Plans for a 38-storey tower and three-storey townhouses on two properties on Nelson Avenue are going ahead despite a handful of concerns brought forward by area residents.
The rezoning application, put forward by developer Concord Pacific, went to second reading at Monday night's council meeting. The primary concerns regarding the properties at 6530 and 6550 Nelson Ave. focused on the density and shape of the building, loss of the rental housing currently on the two properties, vehicle access and traffic safety, and construction impacts, according to a report from the city's planning and building department.
The concerns are related to the proposed density and shape of the building related to the amenity density bonus, and the form of the building in relationship to the neighbourhood, the report stated.
The development plan is consistent with council's policies on density and the plan for the Metrotown area, Lou Pelletier, director of building and planning, stated in the report, and the value of the amenity bonus would be $9.5 million.
Residents were also concerned about the loss of one 19-unit low-rise and one 57unit low-rise rental apartment building on the properties.
"While no purpose-built rental units are proposed for the subject development, a percentage of the units within the proposed building will likely be allocated for market rental use," the report stated, adding within apartment towers, 15 to 17 per cent of units are usually rented out.
The report also addressed the issue of housing affordability in Burnaby and listed a number of actions the city has taken to deal with the problem. The proximity to Lobley Park and neighbouring buildings was worrisome to some residents, particularly regarding trees and nearby creeks.
However, the developer did hire an arborist to establish a tree protection and removal plan, the report stated, and engineers would be required to certify the structure.
Regarding traffic concerns and vehicular access, the report stated that access to the development site on Dunblane Avenue and Grimmer Street was the best option, and engineering staff would review the access plan.
The report also stated that the 312-unit development would not generate significant traffic and parking impacts in the area.
And finally, the report addressed concerns about the impact of construction on the neighbourhood, stating developers are not required to provide compensation for such impacts - in response to one resident - but do have to comply with Burnaby's noise bylaw and sediment control requirements.
The development would provide benefits to the area, the report added, as the developer is pursuing Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) - silver standard designation for the building, and the development will upgrade utilities in the area.
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