Mountainside development moves to public hearing

A proposed development for 51 townhouse units along Falcon Ridge will go to public hearing Feb. 3

A proposed development for 51 townhouse units along Falcon Ridge will go to public hearing Feb. 3.

The site is located on Estevan Court and described in a city report as being defined by steep topography, and several watercourses to the east.

In the past, companies have attempted to develop the area, but no project went forward on the lots.

The area is currently zoned for single-family residential homes, but the applicant indicated that the necessary retaining walls required to support single-family lots is not economically feasible, and development would only be viable if absorbed over multiple units. To increase the viability of the project and the structural integrity, the property would include underground parking, which would help act as a retaining wall.

A geotechnical report by Levelton Consultants Ltd. states that the project is feasible if adequately supported by foundation walls or other retaining structures.

The development would also eliminate any future project to the north that was permitted by city zoning, by instituting a no-build covenant or dedicating the land to the city.

The “stacked townhouse” proposal would be the first step of a multi-phase development that will see a combined total of 606 units.

At a public consultation meeting, neighbours had concerns about building multi-family residences on what was intended for single-family homes, plus increasing density and traffic in the neighbourhood.

Councillors expressed reservations about the project, citing that the community wants single-family homes and concerns about mountainside developments.

Coun. Patricia Ross said she would oppose developing the area as she had on previous projects, saying there was nothing in the new application to make her feel better about moving forward.

Council passed the first reading of the proposal, sending it to a public hearing which will be held at the Matsqui Centennial Auditorium at 7 p.m. on Feb. 3.