29-storey Burquitlam tower heads to hearing despite falling short

Highrise proposal comes up short on parking, council concerned developer's offer to make up for it still not enough

A 29-storey tower proposed for Burquitlam not only comes up short in providing the required parking spaces, but city councillors think its offer to make up for it does too.

Ledingham McAllister plans to build the 251-unit, highrise at 520 Cottonwood Ave on the southeast corner of Whiting Way. It would replace an existing three-storey condominium building.

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Plans call for the four levels of underground parking to have 310 spaces, although the city requires 330. To make up for being 20 spaces short, the developer is proposing to provide transit passes valued at $340,000 and $60,000 as payment in-lieu.

But Coun. Craig Hodge commented at Monday night’s council meeting that council is consistently told by developers a parking space costs between $50,000 and $60,000 which value the 20 spots at $1 million or more. “So why so low?” he asked.

“Seems rather light in terms of the market,” said Coun. Dennis Marsden.

In addition, Couns. Chris Wilson and Trish Mandewo wondered why no child care space was included. Wilson pointed out its the fourth tower going up in the area.

“I’m hoping that pretty soon we figure out our whole daycare issue and strategy and that’s something to keep in mind for this area,” said Wilson.

Manager of planning and development Jim McIntyre said another application for a larger project just east of the site that might be more appropriate for a daycare, but “we’re not blind to that need.”

Despite the concerns, council approved going ahead with a public hearing for the rezoning application.

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