Mission council grants third reading to Tunbridge townhome proposal

Speakers at public hearing voice concerns, say project will ‘stick out like an eyesore’

A proposed townhouse project has taken another step forward after a public hearing on Monday night.

While almost all of the people at the hearing spoke against the proposal, Mission council granted third reading to a zoning request needed to move the project along.

The proposed project is a 27-unit, three-storey townhouse development located at 32970 Tunbridge Ave. in the Cedar Valley community.

The property is approximately 1.53 acres in size and is located on the south side of Tunbridge Avenue, west of Parker Court and Nottman Street.

According to a staff report, a creek channel that runs north-south across the site will be eliminated in conjunction with the proposed Gaudin Creek ‘C’ realignment project.

Speakers raised many concerns, ranging from loss of greenspace and an increase in density to traffic, parking and safety concerns.

“Part of the appeal of Mission is you can sit at home in your backyard and feel like you are out of town; you don’t feel like you’re in town,” said one speaker.

One of the concerns is the proposal involves three-storey townhomes while the rest of the area is primarily two-storey homes.

“That’s, for us, going to stick out like an eyesore,” said an area resident.

As people spoke against the project, many in the audience applauded the comment, something Mayor Pam Alexis quickly put a stop to.

“Council is not a theatre and so we don’t permit hand clapping in council chambers. So there will be no further clapping.”

Some people appeared displeased by the mayor’s comments

Michael Alderking, a resident of Boothby Avenue, spoke about it.

“I want to urge everybody here – everybody here who clapped and was silenced – to come up and just say, ‘I oppose’ … We should not be silenced in our own council room.”

Alexis said the public is not being silenced; rather that clapping is not “part of the procedure of a public hearing.”

Alderking continued speaking, noting he was opposed to the project. He told council that Tunbridge was a dangerous road to walk on.

He also said there was not enough notice given to area residents regarding the public hearing.

“You’re not in support of me; you’re in support of the developer. You’re in support of pushing something through that we’re not happy with,” Alderking said.

Staff said the surrounding residents of the area were given notice as required.

After the public hearing, council debated and voted to grant third reading to the requested zoning change for the proposal.

Coun. Jag Gill said he felt for the parents who had children enjoying the green space, but it is still owned by someone else.

“It’s somebody’s property that was purchased years ago to build on. And I have driven along Tunbridge and it is lacking sidewalks and lighting… but with development I think it can be corrected, at the developer’s expense,” said Gill, adding that the developer has met all the OCP requirements.

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