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YVR objects to Capstan Way housing plan

The Vancouver Airport Authority is speaking out against two proposed housing developments expected to radically transform the Capstan Way area.

Rezoning applications from Concord Pacific and Pinnacle International will be considered at a public hearing Monday night at Richmond City Hall. Proposed are a series of high-rise and mid-rise buildings that would contain nearly half the 3,250 homes expected in the redeveloping area, near the north end of No. 3 Road.

But airport officials say the properties are in an area "incompatible for new residential developments," citing Transport Canada land use recommendations on aircraft noise.

"We do not support this rezoning application which would significantly increase the number of Richmond residents exposed to high levels of aircraft noise at their home," said Anne Murray in a letter to the city.

Murray, vice-president of community and environmental affairs for the airport authority, said the area already faces aircraft noise—and flights in and out of YVR are only expected to increase.

City council is likely to give third reading to both applications Monday night, having previously endorsed the plans.

Concord is proposing to build a series of high-rises—stretching as high as 15 storeys—to accommodate 1,245 condominiums over 3.3 hectares (eight acres). Of those, 61 would be low-end market rental housing and 20 would be low-end market rental studio units for artists.

Pinnacle International is seeking approval for a smaller project—200 units anchored by a 14-storey high-rise—as its first phase of a 1,700-home vision.

The city is requiring developers of the area to split the cost of a future Canada Line station at Capstan Way, expected to cost $25 million.

These are the first rezoning applications city council is considering for Capstan Village since politicians approved the City Centre Area Plan in 2009, a plan that densifies the landscape in Richmond's downtown.

The neighbourhood will be one of many in City Centre expected to absorb another 70,000 residents by 2100, according to the city's projections.

The public hearing will be held in council chambers at Richmond City Hall, beginning at 7 p.m.

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