Nanaimo councillors approved a development application calling for the construction of two five-storey condo buildings along Metral Drive, beside Cobs Bread bakery. (De Hoog Kierulf Architects image)

Development permit approved for condos in north-end commercial district

Two five-storey buildings proposed along Metral Drive

A shopping area in Nanaimo’s north end is one step closer to becoming the home of two residential condo buildings.

Nanaimo councillors approved a development permit for two five-storey condo buildings proposed for 6540 Metral Dr., beside Cobs Bread bakery, on Monday night.

Submitted by De Hoog Kierulf Architects on behalf of Windley Contracting/WTF Investments, one of the condo buildings would be 6,367 square metres with 41 one-bedroom units and 32 two-bedroom units, while the second building would be 3,043 square metres and have 17 one-bedroom units and 15 two-bedroom units.

RELATED: Condos in the planning stages in Nanaimo’s north end

Councillors were required to vote on approving the development after Windley Contracting requested a number of variances including increasing both buildings’ height, reducing the number of off-street parking spaces from 167 to 106, increasing the required percentage of small car parking spaces from 33 per cent to 36 per cent and reducing the rear yard setback from 7.5 metres to four metres.

Coun. Sheryl Armstrong said she was concerned about parking and wondered whether there would be any designated visitor parking spaces.

“If you look at the total number of people that could be living there we are looking at 139, with 108 parking spaces,” she said. “And they want it decreased?”

Coun. Diane Brennan said the development “hits the mark” on the city’s plan for densification. She said she has no issue with reduced parking because the development is near plenty of transit options, adding that the aim is to move people away from relying on their vehicle.

However, Coun. Ian Thorpe, said while he appreciated Brennan’s “philosophy,” he was concerned about the “reality” of transit habits in the city, calling the reduction of parking stalls extremely concerning.

Jeff Windley, developer for Windley Contracting, said he’s very happy to continue working with staff to address some of the concerns raised. He said the parking situation can be dealt with, explaining that not everyone might want or even need a parking stall and that stalls can be rented out.

“We can work our way through those specifics,” he said, adding that some parking stalls will be designated for visitor parking.

Dale Lindsay, director of community development, told councillors that staff are considering reducing Metral Drive from a four-lane road to a two-lane road and adding on-street parking.

Speaking to the News Bulletin afterward, Coun. Jerry Hong, who is on the city’s design advisory panel, said when he heard Lindsay’s comments about the idea of adding on-street parking to Metral Drive, it alleviated some concerns for him, adding that the area around the development is tricky for motorists.

“I believe that slowing down traffic in high-pedestrian and high-traffic areas is in everyone’s best interest,” he said. “It might take you a little longer to get to it but I think for the safety of the drivers and the people walking and trying to make the streets more pedestrian-friendly, it is a good decision by staff to move forward with that.”

Armstrong and Thorpe voted against issuing the development permit.


nicholas.pescod@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook or follow Nicholas Pescod on Twitter

Just Posted

Scientists disembark in Nanaimo after international expedition probes Pacific salmon

Canadian, American, Russian, Korean and Japanese scientists survey salmon in Gulf of Alaska

Prominent Indigenous leader Bob Chamberlin seeks federal NDP nod in B.C. riding

Bob Chamberlin is the long-serving chief councillor of a First Nation based on Gilford Island

Case against ex-CAO Samra dropped, ‘no longer in the public interest’

Special prosecutor advises courts he’s dropping the Crown’s case

Vancouver Island Symphony presents Bach’s ‘Goldberg Variations’

Concert will be debut performance with symphony’s new harpsichord

Theatre production reimagines the music of Joni Mitchell

Arts Club theatre company presents ‘Circle Game’ at Nanaimo’s Port Theatre this week

VIDEO: Can you believe it? This B.C. hill pulls cars backwards up a slope

Sir Isaac Newton had clearly never been to this Vernon anomaly when he discovered gravity

Paramedic staff shortage at critical level: B.C. union

A number of units were out of service due to lack of staffing in Lower Mainland, union says

B.C. lottery winner being sued by Surrey co-workers

They claim he owes them $200,000 each, in a lawsuit filed in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver

BIG READ: The two sides of the Strait of Georgia roe herring fishery

The case for the Strait of Georgia roe herring fishery Comox fisherman,… Continue reading

Fraser Health under fire again for taxiing homeless man from Langley to Hope

Patient sent to Hope shelter because a spot in the man’s home community couldn’t be located

Dead sea lion discovered on Hornby Island shoreline

Reports indicate animal was shot in the head

Celina Caesar-Chavannes quits Liberal caucus, sits as independent MP

The Whitby, Ont., MP has been a vocal supporter of Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott

Island SPCA overwhelmed by 45 cats taken from Comox Valley property

Many of the cats will be transferred to branches in Nanaimo and Victoria

Woman punched on the sidelines of B.C. soccer game

Both involved were watching the U21 game in West Vancouver from the sidelines when things got heated

Most Read