What considerations have been made for public open space and community areas that are safe and support families, and other residents?
One of our key objectives is that the space on site provide amenities for residents. We’ll consider the shape of the site and its frontages to make those public private space improvements, and then create a streetscape. There is potential for community gathering spaces.
Is there any consideration for a bus stop and a connection to BC Transit & The Resort's bus route?
Given the potential density, we can work with the city and BC transit on potentially making a bus stop.
How many bedroom units are included in the townhouses?
At this point the number of bedrooms hasn’t been identified. The intention is to take into consideration the input from this session and then actually look at how unit allocation and unit mix would be applied to the site.
Have You done an assessment of how the size and number of units at the site will impact the current neighbours resale value?
BC Housing conducted research on the impact of non-market housing, with sites ranging from 25-147 units, on surrounding property values. Findings suggest that non-market housing does not have an impact on surrounding residential property values. Learn more: https://www.bchousing.org/research-centre/library/community-acceptance/property-values-case-study-series
Will any of the units allow aging in place for seniors or those with physical disabilities? ie. elevators and wide doorways etc..
The specifics are not contemplated in these current options, it will be part of the subsequent development applications. Part of the process here is to understand the potential density, which we can get a unit mix and the typology will be a factor in zoning restrictions or allowance. We encourage development of housing for seniors, families, et cetera, in any building. Taller buildings obviously need to address accessibility requirements. BC Housing has detailed guidelines for accessible design requirements that exceed the code. We’re working towards a universal design standard, where we try to introduce as much initial flexibility, barrier free, in order to accommodate that specific age in place. We do have a pretty diverse, identified demographic, that would be taking up the portions of the units. We will definitely create some efficiencies in the smaller units.
Since there is no park on that side of fourth and children would have to cross fourth to get to the closest playground is there an opportunity to have an area for a playground/greenspace?
Concept #3 allocated an area for green space, or potential playground. See the information package that's available online as a bit more information regarding the size of the area that is being contemplated. Definitely outdoor green space, play area, community space.
To maintain infection control standards are each unit having their own laundry facilities?
The design for the site has advanced to concept stage only. Building features, amenities and operations will be determined after allowable building form and density has been established and in accordance with tenant needs. That said, when it comes to non-market apartment style housing it is BC Housing’s preference to provide common area laundry facilities in order to realize mechanical efficiencies, reduce liability risks and promote opportunities for socialization. Given the COVID circumstances, all common area hygiene is an important consideration in building design and operation and will be considered accordingly.
Will vacation rentals be allowed on this site or seeked in zoning
BC Housing tenancy agreements are explicit with not subletting units. Unless we partner with a market provider, there would be no opportunities for vacation rentals.
As the need is for long term affordable rental units, what measures, if any, will ensure these units are going to residents of Revelstoke and not seasonal visitors?
From an administrative perspective, we're going to be working with a number of housing agencies and social agencies around Revelstoke. We want to make sure that we have a diverse set of housing opportunities. It can be difficult to accommodate short-term tenancies but given the nature of the community and the reliance on seasonal employment, we're open to innovative opportunities to provide rental housing.
Have you taken into consideration traffic flow along 4th Street? It is already very busy, particularly in the winter. Can this site handle the increased traffic if you go with concept 2 or 3?
We are aware that 4th is a major roadway. We have done a traffic analysis, preliminary traffic analysis on the site, and yes, it can definitely accommodate it. We are looking at some intersection improvements to help traffic. As well, we will be working with the city of Revelstoke to create a wider traffic pass, to contribute some frontage to allow for the roadway to be widened. There likely will be no access directly from the site onto 4th.
Four floor apartments as in concept 3 would be quite out of place aesthetically in the neighbourhood. Is that a consideration?
That’s exactly the type of input that are looking to for planning the development. Subsequent applications would have to address how to mitigate impact with setback for the higher elevations stepping up building, bringing buildings that are around the periphery of the site down in scale to try and limit the impact of larger scale.
Wider roadways for traffic = does that mean the City will take property away/purchase from existing homeowners?
This property will be giving up some of its frontage to meet with the current bylaws for developments on road width. There shouldn’t be anything coming from other properties. If the city identifies the need to increase the width of the roadway to accommodate traffic, they would have to identify those road widening, long range plans.
If all goes well - when will construction start?
If all goes according to schedule, we’ll be in front of City Council by the end of summer for the zoning application through Fall. We’d be looking at construction start in Spring 2021.
You mentioned that concept 1 was not a viable option for redevelopment. Can you please clarify what this means? Thank you.
When we look at Option #1, that allows the maximum amount of housing on the site under the current City Zoning Bylaw - CR for high density, multi residential, land use zone. That is an option, but we don't consider that to be meeting the needs in Revelstoke. We consider that to be a very low density of housing on the site for what can potentially be accommodated on a three-acre site. We would certainly expect to deliver a higher amount of housing opportunity.
With higher amounts of housing, comes increased affordability, and efficiencies in operations, and opportunities for multiple organizations to support their own needs on this site. We are certainly aiming for higher densities.
Option #1 would satisfy about 15% of the understood need. It is a benchmark that suggests that we need to go into what's called a Comprehensive Development, which would be a custom zone informed by this engagement process, which would allow us to increase the density. You're not allowed to vary density on a site by the local Government Act. So, you need to create a new Zone.
Does concept 3 include any commercial space?
If there's a green space provided on the site, that, there could be some community or commercial space adjacent to the green space, and an opportunity for some commercial space across Edward where there's existing commercial as well.
Are you considering a mix of affordable rental and ownership options? I think this could potentially impact density considerations. Begbie View Elementary has the ability to expand.
At this point, BC housing's objective is to target affordability on the on the site. If it comes to the point where we find we are struggling with servicing or costs related to development to the site, it may put us in a position to seek out some market partners to, to try to develop a component of market housing on the site. Our preference is definitely to focus on providing the housing where the greatest need is in the city currently and that is providing affordable housing for low to moderate income, singles couples, families, and seniors. It would be a last option to partner with a market housing developer in order to provide that market mix. Some of the ratio of housing may be targeted towards lower end of the market, but we're going to focus on creating affordable opportunities.
Have you been in any discussion with SD#19 about whether the catchment school Begbie View Elementary be able to absorb that many potential students if High Density Option 3 went through and this area was able to meet 70% of the city's rental demand?
We had had initial conversations with SD#19 when we were doing the purchase negotiations for the site. This is a question that needs to be considered through the zoning approval process. The school district would be a referral. However, the goal is to provide housing for people that are already living in the community, and not that there would be new students.
Is there any chance to put parking on the periphery and use the area near the housing for communal space and community garden space?
The exact parking layer will be determined at a future point. These concepts are to show the approximate size of the parking area, where they relate to the building, and how much of the site area that they would take up. It would be beneficial to be included in the community vision crafting for the zoning. Additionally, we would consider the use of the site to the residents that are going to be making their homes there - we do anticipate seniors and persons with disabilities to form part of that community -so we're going to try to make parking as convenient as possible, take whatever steps we can to protect those parking areas, and get them as close to unit entries as we can. Given that we are looking at some higher density opportunities, there will be some additional opportunities to try to create that separation from the building to the parking areas. Again, that's a that's a decision with the City Revelstoke as we develop design concepts for the planning approvals as we move forward.
On the heels of the viability of option #1, I understand the Selkirk Gardens are also another BC Housing project. What is the ideal target % of housing need that this project would address?
It depends on what kind of density is going to be supported on the site. The more affordable housing that we can provide, the more we close the gap. The survey studies that were conducted a year ago took into consideration all existing housing stock and all proposed development at the time.
What is the intended mix of rental and ownership options for these 3 scenarios?
Our objective is to create the affordable housing opportunity, within the rental spectrum.
Are all units rental or is affordable ownership part of mix?
Our objective is to create the affordable housing opportunity, within the rental spectrum.
Would underground parking allow for more buildings/units?
So underground parking definitely increases the ability to increase the density on site, and also does provide some of the benefits that we've talked about around weather protection. But it does add an incremental cost and isn’t typically found in affordable housing. Whether or not this project would have underground parking would be a factor of the development applications that will come directly, and their financial analysis.
Considering there will likely be more kids moving into the area have there been discussions regarding creating playground zones or lower speed limits to mitigate the risks of vehicle/people incidents?
There hasn't been any discussion to this point about creating school zones or kids zones. It’s something that would be considered if it wouldn't affect the overall traffic flow.
Have you looked at comparable high-density developments in Revelstoke with respect to parking considerations? Underground parking or canopies should be considered for these higher density options.
Yes, we’ve looked at that. The intention of this exercise is to look at the combination for the higher density as something that's amenable to the community and looking at options on how that would be addressed. It’s not the intention of this exercise to do the actual design of the issues with snow, and clearing, and storage. Having protection, potentially canopies, or underground, absolutely, those are very pragmatic approaches and they would be part of any subsequent development application.