A large multi-family development proposed north of Highstreet shopping centre includes seven mid-rise apartment buildings and 22 townhouse buildings, comprising 734 units.
Abbotsford council on Monday (July 26) gave first and second readings to the project at 3174 Mt. Lehman Rd. and 30530 Cardinal Ave.
Mayor Henry Braun recused himself from the discussion and vote because his brother owns a property adjacent to the proposed development.
The two parcels of land require rezoning from their current general industrial and country residential zones to mid-rise apartment and multi-family ground-oriented zones.
The planned project is located at the southeast corner of the intersection of Cardinal Avenue and Mt. Lehman Road – the current location of Fraser Valley Steel and Wire.
A staff report to council states that the steel business will remain on site until they are ready to relocate.
A development permit with variances addresses two of the seven apartment buildings, for a total of 157 units, and the 22 townhouse buildings, also with 157 units.
These variances include reducing the required off-street parking from 267 stalls to 254 stalls and increasing the maximum height for an accessory building from 4.5 metres to 9.14 metres.
A future permit will be required for the other five apartment buildings (420 units), the staff report says.
The townhouses comprise a mix of two-, three- and four-bedroom units ranging in size from 1,317 square feet to 1,819 square feet. Seven of the units include private rooftop amenity areas.
There will also be a two-storey amenity building of almost 3,000 square feet.
The apartment buildings are composed of one-, two- and three-bedroom units ranging from 500 square feet to 974 square feet, and include a two-level underground parkade.
The proposal for the parking also includes 30 electric vehicle stalls and 28 stalls for bike parking in dedicated bike lockers. Another 16 bike stalls are planned outside.
The report states that the project will require traffic improvements in the area, including the relocation of the east-west access road into Highstreet shopping centre.
Proposed changes include replacing the roundabout with a signalized intersection with a westbound Highway One slip lane; adding north and southbound left-turn storage and north and southbound left-turn phases to the traffic light at Mt. Lehman and Cardinal; and adding southbound dual left-turn lanes and an eastbound through lane at Mt. Lehman and Fraser Highway.
The staff report indicates that the traffic changes will require approval from the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure because the property is located within 800 metres of a controlled access intersection with Highway One.
Council was told on Monday that the developers of the three major projects planned along Mt. Lehman Road have worked together in a cost-sharing agreement for the road improvements.
In May, Abbotsford council adopted a bylaw for the rezoning of property at 3407, 3459, 3481 and 3583 Mt. Lehman Rd. for the Xchange Business Park – one of the city’s largest industrial developments in recent years. The project involves eight buildings encompassing 1.2 million square feet of space.
The other project is at 3391 Mt. Lehman Road and involves future commercial uses related to the Fraser Valley Auto Mall and general industrial uses.
The apartment-and-townhouse project now moves to the public-hearing phase on Aug. 30. Because public hearings are still not being held in person, anyone wishing to speak on the matter can make a submission to email@example.com.