The prospect of 50 affordable rental apartments and 26 market rental units in Suter Brook drew praise from some Port Moody councillors considering a proposal by Onni to increase density in its last parcel of property in the development. Whether the rest of the community agrees will be determined at a public hearing for the plan on March 13 at city hall.
Onni wants to change the terms of its land use contract for the property at 300 Morrissey St. so it can build two 26-storey residential towers and one six-storey residential building.
The project’s 512 residential units would include 76 rental apartments. A new 11,000 square foot neighbourhood park and 10,700 square feet of indoor amenity space would also be built.
The site is already approved for one 26-storey tower and two four storey buildings that would comprise 290 units.
Coun. Diana Dilworth said the tradeoff of density for the rental units along with approximately $15 million in anticipated density bonus payments “is exactly what communities have been asked to do.
“I hope this sets a standard for future applications.”
Coun. Meghan Lahti agreed.
“For me, the biggest benefit is the affordable housing portion,” she said.
But Coun. Hunter Madsen said the added traffic that would come with the larger development is too high a price to pay for the rental units.
“We don’t have any particular need for this extra density,” he said. “This won’t enhance the living experience for people in Suter Brook.”
Coun. Rob Vagramov concurred.
“I think it’s asking for too much for too little,” he said.
But Mayor Mike Clay said proposals like Onni’s are a test of the city’s commitment to remain affordable.
“This is not a greedy developer trying to line their pockets,” he said. “They’re providing what we want; we want affordable housing.”
But determining the cost for achieving that should be left to the community, said Coun. Barb Junker.
“I hope we hear from all of Port Moody about what they want to see on that site.”