Architectural drawings of the apartment on Barker Court presented at Mission council.

Architectural drawings of the apartment on Barker Court presented at Mission council.

Once-rejected development moves forward, after council demands better affordability terms

1st application rejected in March because low rates only offered for 5 years

A once-rejected development application is moving forward, after Mission council demanded better terms on its affordable suites.

The 54-units development on the 33000 block of Barker Court will now go to a public hearing, council decided on May 3. The initial proposal was rejected because the six affordable units offered in exchange for increased density would only stay at low rates for a period of five years.

Coun. Cal Crawford, who was the first to voice opposition to the original application on March 15, was still uncertain on the revised 10-year term.

“I’m still a little bit conflicted on the 10 years. I appreciate they have doubled their offer from five years, but 10, to me, (is too short),” Crawford said, adding he was satisfied with everything else.

“We’re still going to be judged by other developers in the future based on what we accept. So I’m concerned.”

While a 10-year term is the minimum length required for inclusion in the District’s density bonusing program (which in this case will allow 10 additional units to be built), the developers promise half the affordable suites will be two-bedroom units. The original application offered cash in lieu of a longer term.

RELATED: ‘A bit of an insult’: Mission councillors make expectations clear on affordable-housing density program

The issue of developers seeking density bonuses, yet only offering single-bedroom suites has been raised frequently by councillors at recent meetings. They’ve said single bedrooms do nothing for families.

Although the density bonusing program is fairly new, Coun. Carol Hamilton said they need to look at revising it.

“We need to take a deeper dive, because we’re seeing (low offers) all over the map.”

Coun. Danny Plecas echoed his peers’ concerns, but said they can’t hamper the developer any longer as they’ve met the minimum requirement.

“He was asked to (change) that, he’s satisfied the current density bonus requirement,” Plecas said. “I think we need to review where the policy is going, but I don’t think that we could go back and retract.”


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