11/16/2012 04:30 EST | Updated 01/16/2013 05:12 EST

Oakridge towers too tall, worry residents

A massive development and rezoning plan along Vancouver's Cambie corridor is dividing Oakridge-area residents, some of whom feel the proposed towers are just too tall.

A scale model for the new housing and retail complex with 2,800 new homes and 350 stores was unveiled Thursday night at an open house event at the Oakridge Centre Auditorium.

The proposal, as it stands, would replace the area around the Oakridge mall with 13 new towers — including one skyscraper reaching 45 storeys high.

Nancy Cho has lived in Oakridge since she was a child, and said while she likes the overall plan, she's one of many local residents concerned some of the towers will be to be too tall for the community.

"I think 45 storeys seems really high," she said.

"When I go to Toronto and I see those high, high buildings and you kind of just feel walled-in. You don't want to make that intersection feel really closed-in."

Olivia McEwan shares those concerns, but also said sometimes change isn't all bad.

"It's a bit much, but so was the Canada Line when it happened, and Cambie was all muddled-up, and now we love the Canada Line. So, you don't know," she said.

Darren Burns, a principal at Stantec Architecture Ltd., said it's important to keep in mind that the final design needs to mesh not only with the current neighbourhood, but also with the future of the city.

"I think you have to look long-term and think what the city will look like in 2050," he said.

He also said the design is not final and the City of Vancouver will continue to seek public feedback on the project and its application to rezone the area over the next 12 to 18 months.

"I think that during the process of rezoning there will be opportunities to change the plan and modify the plan based on the feedback," he said.

The city is holding a second public open house at the Oakridge Centre Auditorium, on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. PT.