A three-building rental development on King Road has been recommended for approval by City of Abbotsford staff. (City of Abbotsford image)

A three-building rental development on King Road has been recommended for approval by City of Abbotsford staff. (City of Abbotsford image)

King Road rental development gets good reviews from Abbotsford council

Project to build more than 200 rental units near university will now proceed to a public hearing

A new mixed-use development proposed that would create 204 new rental apartments on King Road near the University of the Fraser Valley received an enthusiastic reception from Abbotsford council Monday.

The project – which will go to a public hearing at a later date – would see three buildings constructed northwest of the intersection of King and King Connector Road. The buildings would be four, five and six storeys tall. The building closest to the King Connector intersection would also house about 5,500 square feet of commercial space.

“I’m really excited about this,” Coun. Dave Loewen said, saying the project addresses a desperate need for more rental housing in Abbotsford and is located near key transit corridors. “There are so many things that make this a good location for rental apartments.”

To proceed, council must approve the rezoning of the property, and allow the project to provide fewer parking spaces than typically required. That vote will follow a public hearing.

The developer has cited the intention for the buildings to be focused on the rental market, which the city has previously found generates less parking demand than occupant-owned buildings. That factor, along with the proximity to a park and ride site, led staff to say in a report for council that they don’t have objections to the plan. But they recommended the city require a covenant be registered that would prohibit they ensure the buildings remain rental housing.

“If there was ever a spot where we want to lower parking [requirements] this is probably one of those locations,” the city’s director of development planning Darren Braun told council.

The development lies within the area currently under review as part of the city’s UDistrict Neighbourhood Plan. Staff say the rezoning would be consistent with the “preliminary direction” of that plan, along with the Official Community Plan.

“The density, scale and built form are well-suited to the subject property, and the increase in residential density is well-placed in close proximity to a primary transit route and within a walkable and amenity-rich neighbourhood,” staff wrote. “The proposal will create a high-quality urban design and public realm precedent for the area, which may likely influence future redevelopment in the area.”

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