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Plan to subdivide Ash Street lot returns

A proposal to build six “affordable” single-family houses on a site once eyed for an addictions recovery house is now back on the table.

In February, city staff had recommended approval of a pilot project at 8180 Ash St. to build six “affordable” single-family houses on the 25,069-square-foot lot.

But neighbours complained to city hall—with comments largely focused on inadequate consultation—and officials shelved the application.

On Wednesday the development permit panel considered the application again, and is recommending city council approve it.

The plan doesn’t require rezoning, but the Provincial Rental Housing Corporation, which is BC Housing’s land holding company, is requesting variances to squeeze six lots on the site, which is surrounded by other single-family homes.

At the city’s request, the applicant held a public open house June 21, and this time more neighbourhood homeowners were told about it. A total of 34 people came to the open house to learn about the project and offer comments.

Changes include alterations to the driveway design and a wider access road.

The applicant has also offered more information on how the subdivision will integrate with the existing neighbourhood, including its use of landscaping.

According to planner Diana Nikolic, “the quality of the project has been improved” by the changes, and new information shows the subdivision “can compliment the character of the established neighbourhood.”

The houses would be made available to first-time homebuyers with a maximum income of $61,233.

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