Wren Street development heads to public hearing

Residents have the chance to share their views on the project proposed for Wren Street and and Lougheed Highway

A mixed commercial and residential development that has waited nearly three years for environmental approval is coming to public hearing April 16.

The Wren Street and Lougheed Highway site is across from the Mission Springs Pub and the new Smart Centre.

The commercial component proposed is roughly 9.3 ha (23 acres) and may accommodate, at a minimum, 310,000 square feet of commercial space, while the residential portion will be up to 150 units. This would result in $422,250 in fees from the Community Amenity Contribution.

Development cost charges (DCCs) are expected to generate $1.33 million for the commercial component and $125,000 for the residential.

The developers, Carhoun and Sons Enterprises Ltd., are submitting the application under the comprehensive development zone to allow for a broad range of businesses and services, which includes a maximum of two drive-thru restaurants.

Although new drive-thrus are not technically permitted under the district’s own bylaws, a previous application for a commercial development at Cedar Street and Lougheed Highway was approved in November under the comprehensive development zone to include two drive-thrus.

Two previous petitions have been forwarded to council in the past opposing drive-thru restaurants, including a 794-signature petition last May.

Carhoun’s application, which was held up for several years while undergoing environmental approval, has offered several mitigation measures which have been acknowledged by government agencies, including the purchase of the nearby Sun Valley Trout Park, which will be converted into a fish habitat preserve.

The park may also be gifted to the district for use in the Parks, Trails and Bicycle Master Plan and is part of the development cost charges program for acquisition by the Silver Creek Parkway program.

As of now, roughly two acres of floodplain in the western portion of the property adjacent to the 112-acre Silverdale wetlands will likely remain untouched, as the district has requested developers not put a storm detention pond there as planned.

The development first went before a public input session on Aug. 24, 2009, where it was determined approval would be required from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

According to a report published by the district’s economic development officer, Stacey Crawford, the development is anticipated to generate 1,030 new jobs, reducing Mission’s commuter workforce and increasing the local labour force by 11.3 per cent.

The report also says that based on the commercial square footage estimates, the development could provide $386,100 per year in new property taxes, and a combined potential tax revenue of $1.38 million, or 3.9 per cent of the total tax revenue collected by the district in 2011.

The public hearing will take place April 16 in council chambers at municipal hall at 6:30 p.m.