The vote was unanimous approval. Monday night’s discussion, however, contained a faint note of disapproval.
At issue were two apartment buildings, seven and six storeys, at 608 Regan Avenue. Consisting of 116 market rental units, the project is intended to be part of a density transfer.
That transfer involves development company Qualex-Landmark putting extra rental on Regan Avenue in exchange for being allowed to put more strata density on a future project earmarked for the Oakdale neighbourhood.
Noting that a similar project in the same neighbourhood included 39 below-market units, Coun. Chris Wilson asked city staff why there weren’t any below-market units at Regan Avenue.
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“This is a real benefit to the developer,” he said. “I would expect that in return they provide the maximum amount of below-market and non-market housing. . . Hopefully they’re listening.”
Staff is working with Qualex-Landmark to see if more below-market units can be put in their Oakdale project, according to Coquitlam’s director of development services Andrew Merrill.
“To date, they haven’t gone beyond the minimum,” Merrill said. “Staff have been asking the applicant to step up and propose something larger to account for account for [meeting the minimum standard].”
Both Couns. Trish Mandewo and Brent Asmundson echoed Wilson’s comments.
“I’ll move this through,” Asmundson said.
However, Asmundson emphasized the importance of the city getting below-market rentals from Qualex-Landmark.
“I think with the comments by council tonight, I think you’ve got a message to take back to them,” Asmundson said.
“A simple transfer of one-to-one is probably not what we’re looking for,” Mayor Richard Stewart added.
- Studio and one-bedroom units: 76
- Two-bedroom units: 28
- Three-bedroom units: 12
Also on the docket for Burquitlam
Council also approved a six-storey, 126-unit rental project that stretches over five lots at Smith Avenue and Dogwood Street.
The project consists of 87 market rental units and 39 units which are set to be rented at 20 percent below market rents.
Marcon development company is planning to concentrate rental density at Smith and Dogwood in exchange for being allowed to place more strata density at a nearby tower development on Elmwood Street and Como Lake Avenue.
Both the Regan Avenue and the Smith Avenue-Dogwood Street projects require a final vote before construction can begin.