Traffic and the condition of the alley bordering a proposed eight-unit rental complex on Shuswap Street were the main concerns raised at a recent hearing.
Council received about five responses for the May 24 hearing which considered design of two four-plex buildings to go up at 130 Shuswap St. SE.
Rosemary Muto spoke first on behalf of owner Muto Holdings Ltd. She said the units are each 800 square feet – 400 sq.ft. on the main floor and 400 sq.ft. upstairs.
“We’ve spent a lot of time on our design, thinking about what might be suitable for a rental market that could accommodate families and non-families, storage and all that sort of stuff that allows for comfortable city living.”
Changes have been made since the initial design. A total of 10 units was reduced to eight in order to accommodate the required 10 parking spaces. Gables were changed to make the complex more attractive where it fronts onto Shuswap Street.
“The landscape design is perhaps a bit sparse, but that’s because we wanted to consider keeping the older growth trees on the perimeter of the property,” she said. “So we’re committed to doing that as much as our contractor will allow it and it should be a real possibility to keep the old-growth trees there as part of the landscape.”
Neighbours who provided input, either in person or via letter, expressed concerns mostly about the alleyway, such as too much traffic, and a wish for more width as well as repaving of rough surfaces. More lighting for the alley was another request.
One neighbour said he had just one concern – whether the roots of an older maple tree that sits on his property will be disturbed during construction, because much of the root structure is on the lot where the four-plexes will go.
Muto said the buildings will be as close to Shuswap Street as possible, but she wasn’t certain about that particular tree without a detailed map.
“We’ll certainly advise our contractor to take care around the roots of the tree.”
Asked about the alley, city staff said there might be work done on the lane, but that would be later. He said lanes are typically an asphalt path about 7.5 metres wide.
Council voted unanimously to approve the development permit application, after pointing to benefits such as the intention to save older-growth trees and providing rental units so close to downtown.
Coun. Tim Lavery suggested the property line be clearly flagged, and Mayor Alan Harrison said concerns have been raised about the pavement in front of the property. He said if servicing for the development doesn’t require replacing the pavement, the city may have to give attention to it.
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