape from the other two avenues, it will still be pedestrian friendly. For instance, benches help people stay on the street; they invite a presence by permitting rest, conversation, waiting for a friend, passing the time (Jacobs, 1993). The density of the CBD will make Connaught work just as well as the other two avenues. Connaught can still be a great walking environment at night without all of the noise from the entertainment venues along the sister streets. Allan Jacobs says “part of a street’s special character when no one is on them may be the contrast with how we normally experience them, that is, with people” (Jacobs, 1993, p. 303). By having people living along streets such as Connaught, the streets become activated and help make a community for them. Density does not imply crowdedness, but instead, it will help shape the character of Connaught by bringing people together not through pubs, but through its more calm character.
3 to 4 Story Residential
Limited Office Space
Brock St., Bath
Gordon Cullen introduces the concept of serial vision in his book “The Concise Townscape”. When a pedestrian is walking from one place to another, at a uniform pace, this can provide a sequence of revelations; this progress of travel is illuminated by a series of sudden contrasts and so an impact is made to the eye, bringing the path to life. Thus, this serial vision provides a scenery of the town which is revealed in a series of jerks of revelations (Cullen, 1996). This concept can be illustrated through a walking tour which leads pedestrians through the CBD. Cullen explains that a walking experience should have “punctuation”. In the continuing narrative of the walking tour, function and pattern change from place to place; this should be acknowledged by some physical signal. The walking tour has distinct landmarks such as the grocery store, the green spine of Campbell and City Hall. These features create an interruption in the walk or a punctuation on the street (Cullen, 1996).
A number of mixed use buildings have been proposed on 2nd street. These mixed use buildings provide commercial/retail outlets on the first floor in the form of entertainment venues such as bars and pubs, and service outlets such as clothing stores and cafes. These amenities can attract people to the CBD . 2nd street has wider sidewalks, trees that are closer in spacing, and pedestrian furniture such as benches and plantings intended to enhance pedestrian life. 2nd is also the connector street that bridges the CBD with other parts of the city. For instance, it bridges the CBD to the old school site.
Movement and Connectivity
1 2 3
LEGEND Primary Connections Pedestrian Conncetions Proposed Bikepath Landmark
Improving opportunities for cycling
According to the Revelstoke Active Transportation Plan, the city is proposing a secondary cycling route along 3rd street. The proposed route will run through the CBD and will be a vital component of enhancing the transition and connectivity between the three avenues. The route can also bridge CBD to other parts of Central Revelstoke. Additional bike parking is recommended for the CBD, especially to offer residents to travel to and from the downtown using their bicycles The UDB supports this as better cycling infrastructure could lessen the need for car parking.
Two courtyards are proposed; both are in the blocks between MacKenzie and Connaught between 1st and 3rd. Courtyards are features that allow for permeability between the three avenues. Inside of these courtyards, there is a sense of quietness and enclosure as the buildings form a cohesive space around them. Courtyards are not only spaces that enhance connectivity between the avenues, but are access points for residents and tourists. They can enable interaction; provide a sense of place and increase the overall appeal of being in downtown. Courtyards also enable people-watching and cultural animation programmes (Cullen, 1996).
Grocery Store Sign
City Hall Tower
Tin House Court, Ottawa
Zoning and Land Use
Context In the OCP, the CBD is identified as the commercial core of the community. The CBD is currently zoned as C-1 commercial business district. This areas encourages a mix of uses so that the community can live, work and play downtown. Street level development is encouraged to be retail or high-traffic businesses and offices and residential are encouraged on the upper levels of the buildings (City of Revelstoke, 2009). Mixed Use Buildings A number of mixed use buildings in the CBD have been proposed to be consistent with the OCP. The OCP is encouraging new development and redevelopment to be mixed use projects incorporating complimentary uses in a single development (i.e. consider combining more than one of the following uses: residential, commercial, open space etc). This proposal is also consistent the city’s aspirations to accommodate smart growth by infill and densification of existing and proposed neighbourhoods (City of Revelstoke, 2009). Having different buildings that are designed for a mix of uses and destinations can attract mixes of people from all over the city (Jacobs, 1993). in close proximity to the seniors’ home. This grocery store will provide semi-underground parking with one-bed dwelling units on top. Seniors’ Home: The OCP states that social, special needs, and seniors’ housing is limited in the city. This is a concern with an aging population and declining housing stock. The proposal of a seniors’ home with sixty units can initiate a process of seniors’ home construction. One policy in the OCP is to provide sufficient services to meet seniors’ needs, encouraging them to stay in Revelstoke, through an Aging in Place Plan and a Social Plan (City of Revelstoke, 2009). In terms of parking, the requirement could be 0.5 spaces per unit as done in West Hollywood’s Senior housing (SCANPH, 2004). This translates into 30 parking spaces for the seniors’ home to be provide on-site.
Proposed Land Use
RESIDENTIAL MIXED USE HOTEL RETAIL CIVIC
Proposing new buildings
Grocery Store: The grocery store is proposed to be located at the corner of 3rd and Campbell Ave. It would serve the residents and tourists of the CBD and support the vibrancy of the area. The grocery store will serve the needs of visitors and the new residents of the CBD. In terms of the access of the site, the grocery store is planned to be
In the UDB, the downtown is zoned as T-5 residential which would stipulate the creation of more residential units. In particular, a T-5 transect would be a dense, mixed use habitat for the community; buildings include apartment houses and offices above shops, buildings are a maximum of five storeys and open space consists of squares and plazas (Talen, 2002). In 2005, at least 250 individuals and families were experiencing a core housing need shortage (City of Revelstoke, 2009). In light of the design problem, and the need to accommodate housing and tourists in the downtown; the aim is to add 598 dwelling residential units to the CBD. These dwelling units will take the form of one-bedroom, two-bedroom, and three-bedroom units at 55m2, 70m2, and 85m2 respectively, as reflected in the zoning by-law of Revelstoke (City of Revelstoke, 1984).
In the OCP, there is explicit discussion of affordable housing and the city’s recognition that it is needed. Affordable housing in the OCP is defined as “safe, appropriate housing that is affordable for the income levels of all community residents (City of Revelstoke, 2009). One of the community goals is to provide diverse housing needs in the form of affordable rental, market, and non-market housing for the community – this is to be consistent with the Strategic Community Housing Plan.
Proposed Residential Distribution
Inclusionary Zoning to Address Affordable Housing
Inclusionary zoning is a regulatory instrument available to local government that either encourages or requires the provision of affordable housing as part of residential developments (Metro Vancouver, 2007). In Vancouver, the City has required 20% of the units in major residential projects to be designated for social housing since 1988 (Metro Vancouver, 2007). In the zoning-bylaw of Revelstoke, section 8.1.2 explains how increased density can be achieved if the 15% of all residential units are affordable (City of Revelstoke). Using this number, 15% of the proposed 598 residential units will be affordable. These affordable housing units are to be dispersed across the proposed buildings in the CBD to mix income groups, and avoid segregation.
Hotel units and tourism
According to the OCP, the city will encourage hotels and associated tourists uses in the CBD. Dealing with the growth of tourism in the CBD is of great importance. As the city grows in the coming years, and competes with the Revelstoke Mountain Resort, there will be a rise in demand for hotel units. Market demand will ultimately determine the number of hotel units to be provided. By allocating a certain number buildings designated for hotel units, the market could respond in deciding how many units should be constructed. Based on the buildings proposed, the CBD could offer 136 hotel units. Parking requirements will be 0.25 parking spaces per unit, consistent with the Los Angeles Municipal Code (SCANPH, 2004). Therefore, 34 parking spaces will have to be provided.
ONE BEDROOM TWO BEDROOM THREE BEDROOM
With anticipated population growth along with a growing tourism economy, the CBD will require additional parking units. There currently exists a shortage of parking and this will only be exacerbated with future growth and demand. Policies that result in limiting the supply of parking are an effective way to reduce the costs of constructing and providing parking (Forinash et al., 2002). However, too much parking can be more damaging than beneficial. The UDB states that an important means of improving the public realm is to reduce the amount of surface parking, especially downtown, and on commercial streets (City of Revelstoke, 2011). In the Revelstoke zoning by-law, it states that 1.5 parking spaces shall be provided for each dwelling unit (City of Revelstoke, 1984). 1.5 parking spaces could be reduced to 1 per dwelling unit under the justification that the CBD is compact and conducive for other transportation modes. With 598 dwelling units, this would mean 1 parking space for each unit. Parking requirements drive up the cost of development and could result in less housing units as a result (SCANPH, 2004). Parking requirements can also make it more difficult for developers to provide open spaces, amenities and affordable housing units. Parking spaces are expensive, some have cited such spaces costing upwards of $30,000 (Willson, 2005). Shared parking is an alternative planners can employ when setting parking requirements in mixed use areas. Forinash et al., (2002) offer an example: an office that has peak parking demand during the daytime hours can share the same pool of parking spaces with a restaurant whose demand peaks in the evening. Shared parking can decrease the total number of spaces required for mixed-use developments (Forinash, et al., 2002). This model could be applied to the city. * The UDB is supportive of underground parking. Reducing parking, coupled with density bonusing can encourage underground parking with the development of entire City blocks (City of Revelstoke, 2011). Residential: 598 parking spaces (1.0 parking spaces for dwelling unit) Commercial: Using Portland, Oregon’s CBD parking requirements; 1.0 parking space per 1,000 square feet = 76 Office: Using Portland, Oregon’s CBD parking requirements, 0.7 parking space per 1,000 square feet = 17 Total parking demand: 598+76+17 = 691 For the 66 outstanding parking spaces that cannot be accommodated directly on-site, developers can pay in-lieu parking fees as an alternative to providing on-site parking. Developers would circumvent parking on-site by paying the city a fee. In return, Revelstoke provides a centralized facility, or an existing underground parking structure, that is available for use by the development’s tenants and visitors (Forinash et al., 2002). Summary: Reducing parking requirements and using a shared parking system will free up capital for developers. This could enable them to achieve bonus density if they include the following: • The developer dedicates community amenity space to public use, such as community gardens, playgrounds, trails, and other recreational areas (City of Revelstoke, 2009, p. 40 of OCP) • Provision of affordable housing units in light of the capital saved from reduce parking requirements
Determining Parking Demand
Type of Parking Underground* Underground Land use/Location Mixed use with office, 2nd and commercial Mixed use, block on Campbell between 2nd and 3rd 1st, 2nd and 3rd streets Diagonal parking on Campbell To be determined by market/city Total 200 200
The central business district of Revelstoke was the focus of this Secondary Plan. The CBD already has three distinct avenues of (MacKenzie, Connaught, and Campbell); the proposal is meant to better define these avenues to become great streets. Better defining these avenues could lead to improved liveability, community and inclusion for the CBD. The proposed Secondary Plan defines these avenues and creates a sense of connectivity between them. To meet other goals of the plan, several mixed use buildings have been proposed for a diverse housing stock such as seniors’ housing for the aging population and affordable housing units for lower income residents. Commercial amenities, office uses and hotel units would also be added to the site. The creation of a green spine on Campbell has many benefits and links the grocery store with heritages buildings and sites such as the Grizzly Plaza. Using an inclusionary zoning target of 15%, a number of affordable units can be provided. Finally, parking is a planner’s dilemma, but by using a shared parking model combined with reducing parking requirements, the CBD can encourage walking, cycling and transit use. This ultimately improves the public realm by spending the saved capital on open spaces, courtyards, and affordable housing - all of which benefit the entire community.
Parallel Diagonal Shared
200 25 66 691
Appendix 1. The Use of ElementsDB
ElementsDB was useful when we were exploring different building typologies for our site. The identity, attribute and referent categories were all very clear and easy to follow. The Floor Area Ratio (FAR) was the most useful metric offered by the building typologies. FAR assisted us in calculating the total number of residential and hotel units we could offer at our site. The file preview option was also helpful for us. Looking at a building in a 3D model view, 3D floor view and site plan gave us further ideas about how building typologies are measured and displayed. We may have felt more inclined to use ElementsDB more actively if we had a longer workshop on it. We found the workshop useful, however, at that point, it was too early as groups had not started their Secondary Plan areas. Having a workshop later in the term (as a follow up to the first one) could be advantageous as students can learn how to use ElementsDB directly for their Secondary Plan areas.
Boulevard Transportation Group Ltd. (2010). Revelstoke Active Transportation Plan: City of Revelstoke, BC. Accessed online: http://www.physicalactivitystrategy.ca/pdfs/BEAT/TPlans/City%20Revelstoke_Active%20Transportation%20Plan.pdf City of Revelstoke. (1984). City of Revelstoke Zoning Bylaw No. 1264, 1984. Accessed online: http://www.cityofrevelstoke.com/DocumentView.aspx?DID=305 City of Revelstoke. (2009). City of Revelstoke Official Community Plan. Accessed online: http://www.cityofrevelstoke.com/index.aspx?NID=163 City of Revelstoke. (2011). Unified Development Bylaw: Illustrative Plans. Accessed online: http://revelstokeudb.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Appendix-7-Illustrative-Plans-small.pdf City of Revelstoke. (2011). Historic Grizzly Plaza. Accessed online: http://revelstokecc.bc.ca/vacation/revelstoke_attractions_grizzly_plaza.htm Cullen, G. (1996). The Concise Townscape. Oxford, England: Architectural Press Forinash, C.V., Millard-Ball, A., Dougherty, C & J Tumlin. (2002). Smart Growth Alternatives to Minimum Parking Requirements. Accessed online: sym_proceedings/Volume%202/Forinash_session_7.pdf Hester, R. (2008). Design for Ecological Democracy. Cambridge MA: MIT Press. Jacobs, A. (1993). Great Streets. Cambridge MA: MIT Press. Jacobs, A., and Appleyard, D. (1987). Toward an Urban Design Manifesto. Journal of the American Planning Association, 53 (1), 112-120. Lynch, K. (1981). A theory of good city form. Cambridge MA: MIT Press. Metro Vancouver. (2007). Overview of Inclusionary Zoning Policies for Affordable Housing. Accessed online: http://www.inclusionaryhousing.ca/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/ResourceCA_MetroVan.pdf Montgomery, J. (1998). Making a city: Urbanity, vitality and urban design. Journal of Urban Design, 3(1), 93-116. Orlando, A. (2011, July 13). City to create new business district heritage conservation area. Revelstoke Times Review. Accessed from: http://www.revelstoketimesreview.com/news/125472393.html Southern California Association of Non-Profit Housing. (2004). Parking Requirements Guide for Affordable Housing Developers. Accessed online: http://www.scanph.org/files/Parking%20Requirements%20Guide_forweb.pdf Talen, E. (2002). Help for Urban Planning: The Transect Strategy. Journal of Urban Design, 7(3), 293-312. Willson, R. (2005). Parking Policy for Transit-Oriented Development: Lessons for Cities, Transit Agencies and Developers. Journal of Public Transportation, 8(5), 79-94. http://www.urbanstreet.info/2nd_
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