Condo Tower Receives Planning Commission Approval

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.

Author: Gregory Beatty

Greg Beatty is a crime-fighting shapeshifter who hatched from a mutagenic egg many decades ago. He likes sunny days, puppies and antique shoes. His favourite colour is not visible to your puny human eyes. He refuses to write a bio for this website and if that means Whitworth writes one for him, so be it.

8 thoughts on “Condo Tower Receives Planning Commission Approval”

  1. The Coronation Park application went ahead to Council as well, Barb. A group of more than a dozen are residents brought a litany of complaints forward, clearly spearheaded by a single woman with a bee in her bonnet. While most of their concerns were addressed by the administration they were still a pretty unhappy bunch by the end of the meeting. Even though the developer insisted that the rent targets for the first phase will be $850 per month, which is by no means social or subsidized housing levels (more at the bottom end of the existing rental market). The woman that organized the effort against the development even interrupted the chair of the Planning Commission as he was giving his thoughts before the vote; he asserted that affordable housing is an element that’s necessary to improve neighbourhoods that are seen as less desirable, pointing to the Cathedral’s history as a prime example. At that point, the woman shouted from the gallery, “It hasn’t worked in North Central,” twice.

    So clearly they have a pretty bleak view of their situation. One presenter insisted they weren’t a pack of “not in my backyard” reactionists, insisting every other neighbourhood in the city is instead because, in her opinion, all the social housing applications coming forward are being foisted onto Coronation Park. Which isn’t true — Michael Fougere pointed to two apartment buildings that will have lower rents than this development that have been approved for the east end in the last year.

  2. Thanks, Pat; I read the Leader-Post article, but it was good to get another take, which I expected from prairie dog but didn’t see.
    I live in Coronation Park North, just a brisk constitutional from the site in question,and have been following this situation with interest. The Coronation Park Community Association has been trying to keep people informed and to seek their input re: the development, and has taken a cautious approach (they didn’t make a presentation to the PC, apparently). The area needs good housing and more of it; nearby Washington Park and Regent Park have had a number of Habitat for Humanity projects, some done through the Thom Collegiate Apprenticeship Program, but these are few and far between. The recent City decision to decommission the Pasqua Rec. Centre also has relevance to this project, and we should stay tuned.

  3. Barb: Paul is unavailable at the moment so Greg was pinch-hitting. We’ll almost certainly have something on this in the next issue.

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