Mission development gets cool reception
Mar 5, 2013 / 5:30 am
A 108 unit neighbourhood development in the Lower Mission was given a less than enthusiastic endorsement by City Council Monday.
The Mission Group is proposing to construct the development on a 2.7 hectare parcel of land at the northeast corner of Old Meadows Road and Gordon Drive.
The development would comprise of 22 two and three storey buildings housing 42 two-bedroom units and 66 three-bedroom units.
In order to accommodate the project the land would have to be rezoned from A1 Agriculture to RM4 Transitional Low Density Housing and, while the city's Official Community Plan supports such a use, many on council expressed concern over the possible look of the development without benefit of a Development Permit.
"It's not the best form of development the way I look at it. It's very spread out, it fills the site with buildings," says Councillor Robert Hobson.
"Something slightly denser could have wrapped a lot more open space, I think. Just comfort me a little bit that some good design is going to come and make this a better development than it looks from this plan?"
Urban Land Use Manager, Danielle Noble, says discussions have taken place with the developer about the urban form that inspired the site.
"They have looked at other projects in the lower mainland as being successful for the demographic they are wanting to target," says Noble.
"They are wanting units that have an availability to people who want to downsize so the floor plans and units are programmed to that."
Hobson says the current design shows an awful lot of buildings evenly set apart with very little open space.
"It looks like a bit of a cookie cutter plan and I think it's just too regimented. It doesn't feel imaginative," says Hobson.
"Maybe they're going to come in with some skookum building materials, fabulous landscaping and great fencing. I hope so."
He says it's unfortunate the developer is not required to present a Development Permit Application to give council and the public an idea what the project will look like prior to public hearing.
Mayor Walter Grey agreed calling the only images of what the development may look like more like aerial pictures of a mobile home park.
"The streetscape of the view from Gordon quite frankly is an insult to Gordon Drive. But, pretty pictures may change that," says Gray.
"If that were wrapped by a fence and presented as a walled city as many in the neighbourhood are, they are attractive to the public and non-offensive because they are very attractive, permanent looking fencing."
While the developer is not required to provide conceptual drawings for a public hearing to take place, council strongly urged they do so prior to going to the public with the development proposal.
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