Tuesday, November 22, 2016

November 21th, 2016 Council Meeting Notes: Mini-apartment on 203rd Street approved, rezoning for townhouses on 198th Street.

I will be posting about last night’s City of Langley council meeting in two parts. Today, I’ll be focusing on a development permit and a rezoning application.

Several years ago, the City of Langley realigned 203rd Street at Douglas Crescent/56 Avenue. This created two odd-sized empty parcels of land. Tim Hortons is now on one of those parcels. The other parcel of land is located at 203rd Street and Michaud Crescent, and was the subject of a development permit last night.

The size of the parcel is around 6,000 square feet which is similar in size to many of our single-family lots in the City, and is odd-shaped. What was proposed last night, and ultimate approved by council, was what I would call a mini-apartment building. This seven-unit apartment has units which range in size from around 900 sq. ft. to 2,000 sq. ft.

Rendering of apartment at 203rd Street and Michaud Crescent that was approved by council. Select image to enlarge.

To make this all happen, the building is not setback from the sidewalk, but abuts it. This is a good thing because it helps create a street-wall which makes walking more pleasant, and creates a sense of place. As part of the development, the sidewalks around the building will be significantly widened, and will include on-street bike parking. One of the things that I noticed in the drawings is that it mentions concrete unit pavers for the sidewalk “to be specified by the City of Langley.” I’m hoping this means a solid concrete sidewalk as well as pavers like other newer sidewalks downtown.

One of the interesting things about this project is its ground-level parkade which you’d never be able to tell was there from 203rd Street as it includes large, one-way windows. One of the challenges with ground-level parking is that it usually results in the creation of an unpleasant streetscape which can include unappealing blank concrete walls or surface parking lots. This design is a marked improvement from other ground-level parking in the City’s downtown area.

While I’d have liked to have seen ground-level retail at this site as well, I don’t think it would have fit.

There were people at the council meeting, and who sent in letters to council, from the adjacent building. They were concerned about this project. Over the years, they have added two extra parking spaces to the back of their building, and moved their solid waste bins onto the property where the new apartment will be built. They were not happy that they must now go back to the original, city-approved design for their building.

The design of this apartment building is a good example of adding gentle-density on small lots.

Council also gave first and second reading for a rezoning to accommodate a 28-unit townhouse development at 198 Street and 55 Avenue as shown.

View of proposed townhouse development from 55th Avenue. Select image to enlarge.

View of proposed townhouse development from 198th Street. Select image to enlarge.

A public hearing will now be scheduled to get public feedback on this proposed rezoning and development.


Loni Eliot said...

Living as I do in this immediate neighborhood, I'm quite impressed with the use of these small parcels of land. One thing I don't see covered in your blog though is, what green technology or technologies is going to be used to lessen the carbon footprint? Is there anything like recapturing rain water? or roof top greenery? or solar panels? In this day and age we really should be going forward wherever possible with supporting greener and renewable technologies.

Nathan Pachal said...

The building will have a rooftop garden. I agree about the need to have more green building design, and hopefully it is something we can put into future development guidelines.

Unknown said...

Interesting! As we continue this areas development, something will need to be done for traffic along Michaud. Michaud and 201A is brutal and needs a four way stop or roundabout. It's an awkward intersection at the best of times.

Unknown said...

I am not seeing EV charging in Langley. This needs to be a part of every new build
We are so far behind

Nathan Pachal said...

EV charging has been part of the apartment projects for the last 2 or 3 years. All stalls are roughed in, and usually, there are 2-4 Level 2 chargers on day one. Recently, the number of Level 2 chargers in new projects has increased.