An affordable housing project in downtown New Westminster has cleared a hurdle at city hall.
As part of the work needed to prepare the site at 43 Hastings St. for an affordable housing project, the city considered an application to rezone the adjacent unzoned road allowance so it could be consolidated with the existing development lot.
“This project will include one two-storey building with three units on the ground floor and three units on the second floor,” said planning analyst Julia Dugaro. “The proposal includes affordable rental units.”
The Community Living Society, in partnership with a non-profit development manager, will develop the site, which will include three units for people with developmental disabilities and three for low-income families.
A staff report stated that the unused road right of way hasn’t been developed as a road and is deemed to be surplus to the city’s transportation needs. It’s located north of the entrance to the Pattullo Bridge.
An area resident who attended the March 28 public hearing asked whether the road would be widened as part of the project.
“This street is a very low-volume local street,” said Jim Lowrie, the city’s director of engineering. “We do not anticipate widening the street. However, as a condition of development, there will be a sidewalk installed on the east side of that street.”
Royal Columbian Hospital expansion on track
The city is getting a look at plans for the new mental health and substance use building at Royal Columbian Hospital.
Fraser Health has submitted design drawings to the city for the first phase of the Royal Columbian Hospital redevelopment, which will include a mental health and substance use building and energy centre. The proposal doesn’t require a development permit, but a development variance permit is required for the front yard setback as the building will be 3.95 metres and the zoning requires it to be 7.62 metres.
Council will consider a resolution to issue the development variance permit on April 24. Phase one of the project includes a new 75-bed mental health and substance use building, an energy centre, tunnels and bridge connections to the existing hospital, and three-and-a-half levels of underground parking that will provide more than 400 parking stalls.
House design rejected
A two-car garage has stalled plans for a new house in the Queen’s Park neighbourhood.
The owner of 328 Second St. has submitted an application to the city to build a new house at 328 Second St. The design includes a two-car garage as part of the front façade – a design that’s opposed by the community heritage commission and city staff.
Council rejected a heritage alteration permit and the prosed house design and directed staff to advise the applicant to revisit the configuration of the garage and driveway materials being proposed. Mayor Jonathan Cote recused himself from the discussion, as he’s temporarily renting the home.
Float gets funds
The Hyack Festival Association will recycle funds earmarked for a bicycle race into its 2017 float.
Council has agreed to approve reallocation of the association’s 2017 festival grant funding, minus in-kind services needed for the prosed Hyack Grand Prix, to the design of the float. In November, the city approved $2,800 cash and $14,000 in in-kind city services for the 2017 Hyack Grand Prix so the association had time to plan the event.
Because Hyack isn’t proceeding with the cycling event, it asked that the funds be redirected to its float. Hyack’s 2017 float will have a theme of First Nations. First Cities: Telling Our Story. Together.
Poetry in motion
It’s official - Candice James has been awarded the title of poet laureate emerita and the city has named its new poet laureate.
On Feb. 6, city council appointed Alan Hill as the City of New Westminster’s poet laureate for 2017 to 2020. Hill was one of six people considered for the position.
“The jury unanimously recommended Alan Hill for the positon of poet laureate, noting his robust publication history and proposed outreach program,” said a staff report. “Mr. Hill is a resident of New Westminster and a longtime activator of the local literary scene.”
James served as the City of New Westminster’s poet laureate from 2010 to 2016. The city’s arts commission recommended council support the title of poet laureate emerita for her “exemplary” service to the community and her contributions to the literary arts. Council endorsed the recommendation at a closed council meeting on Nov. 7 and made the news official in January.