An artist’s rendering of the Oviedo Homes proposal for Finlay Street. (File image)

An artist’s rendering of the Oviedo Homes proposal for Finlay Street. (File image)

Affordable housing incorporated in White Rock ‘tower’ proposal

Public hearing set for Oviedo Homes project

A public hearing regarding zoning bylaw and official community plan amendments for a 13-storey mixed-use ‘tower’ proposed for near Peace Arch Hospital is to take place Monday (July 24) at White Rock City Hall.

The date was set after council last week rescinded second reading of Bylaw 2157 – first and second readings were given in April, despite staff opposition to the project’s scale and density, with the proviso that affordable housing be explored as a use.

Council then voted unanimously to give second reading to a revised bylaw and direct staff to schedule the hearing.

Prior to the vote, director of planning and development services Carl Johannsen told council that Oviedo Homes officials have agreed to include 16 market-rental units in the project, and to make a $2.21-million community amenity contribution.

The rental units would be “secured by housing agreement for the life of the building and within the original unit count of 126,” Johannsen said.

In his corporate report, Johannsen notes “staff consider that rental units provide a more affordable form of housing than strata ownership, and represent a benefit to the community by increasing the overall supply of rental housing during a period where vacancy rates are less than one per cent and rents are increasing.”

The project, proposed for the 1500-block of Finlay Street immediately north of Russell Avenue , would include 126 residences above two levels of retail and office space with a medical/professional focus; its profile steps down from the highest part to match surrounding building heights.

To proceed, it requires approval of the zoning amendment, as well as an OCP amendment, a major development permit and restrictive covenants including a community amenity contribution.

On July 10, council moved and voted on each of the three recommendations – to rescind, give new reading and schedule the hearing – separately, but did not discuss them.

In giving his report, Johannsen said a childcare use has also been proposed for part of the building. As well, that a “housekeeping correction” regarding the project’s gross floor area “does not change the unit count or the form or the height of the building.”

Monday’s public hearing is set for 6 p.m. in council chambers, 15322 Buena Vista Ave.