Originally developed to house workers from the Kaiser Shipyards during wartime, Vancouver’s Heights District is home to some of the oldest homes and beautiful views in the area. Unfortunately, this Heights have declined over time, but it is Vancouver’s hope to inject vitality and vibrancy back into the Heights with its Heights District Plan.
On April 13, 2019, 250 people attended an open house, dedicated to answering questions about the Heights District Plan as well as receiving community input and feedback. Discussed at the meeting were the three major components of the Plan, which are as follows:
- A subarea plan for the 228 acre Heights District, including recommendations for future housing, office and amenities in the district, transportation improvements to address safety and increase connectivity, and community development needs.
- A redevelopment plan for the 53-acre Tower Mall redevelopment site, located on the west side of the Heights District. It includes city-owned properties-the 12 acre site of the former Tower Mall, a water facility, fire station No. 3, and the site of the Vanco Golf Range-as well as several privately owned properties.
- An environmental impact statement that supports a planned action ordinance for the district, which will include an analysis of impacts the future development will have on the natural environment.
Besides adding in vibrancy and vitality, the Heights District Plan also aims to focus in on inclusiveness, providing space for all the community to gather, and wants the development to be reflective of its community. Part of that inclusiveness includes the addition of affordable housing.
Lead by Seattle’s GGLO and VIA Architecture, The Heights District Plan has specific goals they want to achieve, which include:
- Establishing a vision for a vibrant urban center at the Heights.
- Involving the public in a robust community planning and design process.
- Catalyzing future private development in the District through public investments in planning and infrastructure.
- Increasing mixed-income housing options in the district.
- Including accessible public open space as part of the Heights redevelopment.
- Utilizing innovative urban design to build an attractive place where people want to be.
- Planning for creative and functional integration of transit.
- Increasing connection that allow people to walk and bike to and through the District.
- Creating 8 new 20 minute neighborhoods where residents can walk, bike, or take transit to meet their daily needs.
These changes, of which the Tower Mall area will see the most in its redevelopment, will not begin to take shape until 2021 most likely. For more information about the Heights District Plan, please click HERE.