The city’s first stacked townhouse development got the go-ahead from council last week, despite concerns from neighbours about traffic on McCallum Road.
A numbered company wants to build 66 townhouse units on a 1.2-acre site on the west side of McCallum, south of Highway 1 and near the Gillis Avenue intersection.
The stacked-townhouse concept involves the construction of three-storey buildings, with small 600-square-feet units on the ground floor and traditional homes built on the top two levels. Parking is underground, while full-size units will have roof-top patios.
The property had been zoned agricultural, although it was not located in the Agricultural Land Reserve, and required rezoning and several small variances.
All but one of 153 trees on site are also slated for removal.
Council approved the rezoning, despite opposition from neighbours. Murray Glanville, a resident of the Crown Point II strata home complex across the road from the property, submitted a petition with what he said were more than 60 names of those opposed to the project.
Glanville and others said they worried that increased traffic will make it more dangerous to turn out of the housing complex.
He said drivers often exceed the speed limit and that a dip in the row limits visibility.
“It’s just a death trap,” he said. “Someone’s going to get T-boned in that area.”
Glanville encouraged the city to do something about speeds along the road.
Rob Isaac, the city’s acting general manager of engineering and regional utilities, predicted that changes to the Gillis intersection would slow traffic. He also suggested that the city could install a speed reader board to alert drivers that they are going too fast.
Mayor Henry Braun said he understood the neighbours’ concerns, but said the development was indicative of the city’s work to increase density and the availability of new homes over the coming decades. He said that will inevitably bring new problems, although increased investments in transit and biking and pedestrian facilities are aimed at reducing the number of people driving.
“We are planning a city to accommodate 60k new people over the next 20 years and that does mean neighbourhoods change,” he said.