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Will a proposed new development result in a 'row of glass' looming over Anmore?

Anmore is considering a development proposal for 261 new homes on Pinnacle Ridge off East Road.
A rendering of how a proposed new development of the Pinnacle Ridge area of Anmore might look.

An Anmore councillor is worried a proposed development for the Pinnacle Ridge area could result in a “row of glass” that overlooks the village.

But whether that happens should be determined as the project’s proponent goes through the rezoning process, said Coun. Doug Richardson.

“My concern is the look and feel of Anmore,” he said of the proposal by Bella Terra Investments2 Inc. to construct 261 new homes — including 160 townhomes — on 75 acres of steep, wooded terrain off East Road. “It’s a big change to the view and look of Anmore when you drive through it.”

On Tuesday, June 4, Richardson joined a majority of councillors who agreed with a staff recommendation the development proposal requires only an amendment to the village’s zoning bylaws but not the additional hurdle of an amendment to its official community plan (OCP) to move forward.

In a report, Chris Boit, Anmore’s manager of development services, said an interpretation of density requirements within the village’s OCP along with language it “provides a framework for future residential development that will prioritize environmental protection, enhance the semi-rural character of the village of the village and minimize infrastructure costs” means the proposal to develop Pinnacle Ridge falls within the document’s parameters.

He said the project, which would see the homes clustered on the area’s gentler slopes and dedicate about 35 per cent for greenspace and trails as well as protect riparian zones, enhances Anmore’s natural environment and its mix of 59 single-family and 42 semi-detached homes, along with the townhomes, addresses various housing needs.

“Increased density of the hillside area moves the village in the right direction,” Boit told council.

But Mayor John McEwen said whether the Pinnacle Ridge proposal requires an OCP amendment in addition to rezoning isn’t clearcut.

He said the extra step would provide more opportunities for input from the community, like a public hearing, as well as keep the process in line with the one being employed for Icona’s proposal to build 3,300 new homes on 150 acres the Port Coquitlam-based company owns in south Anmore.

“The OCP is here to dictate the look and feel of our future,” McEwen said, adding a previous proposal to develop Pinnacle Ridge petered out because of the “big infrastructure requirements” to build on the steep terrain that had been subject to a landslide in 2008.

But other councillors said a lot of those details can be addressed during rezoning.

“I think what we want to do is get into the nitty-gritty of this and get the public involved,” said Coun. Paul Weverink.

“I’m definitely interested to see how it fits into the village,” added Coun. Polly Krier. “We always knew the hillside would look different.”

Anmore staff will now craft the zoning bylaw amendments the developer will require for further council consideration.