A re-zoning application for more than 200 townhouses in Harewood is going to a public hearing.
Nanaimo city council, at a meeting Aug. 29, voted in favour of first and second readings of an application to re-zone properties at 560 and 604 Fourth St. and 361 Howard Ave. to comprehensive development district zoning.
The applicant, Howard Avenue Projects Ltd., is proposing a 219-unit strata development made up of multiple blocks of three-storey townhouses. Watfield Avenue would be extended to connect between Third and Fourth streets and a 0.12-hectare park would be dedicated along Howard Avenue.
Jeremy Holm, the city’s director of development approvals, said 50 per cent of the townhouses would have three or more bedrooms, and said townhouses are a form of housing that is in demand.
“We see this as one of those development proposals that would address that need,” he said.
A staff report noted that the three properties are designated as neighbourhood or townhome neighbourhood in the Harewood Neighbourhood Plan and so the proposed re-zoning “meets the intent” of the plan.
The Harewood Neighbourhood Association hadn’t submitted comments to the city as of the end of August, but about 30 people attended a public information meeting this past spring at the Nanaimo Aquatic Centre. Those in attendance liked the proposed building forms and park dedication, but had concerns about density and potential impacts on parking and traffic, according to the staff report.
Coun. Sheryl Armstrong commented that residents in the area don’t believe Watfield has the ability to handle increased traffic.
“Howard and Wakesiah would likely take most of the traffic and there would be active transportation improvements as well, so there weren’t concerns from a traffic networking perspective with regard to connecting Watfield between Third and Fourth,” Holm said.
Council voted unanimously in favour of first and second readings of the re-zoning application.