I substituted for Paul Dechene at the Planning Commisison meeting tonight. One project that was under consideration was a ten-story condo tower at the corner of Broad and 15th Ave. (pictured)
The project was reported on in today’s Leader-Post. It consists of two floors of mixed use commercial space, and eight floors of condos, with an exercise room and utility area on the roof. Prior to approval a delegation from the Centre Square Community Association made a presentation to the commission expressing concern about the proposed height of the building (35.7 m) in relation to the rest of the neighbourhood, the lack of street parking for potential customers of the new businesses (two floors of underground parking will be available for condo residents) plus the lack of green space to act as a buffer between the building and the sidewalk.
The building does slightly exceed the zoning height limit of 30 m, but the planning commission accepted the city administration’s position that it would not adversely affect the character of the neighbourhood. As for the parking, the developer said the type of business uses that were being contemplated would be non-high traffic and neighbourhood-orientated and that would diminish the need for street parking.
On the third point, the commission did recognize that the scale of the project did mean that it would consume most of the available land on the site, and they directed city administration to explore options with the developer to insert more green space and otherwise enhance the pedestrian experience around the building. Because the underground parking runs pretty much to the property line, the developer observed, green space options were somewhat limited. The planting of trees, for example, would not be possible as the root system would eventually interfere with the parking structure. But the developer did agree to further consultations with city administration, and more detailed plans for green space would be included when an actual building plan was submitted.
On the plus side, commission members applauded the developers for pursuing high environmental standards, and welcomed additional residential construction within walking distance of downtown as was recommended in the Downtown Neighbourhood Plan.