The Telus Living application for a 60-unit residential building with commercial space on Inlet Avenue received positive reviews from council at its Sept. 8 meeting.
Coun. Tom Lamb said, “This is awesome… Thumbs up,” in reaction to the presentation by the project development team.
Council asked staff to prepare draft enabling bylaws for the changes needed to morph the Cozy Court Motel property and the adjacent Telus utility service building site into the new development. Those bylaws will be presented to council for first reading at a future meeting and circulated for agency referrals.
In the presentation, Angela Letman, representing Omicron AEC, Telus’s development partner, identified the need for rental housing on the Coast as “extreme.”
Council members agreed and, in discussing adding more homes to its downtown core, noted the need for improved “walkability.” For this project, it expressed the need for sidewalk improvements along Inlet Avenue between Cowrie and Dolphin streets. Staff noted that the municipality has applied for but not received approval of a $717,000 federal grant to do this work.
No sidewalks were shown on the application’s preliminary drawings. Andrew Allen, director of planning, reminded council that the evening’s discussion was “a preliminary introduction of the rezoning file… We will move forward through the discussion of the offsite servicing in more detail and get into development permit and service agreement and so forth, should [the rezoning process] continue.”
Commenting on the meeting proceedings, Telus public relations manager Liz Sauvé wrote in an email to Coast Reporter: “We are still in the early days of securing the proper approvals and support for this project and will have more information to share as it proceeds. As a next step, we look forward to engaging with residents and businesses at a public information meeting that will be held later this fall.”
Walkability was also raised as council moved the 28-unit rental apartment proposal from Ebbtide Developments through second reading and to the public hearing stage at the meeting.
Coun. Matt McLean said the site of the proposed building on Ebbtide Street, between Hightide and Wharf avenues, could benefit from 100 feet of sidewalk to create a pedestrian connection to the Wharf intersection.
Planner Sven Koberwitz explained that amenity was not included in the proposed rezoning bylaw, as it extends beyond the site that is being rezoned and would be considered excess works for the developer.
Citing the urgent need for more rental accommodation, council opted to move forward with the proposal rather than send the bylaw back for further negotiations. It asked staff to work with the developer on options to have the sidewalk completed with the development.