Affordable housing complex receives approvals from City of Powell River

Facility will offer rental units at less than market prices

City of Powell River has carried bylaw amendments that will allow for construction of an affordable housing complex on Ontario Avenue.

At the City of Powell River Council meeting on Thursday, September 5, amendments to the sustainable community plan bylaw and zoning bylaw were carried to allow for the development of the complex.

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The sustainability community plan bylaw amendment changed the designation of the property from urban residential low density to urban residential medium density to allow for the construction of the complex. Councillor Rob Southcott said it is a property that inclusion Powell River wants to develop into an affordable housing development. He said it was consistent with the sustainability plan and he was supportive of the initiative. The amendment was unanimously adopted.

With regard to the zoning bylaw amendment, changing the zoning from RMS compact residential to RM4 multiple family residential four, Southcott said the new designation provided for more density and more diverse usage. The amendment was also unanimously adopted.

Mayor Dave Formosa said he was very happy to see this affordable housing project proceeding.

“It’s exciting to see this happening,” he said. “It’s going to go a long way toward helping the community.”

inclusion Powell River CEO Lilla Tipton said the next step is getting the building permits. The architectural drawings are just about done, she added.

“We’re excited because we’re on schedule,” said Tipton. “If everything goes well, it looks like we’ll be able to start building in the spring as planned.”

The function of the inclusion organization in this building development will be as managers. Tipton said in the final analysis, it looks like inclusion will also have ownership of some of the apartments.

“We’ll hold a mortgage and ownership of some of the suites,” said Tipton.

She added that there has been confusion about this project, the homeless project and the newly started Coastal Breeze Village, which is a seniors residence adjacent to Powell River General Hospital. The inclusion project, on Ontario Avenue, will provide no services and will provide apartments with affordable rental units.

“This one is just a really nice apartment building at less than the market rental,” said Tipton.

She said the apartment complex will have some amenities, such as a common area for people to congregate. There will be an outside picnic area and a community garden, a playground for little children and a play area for older kids.

“It’s going to be a nice development and a great place for people to live,” said Tipton. “It’s well connected to the bus service, shopping and medical amenities. It’s well located.

“There will be good parking, a place for bicycles and scooters, because some of the suites are going to be fully accessible.”

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