A proposed 188-unit development on Nicholson Road will be going to public hearing, after council voted it give it first and second reading on Monday (Dec. 17).
Scott and Nicholson, the two-building development at 6950 Nicholson Road, was introduced to Deltans at a public information meeting in early December. The six-storey buildings would feature a number of one- and two-bedroom units, and six townhouses would be incorporated into the western side of the complex.
The development was designed with a contemporary aesthetic common in many Lower Mainland developments: articulated roof lines with a primarily vertical design featuring wood and stone accents. Coun. Lois Jackson said she was “biased” when it came to the “boxy construction.”
“This box-type building I don’t think has, with all due respect to the architects, not that many redeeming qualities,” Jackson said during council. She hoped it would be possible to work with the developers to change the design of the building, as had been done with the Chelsea Gate townhouse development on 72nd Avenue at 112th Street.
That development, featuring 60 units, went through design changes recommended by council before its public hearing. In that case, council had asked the developer increase the amount of brick used, as well as add mixed Tudor elements and break up the roof line by lowering the roof on every second unit. They also added planter boxes to the homes.
“I’ve heard people say how lovely it looks,” Jackson said about Chelsea Gate. “Sometimes that is a huge key to your community, is what you’re identified with as far as the buildings are concerned.”
Traffic was another issue brought up during Monday’s council meeting. This concern had also been prevalent at the public information meeting.
Coun. Alicia Guichon asked about the strain the development would put on the road network, especially as there is only one entrance and exit to the development, coming off Nicholson Road south of 70th Avenue. Director of Community Planning and Development Marcy Sangret said that would likely change in the future.
“We anticipate this entire block would develop in the future,” she told council Monday. Right now, there is a vacant lot in front of the proposed Scott and Nicholson site that belongs to a different owner, and Sangret said the city would look at securing a right-of-way so there would be public access to Scott and Nicholson directly from 70th Avenue.
The future development potential of the area was also discussed in regards to the Scott Road incentive program, which was put forward to bring in more high-density developments. The Scott and Nicholson proposal didn’t qualify for the incentive program because it was only six-storeys.
“What we’re trying to do is promote more housing due to the housing shortage,” Mayor George Harvie said. “Certainly this will fit to provide more supply.”
Director of Corporate Services Sean McGill said staff are looking at redefining the incentive program, as the bylaw was put forward in 2012. Although he doesn’t know exactly what any changes would look like at this time, McGill said more information on any proposed changes would be brought forward at the next council meeting.
The Scott and Nicholson development proposal will now go to a public hearing sometime in the new year.