White Rock council has asked for revisions to the planned Marcon development for Thrift Avenue at George Street

White Rock council has asked for revisions to the planned Marcon development for Thrift Avenue at George Street

New higher White Rock developments mulled

City council moves revised Forge project forward to public hearing; defers consideration of Marcon development for Thrift Avenue

White Rock council decided Monday to move ahead with the approval process for one residential project on the hillside, while deferring another in the uptown area.

A scaled-down 10-storey version of the frequently contentious Forge project in the Everall neighbourhood will be moving forward to a public hearing, as yet to be scheduled, following votes at the regular council meeting for second reading of amended OCP and zoning bylaws.

Meanwhile, council has deferred consideration of the Marcon project at Thrift Avenue and George Street, pending suggested design changes.

The latter is a 14-storey building providing 88 residential units, planned for the corner property, adjacent to the proponents’ existing Saltaire development and formerly occupied by the Coast Capital Credit Union and other businesses.

While council’s land use and planning committee received a presentation from Marcon representatives including an elaborate model of the project, members decided to endorse a recommendation for deferment from planning manager Carl Isaak.

Isaak told council that while the general scale of the project is appropriate for the site, stepping back the upper profile of the building along Thrift Avenue would maintain the “pedestrian scale” of the street while reducing potential shadowing impact on the Saltaire building.

Isaak said city staff also advocate removing an elevator access to five private rooftop patios – which would add to the perceived height of the building and have view impacts for residents of the nearby Avra building.

Staff also suggest incorporating private space on the western edge of the site into the existing plaza in front of the Saltaire building to maximize public access and use of the property.

For the Forge project – which has been before council in numerous versions since 2015 – the revised plan reduces the height from 12 storeys with a roof deck to 10 storeys without roof access, and the number of units from 33 to 25.

Other features of the project, which has changed in OCP designation from multi-unit residential high density to multi-unit residential low density, are a reduced parkade size, which would allow some potential for preserving mature trees on the northern property line, and an amenity-zoning approach rather than a phased development agreement.

The reduction in scope does, however, provide a two-foot increase in deck sizes on the southern side of the building.