A developer has been given the go-ahead for a 98-unit apartment building along Rutherford Road in Nanaimo’s north end.
City council, at a meeting Monday, voted unanimously to issue a development permit for the mixed-use project – which includes both the apartment building and a separate two-storey commercial building – at 4851 Cedar Ridge Pl.
The apartment building, which will include 50 one-bedroom units and 48 two-bedroom units, will be made up of four storeys of residential use on top of two levels of under-the-building parking “built into the slope of the land,” according to a staff report.
“The subject property is … close proximity to transit, shopping, commercial services as well as public amenities,” said Jeremy Holm, the city’s director of development approvals.
Architect Raymond de Beeld, in correspondence with the city, called the design “efficient and contemporary interpretation of adjacent box-styled apartments.” The project was reviewed by the city’s design advisory panel in July and the applicant responded to recommendations by “setting back the centre section of the building and simplifying the windows in this section to break the length of the building such that it appears as two buildings,” noted the staff report.
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More images of the planned development at the corner of Cedar Ridge Place and Rutherford Road. In addition to the 98-unit apartment building, there will be a two-storey commercial building along Rutherford… https://t.co/z62yry2JtC #Nanaimo pic.twitter.com/JLe1M2hb52
— Nanaimo Bulletin (@NanaimoBulletin) December 23, 2020
The developer asked for four variances, most notably a 2.5-metre height variance and a property frontage requirement. Only 32 per cent of the project will face Rutherford Road, below the 50 per cent requirement, but the staff report noted that the commercial building will have “generous glazing,” storefront entrances, a plaza and steps “to create an active street frontage.”
Tenants have not yet been secured for the commercial space, according to the staff report
Holm said there are “no negative impacts anticipated” as a result of any of the four variances and said the proposal is otherwise consistent with zoning and design guidelines.
Coun. Sheryl Armstrong, though she voted in favour of the project, said she has “major concerns with the traffic flow” on that section of Rutherford Road, adding that the curve of the road there factors into collisions and “close calls.”