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8-unit Edgemont Village townhouse project heads to public hearing

An eight-unit townhouse project in Edgemont Village will go forward to public hearing next month, reversing course on an earlier decision by council to put the project on ice.

An eight-unit townhouse project in Edgemont Village will go forward to public hearing next month, reversing course on an earlier decision by council to put the project on ice.

District of North Vancouver councillors voted unanimously June 21 to allow the townhouse project on Canfield Crescent to go to public hearing, a year and a half after putting the project on hold.

The project proposes redeveloping two single-family residential lots forming a triangle on the corner of Highland Boulevard and Woodbine Avenue and fronted by Canfield Crescent into eight townhouses in four two-storey buildings over a single underground parking lot. All of the proposed townhouse units would be three-bedroom, and approximately 1,400 or 1,500 square feet.

The project is also designed to be energy efficient and use low-carbon energy sources for heating, cooling and hot water to be as carbon-neutral as possible. The project will also include electric vehicle charging stations and 20 bicycle parking spaces.

Back when council voted 4-3 to put the project on hold, in December 2019, councillors said they wanted to wait until after the official community plan review was finished, despite support from immediate neighbours of the project and general praise for the developer's environmentally friendly approach.

But the pandemic slowed the review’s completion beyond the end of 2020. Consequently, council decided to re-consider the project in advance of the OCP review.

Coun. Mathew Bond, who supported the project the first time it came to council, said he continues to back the plan. “I thought it was a very interesting project,” he said.

Bond said council hasn’t opted to change the neighbourhood plan to allow for increased density that would make more affordable housing possible.

“And so I think under the existing plan, this proposal is kind of the next best step over a luxury, detached, single family home or two in this location.”

Coun. Jordan Back said he also remained supportive. “This is a project that has always been supported by the immediate neighbourhood,” he said. Back acknowledged the project won’t provide affordable housing but said it will contribute to a range of housing types in the neighbourhood. “There are a lot of people who want to live those types of neighbourhoods,” he said.

Coun. Betty Forbes said while development fatigue in Edgemont was one of her initial concerns, “there’s less development happening in Edgemont right now.”

Joelle Calof, vice-president of one of the development partners, pointed to the relatively small size of the project in comparison to past developments in Edgemont, traffic management plan, and intention to not impact parking on surrounding streets.

"We're proud of all these measures that we're taking. And, we're holding firm on these commitments," she said.

Forbes said while affordable housing is still a concern for her, “in this area that’s not possible.”

Coun. Lisa Muri said she remains concerned about the lack of affordable housing options. “There’s zero affordability in the Capilano corridor,” she said, citing a four-bedroom townhouse recently listed for $2.4 million.

“I will listen to the community,” she said. “But it seems like it’s business as usual.”

Mayor Mike Little said while he originally supported waiting for an OCP review, the pandemic had created an unforeseen delay in that process.

It’s not fair “for a relatively modest project” to ask the owners to wait any longer to take the project to public hearing, he said.

A public hearing has been set for July 13.