A six-storey, 213 unit rental building that will offer below-market rates on many suites, and help expand a local community garden in the process, passed another hurdle at Langley City council on Monday, Dec. 14.
Council gave third reading of the proposed redevelopment of the former West Country hotel site on 56th Avenue near 202nd Street.
With that step completed, Pennyfarthing Langley City Properties Ltd. can now apply to the City for a subdivision rezoning that will allow swapping a strip of land on the east side of the nearby community garden on Michaud Crescent with an equal area of the former hotel property.
That will allow a through-lane connecting 56th Avenue to Michaud Crescent that gives fire vehicles better access, as well as seeing the community garden at Michaud expanded by eleven more plots, bringing the total to 29.
Pennyfarthing plans to apply for funding from the federal Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) under the Federal Rental Housing Construction Financing Program, which would see a minimum 20 percent of the proposed units in the building rented at below-market maximum rents equal to 30 percent of Metro Vancouver median income, or about $2,154 per month.
Carl Johannsen, Director of Development Services termed it a “high quality” project that will fit with the City Nexus Plan that aims to leverage the pending arrival of SkyTrain.
When the line is extended to Langley City, the Pennyfarthing building will be a five-minute walk from the Langley City Skytrain station.
It was thumbs up all around for the project, though Coun. Nathan Pachal said he would like to see more landscaping to discourage drivers from using the through-way as a short-cut.
“I’m really encouraged,” Pachal said.
Coun, Rudy Storteboom called the building “vital to the strategy that we have for the downtown core” and “an example for other municipalities” in how developers and municipal planners can work together.
Coun Paul Albrecht said “its going to be a great addition to our community” and the “substantial” below-market rent component was going to “go a long way toward meeting our communities housing needs.”
The project is expected to come back to council for final approval early in the new year.