Falcon Ridge development raises traffic concerns

555 townhouses proposed for Sumas Mountain

A development project for 555 townhouses has been proposed for Sumas Mountain in the Falcon Ridge area.

A development project for 555 townhouses has been proposed for Sumas Mountain in the Falcon Ridge area.

A proposal to build up to 555 townhouses on Sumas Mountain has some nearby residents concerned about an increase in traffic that could be caused by the development.

The proposal went before a public hearing on Monday.

The site, north of Lower Sumas Mountain Road in an area known as Falcon Ridge, was previously rezoned with the intent of building mainly single-family homes. But the original proposal dating back to 1999 never proceeded.

The area has already been cleared for development and some natural foliage has been  removed.

Alan Boniface, the architect with Dialog, the project applicant, said the hillside has been degraded by previous development attempts and the project is “intended to heal that problem.”

Boniface said a key feature of the proposal is that only 12 per cent of the 90-acre site would be covered by development. Green space would account for 42 acres, including a trail system.

The site has undergone independent and peer-reviewed geotechnical assessments.

David Currie, who lives on a nearby street, said while he does not oppose the development, he is concerned about the impact of the proposed vehicle access via his residential road. As the site was originally slated for single-family homes, he said that with the increase in density from a townhouse development, the current proposal is not the plan that nearby residents bought into.

Residents along Lower Sumas Mountain Road also had traffic concerns, as the proposal includes a covenant that would see all construction traffic take that route.

Leah Crocker said she is worried that up to 1,000 vehicles could be driving through morning and night if the development is approved.

She was also concerned that the only access for construction vehicles will be along Lower Sumas Mountain Road. She suggested the city consider increased access points to ease the traffic burden.

Peter Joyce, from the firm Bunt & Associates, has completed traffic studies for the site. He assured council that the traffic issue has been thoroughly examined and the firm has looked at ways that the project can have the least impact on existing residents.

Council deferred their decision on whether to grant third reading for the project to a later meeting.