Three new apartment developments have been given initial approval by Abbotsford council.
All three plans were given first and second reading at council’s executive meeting on Nov. 28 and now proceed to the public-hearing stage.
One is for a 70-unit six-storey building at 32059 and 32067 Tims Ave., with a two-level underground parkade.
The building consists of four studio units, 38 one-bedroom suites with den, 20 two-bedroom units and eight three-bedroom suites.
Another project is two 84-unit six-storey buildings at 33268 Marshall Rd., the location of the former residence of long-time Abbotsford residents the Hoon family and adjacent to Hoon Park.
The two buildings have a combined 36 studio units, 72 one-bedroom units with den, 36 two-bedroom suites and 24 three-bedroom units.
The third project is a 66-unit six-storey structure with a two-level underground parkade at 3080, 3090 and 3100 Immel St.
The building has 31 one-bedroom units, 33 two-bedroom suites and two three-bedroom units.
The structure is close to a 10-unit townhouse development at 3130 Immel St. to which council also gave initial approval on Nov. 28.
Coun. Mark Warkentin commented on the number of trees – 150 – that are due to be removed for the Marshall Road project. He asked how the city compensates for that kind of loss.
Blake Collins, director of development planning, said an arborist’s report is required as part of the zoning process for any development.
He said, in the case of the Marshall Road project, the trees on the property were found to have root rot and other disease “challenges.”
“So their long-term sustainability is in question,” Collins said.
He said, where possible, city staff encourage developers to retain healthy trees.
When not possible, such as in the case of an underground parkade being built, the city looks at a replacement option – cash in lieu to be used elsewhere in the city.
Mayor Ross Siemens pointed out that the city has a new urban forestry strategy in place.
“With the larger four- to six-storey buildings, we knew that we were going to have a significant loss of coverage of tree canopy and that’s one of the prime reasons we have the urban forestry strategy, so we have some measurables going forward,” he said.