The Sunshine Coast Affordable Housing Society’s efforts to build new rental apartments on Shaw Road in partnership with the Town of Gibsons is moving on to public hearing after getting unanimous support at the Sept. 3 council meeting.
The project, which also involves New Commons Development, would see a first phase of 40 units built on the Town-owned property at 571 Shaw Rd., adjacent to Christenson Village. A second phase would add 30 units.
The plans also call for setting aside half of the 1.56-hectare lot for “future community use or park.”
The housing society needs both zoning and Official Community Plan amendments to go forward with the project.
Director of planning Lesley-Anne Staats told council that comments received during a recent open house were about 76 per cent in favour of the project.
Coun. Annemarie De Andrade said she’d like council to consider a covenant or other agreement that would ensure a proportion of the units are earmarked for seniors. Planning staff said that and other details could be negotiated at the development permit stage if the project goes on to win approval after the public hearing.
An earlier version of the proposal had the building going on another piece of Town-owned property in the same neighbourhood known as the Charman Creek Lands. That idea met with opposition from community members who want the green space preserved. There’s now a petition underway to convince the Town to designate the area as a park.
The public hearing date for the Shaw Road project will be Sept. 19 at 6 p.m. at High Beam Dreams in Gibsons.