A public meeting brought dozens of Aldergrove residents in front of council Monday night, to lend their voice to the Aldergrove Town Centre redevelopment, proposed by the Janda Group for the nearly vacant mall at 3100 272nd St.
Some were in support of the three six-storey buildings with condos and commercial space on the bottom floor, 10-storey building with parking, and residential 12-storey high rise.
Few at the meeting were opposed, citing concerns over the increased density in the nearly seven-acres of downtown.
Two of them were seniors who live at Willow Grove Estates (27358 32nd Ave.) across Bertrand Creek from the mall property. They appealed for council to rethink the “big city” feel of the proposed redevelopment.
Council president of Willow Creek, and resident for more than a decade, Dave Kearney, said if the town centre’s 12-story tower is erected it will “wipe out” his ability to enjoy a view of the sunset from his third-floor balcony.
“The beauty of Aldergrove is very simple. It’s a nice village in the country. It’s not downtown Vancouver,” Kearney voiced.
Willow Creek resident for 20 years, Marlene Enzenhofer, expressed worry over “possibly 1,000 more people living in that small area.”
Enzenhofer emphasized that Willow Creek buildings “are a maximum of four storeys… 12 storeys is three times taller than the building I’m currently living in,” she said about the proposed tower.
Their worries were met with an equally public response from lead architect on the project, Colin Hogan of Focus Architecture.
Hogan mentioned the mall site is already zoned for up to 456 residential units, and desginated for buildings with heights up to 16 storeys.
“We didn’t just dream this up,” Hogan said about the project, which aligns with the Township’s by-law roadmap, the Aldergrove Community Plan.
The core plan, drafted in 2010, details designated future land uses for urban areas in town.
Hogan estimates the first phase of development – buildings A, B, C, and D – could take anywhere from 24 to 30 months to build once the Janda Group acquires development permits.
Other Aldergrove residents, including Dianne Kask and Andrew Sigalet, took the floor to speak in favour of the centre’s shared parkade structure, building D, saying that 180 public stalls would encourage other developers to invest in the area.
Former Township councillor and Aldergrove resident, Charlie Fox, continued to oppose the parkade, which the Janda Group is hoping the Township will purchase for the cost of its build – $8 million.