A proposal to build a 555-unit townhouse development north of Lower Sumas Mountain Road moved forward at council on Monday, while another multi-family project on Marshall Road was sent back to staff to consider alterations.
The two proposals had raised concerns for neighbouring residents at a public hearing on Dec. 15.
The planned townhouses on Sumas Mountain are stacked up the mountainside, which had been degraded by previous development attempts. The developer said the project was designed to heal that problem.
Coun. Patricia Ross said she was convinced to support the project, as the developer has “done an outstanding job of trying to find that delicate balance between preserving and even enhancing the environment and developing in a very responsible manner.”
Coun. Ross Siemens said the project is a “very good compromise for a very difficult site.”
A proposal for 370 townhouse units and 30 single-family lots at Marshall Road and Canterbury Avenue, which would also lead to the connection of Marshall Road through the development, was sent back to staff.
Siemens said he generally would support development, but expressed concerns about the high density of the project, wondering if the increased number of homes was due to the cost of building the road.
Mayor Henry Braun said that while the city needs the Marshall Road connection, he understood from the public hearing that the development would change the neighbourhood, which is mostly single-family homes.
He said he struggled with the density and also said it was possible the cost of the road to the developer was driving up the density of the project.
Council voted to send the development back to city staff to work with the applicant on the issues of lowering the density and road construction.