7288 Pioneer Avenue is up for redevelopment, as council considered a three-storey proposal for the vacant lot. (Grace Kennedy/The Observer)

New developments bring density questions to Agassiz

Kent council discussed how new buildings could bring density to the downtown core

Demands for density in downtown Agassiz were the topic of some conversation during Kent council Monday (Feb. 25) as council members discussed the future of several development proposals.

The first proposal to come before council was a three-storey mixed-use building on Pioneer Avenue.

The development, located at 7228 Pioneer Ave, would have commercial space on the ground floor and four apartment units on the upper floors.

The lot is currently zoned to a maximum residential density of 50 units per hectare, which would allow 3.17 units in the three-storey building. Rather than restricting the development to three units, staff recommended that council allow the development to build four in exchange for a $12,000 bonus density fee.

(Because the development only needs 0.83 additional units, it would pay the district $9,960.)

This fee is not without precedent: in 2010, the district allowed a increased density for a development at 1892 Park St for $5,000 per unit above the zone’s maximum density.

That Park Street project ultimately didn’t go forward — during council, staff said the developer had no intent of following through with the development and just wanted to sell it — and on Monday staff suggested that council update the bonus density provisions for the Park Street development to also have them pay $12,000 per unit.

RELATED: Going out with a ‘Pang’

“There’s quite a bit of profit to be made in a good market for apartment units in Agassiz and the Fraser Valley in general,” Darcey Kohuch, director of development services, explained. “I think $12,000 is something the district could benefit from … and it’s still reasonable for the developer considering the market.”

For councillor Duane Post, increasing the bonus density fee to $12,000 seemed counter-productive to creating affordable housing in the Fraser Valley.

“If we want to try and increase some density, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it does add costs to everybody,” he said. “I know the market’s gone up, but this is why markets go up too I guess. Because costs go up.”

Despite Post’s concerns, the bonus density fee for both developments was approved. The Pioneer Avenue development will be brought forward to a public hearing on March 25.

Down the road, at 6936 Pioneer Avenue, council is considering a two-level building with commercial space on the ground floor and one residential unit above.

Mayor Sylvia Pranger said she was disappointed the proposal wasn’t three storeys.

“We don’t have much land,” she said. “I would have liked to see additional density.”

The proposal was given first and second reading Monday, and the public hearing was waived as the zoning changes fit with the district’s Official Community Plan.



grace.kennedy@ahobserver.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Chilliwack Visual Artists Assocation calling for artists to display

Works will be on display at O’Connor Group Art Gallery

UPDATE: Jack-knifed semi closes Coquihalla northbound

A red liquid is reportedly spilled down the side of Highway 5

Seabird Island school partners with UFV for Halq’eméylem language course

UFV professor Mary Stewart traveling to Seabird Island to teach the for-credit course to staff

Teacher salaries, special needs dominate SD78 budget talks

Fraser Cascade has been dipping into reserves to make up teacher salaries

VIDEO: Rare ‘ice circle’ spotted on Kamloops river

An ice circle or ice pan, has formed in the chilly waters just east of the Yellowhead Bridge

B.C. man rescued after getting trapped headfirst in well as water level rose

The rescue involved crews from Oak Bay and Saanich

Investigators in wildfire-torn Australia head to site of B.C. airtanker crash

The B.C. government sends condolences to Port Alberni-owned Coulson Aviation

Mud slide prompts evacuation in Burnaby as rain saturates southern B.C.

About 20 metres of a five to six-metre high wall gave way

RCMP investigating sexual allegation against Lower Mainland police officer

Delta officer suspended while the alleged off-duty incident involving a co-worker is investigated

Former Mountie, sports coach convicted of sex abuse in B.C. granted day parole

Alan Davidson was sentenced to almost six years for abusing seven boys in the late 1970s and early 1990s

VIDEO: Person in wheelchair narrowly avoids collision with car in Kelowna

There were no injuries in the scary looking near-accident last week in Rutland

Here’s what Canada is doing to stop the coronavirus from getting in

Health officials are monitoring multiple possible cases in Canada

Fraser Valley poultry producer’s $130,000 fight with the CFIA earns him a red-tape award

Canadian Federation of Independent Business Paperweight Awards ‘honour’ government over-regulation

Most Read