An artist’s rendering of a 163-unit apartment building planned for 340 Campbell St. (Urban Solutions Architecture image)

An artist’s rendering of a 163-unit apartment building planned for 340 Campbell St. (Urban Solutions Architecture image)

Nanaimo city council issues development permit for 163 apartments downtown

Height variance will allow six-storey building on Campbell Street

City council has given permission for a developer to exceed building height restrictions and proceed with plans for 163 apartments downtown.

Council, at a meeting Nov. 15, voted 8-1 to issue a development permit for 340 Campbell St.

The application requested a height variance from 14 metres to 18.8m and city staff supported the variance, saying that its urban design guidelines recommend five- to six-storey buildings for corner sites within that area of the city.

“The scale of the proposed building is suitable for the site and is compatible with the existing adjacent buildings,” noted a city staff report.

The building would include 15 “live-work units” at street level and a variety of configurations on the upper storeys: 32 studio apartments, 70 one-bedroom apartments, 38 two-bedroom suites and eight three-bedroom suites.

Architect Donald Yen from Urban Solutions Architecture told council the units would be affordable to rent, but clarified that he wasn’t necessarily referring to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s definition of affordability.

“We’re basing it on market-driven and the ownership group is pricing it accordingly,” he said.

Coun. Ben Geselbracht asked if the school district had been engaged in consultation and wondered if views from neighbouring Pauline Haarer Elementary School would be negatively impacted by the height of the apartment building.

“The last thing kids in a playground are looking at is the view,” said Coun. Jim Turley, who attended the school. “We were focused on running, jumping, playing, doing what kids do.”

Geselbracht said he appreciated the need for multi-family residential including larger apartments in that part of the city, but voted against the application due to the height variance and concerns about the consultation process.

The issuance of the development permit means the applicant now has two years to come back to the city with a building permit application.

READ ALSO: Six-storey apartment building meant to encourage living and working in downtown Nanaimo



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An artist’s rendering of a 163-unit apartment building planned for 340 Campbell St. (Urban Solutions Architecture image)

An artist’s rendering of a 163-unit apartment building planned for 340 Campbell St. (Urban Solutions Architecture image)