Skip to content

‘Wrong location’: Opposition mounts to Burnaby rental towers pitched by union

Residents says the area can't handle this many new residents, putting a strain on parking and traffic.

A proposal for a new office building mixed with a child-care centre and two towers of rental housing is seeing mounting opposition from its Burnaby neighbours.

Katy Alkins-Jang, a resident in Burnaby’s Royal Oak community, has put together a petition opposing a proposal that would see the BCGEU build its new offices on Palm Avenue, as well as 20- and 15-storey towers with 292 units of housing. At least half of the units would be at below-market rental prices.

The petition says: “We the citizens of Royal Oak are residents and believe this proposed development is in the wrong location, and will have significant impacts on traffic, parking and pressure on school and community recreation facilities. We are calling upon the City of Burnaby to engage in broad consultation with our community before amending the Community Plan.”

She also is “concerned about the number of rezoning applications that the City of Burnaby is working on right now.”

Alkins-Jang is planning on addressing council soon.

Alkins-Jang has lived in the Royal Oak area for over 33 years. She and her husband have been on multiple community boards throughout the years. Alkins-Jang felt compelled to publish a petition to garner support from others who live in the area who are also against the development.

One of the petition supporters, Peter Then, wrote: “I'm signing because our residential area is way over-congested with traffic resulting in unsafe conditions for the many nearby daycares, elementary schools, and young children living around these areas. A lot of the time, I've problems parking my own car on the street. These are just a couple of many congestion problems we face today. We cannot afford to accommodate more population in our area.”

Paul Finch, who is the BCGEU treasurer, told the NOW that the union will work with the community on the project. He also touted the benefits to the community by offering more affordable housing during the current crisis.

“Well, we're very proud of this project and the level of affordability that it's providing,” Finch said. “We've worked very hard with the Burnaby planning department to make sure that we're addressing all of the normal issues that come whenever you're doing a project in a city. We're very confident that we've done the necessary traffic studies, and we're very confident that this is not going to in any way negatively impact the loads on that adjacent public infrastructure.”