Vancouver Island developer Gary Carniato has plans to build two, three-storey rental apartments in Port Alberni, at the corner of Burde Street and Fifth Avenue.
A public hearing on the application from Quad Developments Ltd. was held Tuesday, March 29, 6 p.m. at the city council chambers, city hall. No members of the public attended, although the applicant was there.
If approved, the two apartments would take up four properties at the corner of Burde Street and Fifth Avenue. One of the buildings would be located beside Phoenix House transitional housing facility, which also houses the Port Alberni Shelter Society’s sobering centre. There is also a two-storey home on Burde Street that would be affected by the development.
The proposal comprises 40 units of bachelor and one-bedroom rental housing, both of which were identified in the latest Alberni Valley Housing Needs Assessment as in high demand. The units would include parking beside and below the building (for one vehicle per unit), elevators and four wheelchair accessible living units. There would be a landscaped front yard providing communal space for residents, and balconies on the units.
The proposal, according to a notice circulated to neighbours in December, “provides housing for people being priced out of the market or downsizing as well as people seeking accessible independent living.”
The applicant is asking for a new comprehensive development zone (CD) for the four properties in question so that he may be able to build a multi-family development. Although the city’s Official Community Plan is currently undergoing a review, Carniato started the pre-application process in November 2020, before the OCP review began.
The city’s planning department suggested occupancy be limited to Residential Rental Tenure, meaning the units would remain as rentals and would not be offered for sale.
Both city staff and the Advisory Planning Commission are in favour of this development. City council gave first and second readings of the amending bylaw at its Feb. 28 council meeting, prompting the public hearing.
The development proposal will come back to council in the near future for consideration, and councillors will be able to debate the merits of the project before giving it third reading. Any conditions would have to be considered before the proposal is adopted.