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Public Sector

Past Urban Designer/ Development Planner II

City of North Vancouver 

Gloria Venczel, BES, B.Arch., RPP, MCIP, was invited to apply for the position of Urban Designer/ Development Planner II at the City of North Vancouver. Her roles and successes are listed below.

+ Public Hearings

+ 99% success rate at Public Hearings for rezoning files that she managed.

+ Rezoning files included mixed-use residential, high density residential, commercial/office,

   retail, industrial and medium residential.

+ Advisory Design Panel (ADP) Staff Representative 

+ Facilitated the ADP mandate of constructive feedback on pedestrian-friendly urban design +

   streetscape design.

+ Restarted the ADP Awards. 

+ Urban Design Reviews for All Rezoning Applications

+ Conducted urban design reviews for all rezoning applications around streetscape /public

    realm vibrancy and architectural consistency.

+ Ensured through planning suasion and hand sketches that the City’s urban design

   objectives for people-oriented vibrancy were met. 

+ Urban Design Reviews for New Civic Plaza + Vista Commons + New City Library

+ Conducted urban design reviews of  new  City Library on the New Civic Plaza, as well as

   having introduced a café in the new City Library streetscape facing the Civic Plaza to provide

    authentic people vibrancy.

+ Conducted urban design reviews of the Vista Commons public space , sensitively located in

   between City Hall and the private Vista Condominium Development.

+ Created public space programming for the  new Civic Plaza, new Vista Commons public

   space. For Vista Commons programming sketch, see here. 

+ Oversaw Outside Consultants for New Civic Plaza + New Vista Commons 

Oversaw  outside consultants for the City of North Vancouver’s new Civic Plaza, the new City

   Library + the new Vista Commons Park Space, incorporated internal staff comments into my

   urban design reviews.

+ Lead Urban Planner for Successful OCP Policy & Master Plan Study on

   Density Bonusing for Rental Housing (CLPS)

+ Council Workshop on the Central Lonsdale Planning Study can be found here

+ Density with amenities Public Real + Open Space Planning can be found  on the

   webpage here.

+ Designed the displays and held two public open houses and one youth questionnaire.

+ Largest planning study in 20 years.

+ Included 15 city blocks.

+ Council-Appointed Steering Committee returned a near unanimous recommendation to

   Council.

+ Created municipal tools capacity building monthly workshops for the Council-

    Appointed Steering Committee.

+ Created an adapted, in-house charrette process for interdepartmental , interative input; as

   the project wasn't on the workplan, interdepartmental staff worked off the side of their desk,

   as they were heard. 

+ Central Lonsdale planning Study examined the history of rental housing, the available

  tools/programs for affordable rental housing, a current and near-future snapshot of the

  physical & financial  condition of rental housing in CNV, current and projected demographic

  profile of rental housing needs, the value of social diversity, relationship between   Zoning

  Bylaws &  Official Community Plans, concepts of density bonusing for revenue neutral

  affordable rental housing proformas     (market + non-market ), concepts of  density with

  amenities, public space  amenity programming & urban design, building form, massing,

  architectural streetscape design, land use, average incomes, market conditions and  

  proformas,floor plates.

+ Lead Urban Planner for Successful OCP Study Area "Western Avenue"

The multifaceted 116 West 23rd Street rezoning application included an OCP Planning Study, a heritage agreement, resolving design issues brought on by “leaky condo” building envelope insurance requirements, was heartily endorsed by Council at Public Hearing. 

 

+ Rezoning Amendment Bylaw 

   Managed the 116 West 23rd Street rezoning application file as CNV Staff Urban Designer/

   Development Planner II. It was a tired heritage house serving as a care home, which required

   a higher density for revitalization, triggering the commissioning of the Official Community  

   Plan’s (OCP)one of two designated Special Study Areas, The Western Avenue Planning  

  Study. It was as a technically complex of a development and community planning file as

  possible. 

 

+ Community Engagement 

   As the 116 West 23rd Street rezoning application fell within the Western Avenue Planning

   Study Area, situated immediately adjacent to the Lonsdale Avenue Transit Corridor, there was

   a reasonable sustainability planning rationale to undertake the Planning Study and the

   associated Open Houses to rethink the above rezoning application site in the larger context.

   Gloria designed visually enhanced Open Houses, simplifying the complex, for community

   members. 

 

+ Official Community Plan Amendment      

   The Western Avenue Planning Study Council Report recommended a one Level increase in

   the OCP densities respectively, as well as recommending the inclusion of “Lock-Off Units” for

   the townhouse form in the existing Garden Apartment Guidelines, complete with suggested

   unit designs through hand sketches. Not only did Council embrace the Western Avenue

   Planning Study’s recommendations, but they voted to further increase the recommended

   OCP Density Level + Housing Form by an additional Level.

+ Implemented First Municipal Guidelines for Lock-Off Units   

    As part of the Western Avenue Planning Study Report, Gloria's recommendation for Lock-Off

    Units  for  income appropriate housing,  Council also approved the first municipal guidelines

    for “Lock-Off Units” in the lower mainland. They are located in the Garden Apartment

    Guidelines and an abbreviated version can be found here.  

 

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