Preliminary design plans have been issued in a community information package for a proposed affordable housing complex on 11th Ave. East and Lax Kw’alaams WAAP Housing Society (LKWHS) is requesting community feedback from the information issued on March 10.
“Community feedback and input is open to the residents until the council has a public hearing,” Mustafa Kulkhan, project manager for the housing society told The Northern View. “The current process may complete in two weeks. After two weeks we will provide the city a summary report of the feedback. Residents can continue to provide us with input after the 2 week period.”
The partnership project between the City of Prince Rupert, LKWHS and BC Housing is being designed by Human Studio and Michael Green Architecture with exterior artwork currently being designed by Tsimshian artists. The property is on land that is still undergoing a rezoning application through municipal procedures as well as a height variance to allow the intended six-storied structure in a currently zoned two-story maximum area.
As previously reported in The Northern View, the rezoning has been a point of contention for some local residents but supported by others. Some areas of concern voiced through a community petition were traffic flow and potential damage to ecosystems and wildlife.
Lax Kw’alaams WAAP Housing Society states that the design team continues to work closely with the City of Prince Rupert to maintain the natural beauty of this site.
“We are conducting a traffic study and our team retained a local biologist. Everything is being completed per the City and Provincial requirements. The intent is to preserve as much of the natural elements and try to integrate into the trail system,” Kulkhan said.
“We want the site to be accessible and pedestrian-friendly to encourage the use of the public transportation system,” Kulkhan said.
As stated in the public information WAAP will lease the land from the City to bring affordable housing to the community. All environmental setbacks will be maintained in accordance with the municipal and provincial regulations.
The planned mixed residential building which will be comprised of one, two, and three-bedroom units recently underwent an increase to 70 units from 60 to provide more housing for families. The total building area will be 61,554 sq. ft.
“The architectural team is working closely with the City of Prince Rupert to ensure that the surrounding neighbourhood is not unduly impacted … The building is accessed via the 11th Ave. entrance. Parking will comply with municipal requirements.”
“WAAP is enthusiastic about the potential of the project to provide the community with high-quality affordable housing options to meet the current and future needs of Lax Kw’alaams members in Prince Rupert,” the LKWHS stated.
Feedback can be sent to: email@example.com
The community information package can be found at: Lax Kw’alaams Housing Project
K-J Millar | Journalist
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