Sechelt APC gets first look at proposed Reef Road townhouse development

A rezoning proposal for a 47-townhouse development in Sechelt appeared before the municipality’s Advisory Planning Commission on Sept 5.

The proposed development would be located at 5875 Reef Road in Sechelt and would consist of 10 separate three-storey buildings with townhouse-type units.

The area is zoned as R2 (low density residential), but to match the site's vision of the Official Community Plan, it would need to be rezoned to R5 (medium density).

Aiden Shirley, development manager at CityState Consulting, said, “The project's current design would require two variances for site-specific zoning provisions, our proposal otherwise meets the requirements of the R5 zone including with regards to density setbacks and amenities.”

Shirley stated that the proposed site is surrounded by facilities including schools, parks, sports fields, a church and the number three bus route, which runs to downtown.

The majority of the proposed townhouses are three-or four-bedroom units, as well as smaller units, including 12 two-bedroom units and two one-room units.

Shirly said, “This project offers an unusual amount of design diversity for 47 units.” The proposed development would have eight different types of townhouse units.

The project would deliver key benefits for water conservation including a stormwater detention pond used for dry season irrigation, the focus on drought tolerant landscaping and provision of low flow appliances, said Shirley.

Sechelt senior development planner Sven Koberwitz said that significant environmental work has been done on the property to look for opportunities for restoration.

One of the APC members raised concern over fire access to the proposed development, stating that a turn around for fire engines may need to be added.

Koberwitz said that their building department is currently looking into fire access, and that they are also working with the fire department.

The APC encouraged the applicant to review the form and character guidelines of development areas seven and eight as they proceed considering overhangs and shading on the building.

The potential for electric vehicle charging stations and passive cooling was also raised.

The committee recommended the applicant revisit fire access routes and consult with both the fire department and the building department regarding fire safety and access.

The APC acknowledged the proposed development is compatible with OCP designations and had no concerns regarding the variance in density or parking.

The next step for the proposal will be a presentation before Sechelt council for a first reading. A public heading would be held after it receives a second reading.

Jordan Copp is the Coast Reporter’s civic and Indigenous affairs reporter. This reporting beat is made possible by the Local Journalism Initiative.

Jordan Copp, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Coast Reporter