A proposed development may bring 225 residential units and enough space for 208 employees in the area just behind Squamish Station Shopping Centre.
The proponent, Hunter Place Developments, which is spearheaded by Paul and Mike Bosa, is seeking to rezone 1100, 1120, and 1140 Hunter Place, right by Nesters Market. This developer is separate from Bosa Properties and is not part of the Bosa development family.
The developer seeks to change the area from a split zone of C-4 downtown commercial and I-1 light Industrial to a CD-99, or comprehensive development zone.
Council voted 5-1 in favour of passing the first reading for the rezoning proposal. Coun. Chris Pettingill was the sole vote against the project, while Coun. Jenna Stoner did not vote, as she was absent due to being on maternity leave.
The site plan revolves around five buildings that will be connected by a common courtyard, which will have public access secured via a statutory right of way.
Accompanying the buildings will be a total of 401 parking spaces, 279 of which will be residential and 122 of which will be for commercial uses.
There are a number of proposed community amenity contributions. Some highlights include 26 affordable units, three of which will be dedicated to childcare employees.
A daycare space for about 20 infants is also among the proposed perks, along with a pedestrian-cyclist path.
There is also a commitment to use no natural gas for heating in all residential units. All residential units are expected to be powered by electricity, including hot water tanks.
It’s expected that about 20% of the gross floor area will be three-bedroom units. About 50% will be two or three-bedroom apartments, which staff say closely aligns with the Official Community Plan policy.
Coun. Doug Race said that he would support first reading, but more work still needed to be done on the project.
On the other hand, Pettingill said that officials were still going a bit too quickly through the process, as there were outstanding issues.
“I think I’ve spoken a few times sort of acknowledging traffic and parking challenges that other people are raising and additional private parking...just exacerbates that,” he said.
“Until we have the solution to deal with that, I think we have to avoid more car-dependent developments.”
Coun. Armand Hurford said the project has evolved in a positive direction, but there’s still more work to do.
He had concerns how traffic coming over a newly-constructed Pemberton Bridge might interact with a train crossing, though staff said this would likely not be an issue.
“There’s a lot of outstanding issues with this, I think, well-documented and captured in the motion,” said Hurford. “I’m sure there are solutions for them. I hope they’re something that we can accept the outcomes of. And, of course, we always have a few more readings to work our way through that.”
Hurford was referring to the fact that the motion passed by council also directed staff and the proponent to consider a number of items.
This included considering having the daycare built in the first phase, clarifying what types of affordable units are being proposed, exploring more bike parking, and examining a traffic impact assessment, among other things.
Mayor Karen Elliott said she wanted to understand more about the affordable housing proposal, as the public and private residents will interact in the courtyard.
“I am really very interested in and want feedback and traffic studies and just really understanding the concept of how this all fits together,” said Elliott. “But, at this point, I don’t see any show stoppers.”
She also said she liked that the development was close to public transit and services.
Staff and the proponent will consider the feedback and present an updated proposal for second reading at a later date that has yet to be determined.
The District currently has 81 in-progress or new development applications or rezoning applications, ranging from accessory dwelling units to large mixed-use buildings.
***Updated Oct. 22 to correct the name of the proponent. The District told The Chief the name of the developer was Timeless Developments. However, that company has since changed its name to Hunter Place Developments.