Burnaby councillor opposes tallest tower in B.C.

Coun. Colleen Jordan is concerned about transferring rental units off-site.

A Burnaby city councillor has staked out her opposition to a proposed 80-storey development next to Lougheed SkyTrain station.

Phase 1 of the development, located at 9850 Austin Rd., 9858 Gatineau Pl. and 9898 Gatineau Pl., would build two new towers at 80 storeys (259.1 metres/850 feet) and 73 storeys high (238.5 m/782 ft), adding 1,466 strata condos to the market.

Tranferring rental units off-site concerns councillor

To meet Burnaby’s inclusionary rental policy, developer Pinnacle International is transferring 405 non-market rental units to a new development off-site at nearby 3846 Carrigan Crt.

Coun. Colleen Jordan opposes this density transfer.

“I think, except for a freak of timing, we wouldn’t support (it) right now. Our policy right now is to not allow the developer to transfer that density from one site to a site far away,” Jordan said at council.

The developer applied for the rezoning in 2019, before Burnaby introduced its rental use zoning policy.

Jordan said council should turn the application down.

“We’re going to end up with an exclusive four towers, all-strata, no rental, and we’ve delegated the rental to another neighbourhood,” Jordan said, noting the point of rental zoning is to incorporate it with market strata.

She also referenced the May 31 public hearing, in which many Carrigan Court residents expressed opposition to the rezoning.

“Because of those two towers, we are now taking down a perfectly fine rental building 350 metres away,” she said.

Jordan noted the transfer includes the density that would come from the development’s second phase (two more towers at Austin-Gatineau) that she said may never be built.

She said discussions with the Province, regarding ownership and use of part of the property, have delayed the development.

“I think what we should be doing is turning the heat on the Province, the Ministry of Transportation Finance Authority, TransLink – we’re supposed to be building housing near rapid transit centres, and they’re stalling,” she said.

Most councillors support Austin-Gatineau rezoning

Coun. Pietro Calendino said he will support the development, not swayed by Jordan’s arguments.

He said the transferred rentals at the Carrigan site would not be too far away.

“It’s not 10 miles away, it’s just across the street,” Calendino said.

“We shouldn’t be penalizing the developer because the provincial government is not coming to the table in time for the whole development to be presented,” he added.

Coun. Alison Gu said she struggled with the fact that the density around rentals and non-market rentals was moved to a separate site, but said she would support the rezoning.

“We are in such a housing crisis that the number of units that this represents in rental, non-market rental, market rental and strata is just, it’s so significant for Burnaby and the region,” Gu said.

In addition to the 405 non-market rental units on the Carrigan site, the developer will built 141 market rentals and 354 market strata units.

The Carrigan development would see a total of 900 units in two residential buildings at 23 (66.13 m) and 25 storeys (60.84 m).

Coun. Dan Johnston voted with Jordan against the rezoning’s second reading.

lvanderdeen@burnabynow.com

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