District of Squamish council members have provided feedback on a six-storey, mixed-use development proposed for downtown on Cleveland Avenue.
The development would be located at 38123 Cleveland Ave., current home of the Corsa Cycles building, and the adjacent parking lot that extends to Winnipeg Street.
Stephane Laroye Architect Inc. (SLA) is the applicant and Anxin Projects Ltd. is the developer behind the project.
At the committee of the whole meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 14, council unanimously voted to receive the report and for staff to resolve any comments before potential consideration of future readings for the rezoning application.
Currently proposed is a 22.5-metre tall, six-storey building with upper-level setbacks to help keep viewscapes intact. A total of 46 residential units are proposed, 34 of which are one-bedroom or one-bedroom plus den. Seven of the one-bedroom units will be earmarked as affordable rental units to be held onto by the developer.
About 35% is proposed as employment space on the ground level and a public plaza amenity is proposed near the corner of Winnipeg Street and Cleveland Avenue.
A large parking variance is proposed with only five commercial spots and a community amenity contribution for nine others, instead of the required 34. There are 46 spots for the 46 residential units proposed. There are 13 commercial-use bike parking spots proposed, although only four are required.
Municipal planner Jessie Fletcher, and the senior director of community development, Jonas Velaniskis, noted the parking variance was based on the project taking on the additional viewscape setback, which is in discussion as a policy for the District but not yet actual policy.
However, both the commercial parking and the residential unit mix were points of emphasis for council members.
A number of council members sought more clarity on the parking, as several counted more spots than indicated in the package. Moreover, Coun. Eric Andersen said the employment space would draw people to the area, so commercial parking was a necessity.
“Folks, this creates commercial parking demand. There's no two ways about it … so I am not in favour of the parking variance,” he said.
Coun. Lauren Greenlaw also had concerns about the parking situation.
“Currently, the site hosts about 40 parking spots,” she said. “To have that reduced to five spaces … I see that as being problematic.”
Additionally, a few council members spoke about a desire for more variety among the residential units in the project. Coun. Jenna Stoner noted the proposed number of three-bedroom units is short of the District’s desired 20%. The District report shows that 13% of the units are three-bedroom.
“I would be okay if there were more two bedrooms to be a little bit more lenient on the three-bedroom piece, but those more family-style units I think need to be increased,” she said.
Among the affordable units, which are all one-bedroom units, Mayor Armand Hurford suggested that perhaps the proponents can keep the same total square footage for the affordable units, but adjust the styles to add variety.
Other components suggested by council members included potentially the addition of public art, ensuring laneways were inviting for pedestrian use and adding a no-gas covenant.
View the proposed project and District report online through council’s committee of the whole agenda from Nov. 14.