Drawings of the proposed apartment complex by Vivid Green Architecture.

Drawings of the proposed apartment complex by Vivid Green Architecture.

Council rejects large apartment complex proposal, after public hearing brings out fierce opposition

Application ‘checks every box,’ but councillors agree neighbourhood needs local area plan

Council’s prediction on how a single-family neighbourhood would react to a massive development proposal turned out to be correct.

A public hearing on March 22 brought out many voices in fierce opposition to the application, which sought approval on a three-building, 152-unit complex situated on the 33000 block of 10th Avenue and the 7700 block of Stave Lake Street. There was a petition with 175 signatures, and 24 letters submitted urging the council to reject the application.

“We certainly have a way to go to see newer development in this area,” said Coun. Danny Plecas. “I do understand the frustration when people are imposed upon with big developments like this. It seems kind of awkward and out of place, and I believe it is out of place.”

Council voted against the application unanimously, but acknowledged the proposal “checks all the boxes” in the OCP guidelines. They’ve asked staff to prepare an update on their current planning initiatives for local area plans in Mission.

Neighbours’ concerns included traffic increases and safety; the building’s height, location, architecture, and density; parking and infrastructure; a lack of consultation; environmental threats to a fish-bearing stream; property values decreasing; changing the character of the neighbourhood; and local schools already operating at capacity.

The petition was organized by Pascale-Sara Frenette, who lives several doors down from the development. She said that they want a concrete area plan for their neighbourhood.

“We understand and accept that changes and development is happening, however we want to have a say in what is happening in our backyard,” Frenette said. “Work with us on building objectives and strategies and standards, so future developments in this area will be a benefit to all and not a dysfunctional patchwork.”

She said if developers want to build projects in their family oriented area, council needs to ensure they invest in modernizing the roads, which currently lack adequate sidewalks, street lamps, traffic lights and crosswalks.

Several speakers said they’d received very little (or no) details on the project until the beginning of March, with some saying they thought the land would be developed into townhouses.

Terry Fabretti said the six-storey tower will face directly towards his property, describing it as an “eyesore.” He said they moved to the area from Langley six years ago to escape this type of development.

He added there is already heavy traffic using 10th Avenue to turn left on Dunsmuir Street, and increasing that traffic was “an accident waiting to happen.”

Christopher Ross, who represented the group behind the development, said neighbourhood changes are always controversial and emotional.

“When people look at long-time visions of where they have lived, where they’ve grown up, or where they spent some time – whether they’ve been there 25 years or two years – they’re resistant to change,” he said.

When the group bought the property in 2017, part of its appeal was the close proximity to three schools, the theatre, the satellite University, a daycare center, Heritage Park and retail shopping, according to Ross.

“This is where you would normally want densified populations to go,” he said.

While he conceded there are legitimate traffic and parking concerns, he said these are challenges all over the Lower Mainland, adding the application had 25 parking stalls over the requirement and they had conducted a traffic-impact study.

Councillors were in agreement the neighbourhood needs a local area plan to avoid future conflicts, as there are several large parcels of land in the area planned for development in the future. Coun. Plecas and Coun. Carol Hamilton also expressed a desire for a traffic study along Dunsmuir Street.

Other developments of similar scale received almost no negative feedback, said Coun. Mark Davies, giving the example of the six-building complex on 7th Avenue and Hurd. He said it’s because locals knew what to expect, while this development “came a bit out of the blue.”


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Westbound Highway 1 traffic near Herrling Island is backed up a long way following a vehicle incident. (Photo/Trish Dunbar)
Pedestrian killed in crash near Agassiz

Woman in her 50s struck by moving van

Students in the March 2020 Environmental Mind Grind, which was held at Sevenoaks Shopping Centre before COVID-19 restrictions were put into place. This year’s event is being held virtually. (Submitted photo)
Environmental Mind Grind goes virtual for first time

Event open to Abbotsford and Mission students in Grades 6 to 12

The Abbotsford Centre has the ability to host AHL level games if the Vancouver Canucks or any other NHL team chose to move its affiliate to the arena. (File photo)
Abbotsford Centre ready for AHL if right opportunity presents itself

Building recently upgraded glass and boards, schedule would allow for AHL tenant

In 2012, police in Abbotsford placed surveillance cameras near the Dhaliwal home in the 2500 block of Bradner Road after there were two drive-by shootings in the area. Harb Dhaliwal, 31, has now been identified as the victim of a fatal shooting April 17 in Vancouver. (Abbotsford News file photo)
Abbotsford man named as victim of fatal weekend shooting in Vancouver

Harpreet Dhaliwal, 31, killed outside of Cardero’s restaurant in Coal Harbour

B.C. Agriculture in the Classroom is offering free school tours of The Pencil Patch learning garden in Abbotsford in April, May and June.
Agriculture in the Classroom offers free school tours at learning garden

The Pencil Patch in Abbotsford provides 15 outdoor learning stations

In this image from NASA, NASA’s experimental Mars helicopter Ingenuity lands on the surface of Mars Monday, April 19, 2021. The little 4-pound helicopter rose from the dusty red surface into the thin Martian air Monday, achieving the first powered, controlled flight on another planet. (NASA via AP)
VIDEO: NASA’s Mars helicopter takes flight, 1st for another planet

The $85 million helicopter demo was considered high risk, yet high reward

A man has died after being shot at Coquitlam’s Town Centre Park the evening of Monday, April 19. (Twitter/IHIT)
1 man dead after shooting at Coquitlam park: IHIT

The gunman is still at large, according to the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team

Dr. Bonnie Henry gives her daily media briefing regarding Covid-19 for the province of British Columbia in Victoria, B.C, Monday, December 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Toddler marks youngest British Columbian to die related to COVID-19

Child one of eight people to die from virus this weekend

Families of two of three workers killed in a train derailment near Field, B.C., in 2019 have filed lawsuits accusing Canadian Pacific of gross negligence. The derailment sent 99 grain cars and two locomotives off the tracks. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Families of workers killed in Field train derailment allege negligence in lawsuit

Lawsuits allege the workers weren’t provided a safe work environment

(New Westminster Police)
4 youth arrested after 30-person brawl in New Westminster leaves 1 seriously injured

Police are looking for witnesses who saw the incident take place

South Surrey’s Paul Cottrell, who works with the DFO, tows a grey whale out of Semiahmoo Bay Sunday. (Contributed photo)
Dead whale floating near White Rock towed to shore for necropsy

Animal has been dead since at least April 15

Sunday’s storm rocked one of the ferries crossing Kootenay Lake. Photo: Dirk Jonker
VIDEO: Storm makes for wild ferry ride across Kootenay Lake

The video was captured by ferry employee Dirk Jonker

Chakalaka Bar & Grill remains open in defiance of orders from Island Health to close. (Cole Schisler photo)
B.C. health authority seeks injunction against restaurant defying COVID-19 orders

Chakalaka Bar and Grill plans to continue serving customers without public health compliance

Most Read