City council decides Tuesday whether a controversial housing project for Aberdeen should get a second public hearing after the first one drew more than 50 people and lasted more than three hours.
Proponent Craftsman Ventures has scaled down its plans to build duplexes and an apartment building on a 2.2-hectare parcel between some single-family homes and Aberdeen elementary school.
The land was owned by a church and zoned for its use, but never developed. The church sold it to Craftsman, which is seeking rezoning for its multi-family housing project.
The proposal originally called for 64 units in total, but that’s been scaled back to 58 units. The original 17 visitor parking stalls have been expanded to 24.
As well, the buffer zone between the duplexes and the nearest homes has been widened from eight metres to between 29 and 50 metres.
City community development manager Randy Lambright said Friday staff are recommending the proposal go to another public hearing. But staff also recommended approval of the original plan because it creates in-fill rather than sprawl.
“We supported the original rezoning for 64 units, this scales it back a bit,” he said.
“We believe it addresses some of the concerns raised by the neighbourhood and by council. They’ve increased some parking stalls, they’ve addressed storm drainage.”
In May, the proposal went to a public hearing attended by more than 50 people who explained their concerns to council for more than three hours. Council turned down the rezoning.
In June, Craftsman president Bill Hatswell presented modifications he made to his plan to appease some of those concerns. Council voted to allow an appeal of his revamped proposal.
Whether that gets another public hearing will be determined Tuesday.
Lambright said the shadow impacts of the altered plan pulls the taller buildings back from the houses that are downhill from the project property.
“They’ve indicated by pulling it back and removing or relocating some of the units, it would be no different than some of the trees on the site now casting shadows,” he said.
The one issue that hasn’t been addressed that some in the neighbourhood brought up was access/egress. Neighbours wanted it moved further off the northwest property line, but that couldn’t be done without possibly reducing the number of units even more.