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Burnaby council pulls demoviction proposals from public hearing

Councillor wants developers to try to include non-market housing
public hearing
On the agenda at a public hearing Tuesday night was an application by the IBI Group to redevelop four addresses in the Metrotown area, 6695 Dunblane Ave., and 4909, 4929, and 4971 Imperial Street into a 36-storey apartment building.

Burnaby city council pulled two rezoning proposals from the docket of a public hearing less than 24 hours before they were set to go up for discussion.

At a council meeting Monday evening, Coun. Colleen Jordan made a motion for the two proposals — a 34-storey high-rise on Barker Avenue and a 24-storey building on Marlborough Avenue — to be rescinded from the next evening’s public hearing.

The proposals will be sent back to staff, who will ask the developers to explore the possibility of including non-market rental units as part of their plans.

Jordan has previously asked for other Metrotown rezoning applications to go through the same process. 

She said pulling the items from the next day’s hearing was not a reaction to a planned rally set to precede Tuesday’s hearing. Rally organizers said they expected dozens of people to come voice opposition to the proposals that would see dozens of units in low-rise apartment buildings razed to make room for the new towers.

“There's been rallies since last July,” Jordan told the Now following the meeting. “Every public hearing that had anything to do with Metrotown, there's been a rally.”

Jordan said the Marlborough and Barker proposals passed first reading and were scheduled for Tuesday’s hearing in May, before it became clear to Burnaby council that they could ask more of developers. She said her council has been asking developers to explore affordable housing options now that more help has become available from the NDP government in Victoria.

Jordan was asked how she expects people to react to the items being pulled at such short notice.

“The developer is probably not going to be happy and the people that were planning on coming and making speeches tomorrow, maybe they'll be happy or not, I don't know,” she said. “Hopefully they'll be happy that what we're trying to do is get more non-market housing.”

Tuesday’s public hearing will still go ahead at 7 p.m. at city hall, with five other items on the agenda. Those include rezoning for a new five-storey building on the site of the old legion hall on Hastings Street, a 27-storey apartment building in Brentwood that would replace an aging industrial building on Alpha Avenue and a new single-family home.