A proposed 37-storey apartment tower, with three-storey townhouses, across from Central Park passed second reading at Monday night's council meeting.
Residents in nearby buildings, including the Parkcrest on Patterson Avenue and The Metropolitan on Olive Avenue, are protesting the move.
Patrick Julien, a resident of The Metropolitan, said that he and a group of residents are exploring their legal options.
Julien was particularly concerned about a portion of the Barker Avenue cul de sac bulb, which he said residents would like to purchase if it is up for sale by the city. The section is included in Polygon Developments' proposal for the site.
"Logically, if the city wants to dispose of some property, it should, according to the Municipal Act, (be available for) the adjoining property owners for consolidation," he said.
Julien has been speaking with lawyers at Baker and Baker, a municipal and administrative law firm in Vancouver, about the planned development and residents' options for stopping it.
"There's no obvious benefit to the City of Burnaby," he said of the development. "There's no benefit whatsoever to the people that live around here."
The city's acting director of planning and building, Lou Pelletier, spoke to the issue of the cul de sac at the council meeting.
He said that, as the street will still be accessible to the public, it is merely the rightof-way that is being sold to Polygon, and the city has the right to do that according to the Community Charter.
Pelletier presented a report to council on the public hearing for the developments' rezoning application for the development.
The proposed development site is comprised of eight lots along Patterson and Barker avenues.
The Barker Avenue properties currently have singlefamily homes on them, and the Patterson Avenue lots are occupied by two twostorey apartment buildings with 16 rental units in total.
The development proposal includes 242 apartments; a communal lounge, meeting room and gym for residents, located on the ground floor of the tower; landscaped boulevards and trees along Patterson Avenue; and a central garden with a public art installation and a play area.
The proposal includes 80,944 square feet of additional floor space in exchange for an estimated $7.5 million cash-in-lieu contribution to the city's community amenity bonus fund. The report addressed some of the concerns brought forward by residents, including consistency with the neighbourhood plan; the building's height and density; impact on traffic; privacy; view and property value issues; the possibility of increased crime; and pedestrian and child safety. The report found that the proposal falls within the Metrotown Town Centre Development Plan, and staff supported the application.
Malcolm Cant, a resident of the Parkcrest condominium building, said he felt the move to approve the development was unduly influenced by the cash-inlieu contribution to the city for a new community amenities centre.
"Where I come from, this would be called a bribe, nothing more and nothing less," he wrote in an email to the NOW. "If Burnaby council approves this proposal, then they will have sold their souls - nothing less and nothing more.
Jane Gottschlag, secretary of the Parkcrest strata council, said on Monday that she hopes the money doesn't go to a large community centre in Central Park, as the neighbourhood will need the green space for all the new and current residents.
"We're hoping the money is not just for a building built in Central Park," she said. "The city said they would not, they said they would develop Central Park into a more family-oriented community area.
"It's really important that they make that an open area, so people really get to know one another," Gottschlag added.
She said she is disappointed that council did not listen to her and other residents' concerns about the height of the development, and worries it will open up the neighbourhood of low-to mid-rise buildings to more highrises.
"Thirty-seven (storeys) to me is a real black eye to the residents of Burnaby who truly went there to voice their opinions on behalf of everyone in the area," she said. "It'll look like a sore thumb in that area. It's higher than everything else."