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Prince George developer seeks to build six-storey seniors apartment on Foothills

The building would be designed to support aging in place
1177 Foothills Apartment proposal
A six-storey seniors' apartment building proposed for 1177 Foothills Boulevard.

A developer is proposing to build a six-storey seniors apartment building on Foothills Boulevard.

At the Oct. 4 meeting council approved initial steps for the development, however, several conditions must be met before the proposal can move to the public hearing process.

The applicant, Peter Wise, is proposing to build a 127-unit building at 1177 Foothills Boulevard.

The development is meant to support aging-in-place program for seniors which includes meals, transportation, recreation and 24-hour emergency call monitoring.

The project also includes 25 per cent of affordable units for people who can only afford 50 per cent of market lease rates. The proponent says the development needs to have sufficient density to offset the loss of revenue from the affordable units.

City administration initially recommended denying the application because of its location adjacent to Cranbrook Hill as a portion of the property risks landslide, erosion and sedimentation hazards.

“It is possible this ‘no disturb, no build area’ could be decreased but it would need further investigation to determine if this area is useable,” said Deanna Wasnik, acting director of planning and development services.

City staff have also noted that the development is not consistent with the size and scale of existing apartment buildings in the surrounding area and reflects a scale for development support elsewhere like downtown, along Queensway or at the intersection of O’Grady Road and Stringer Crescent.

However, before denying the project outright based on staff recommendations, Coun. Frank Everitt made the argument to advance the project so council could hear more about it from the developer.

“I would suggest that we support the application and allow first and second reading to go forward so we can get that additional information,” said Everitt.

“We have had the opportunity for a couple of applications to come before us, and we make the decision before first and second reading going through. I think it is important that there’s due process and the process would allow for us to have some alternate things taken care of for the project.”

Should council have decided to support this application, city staff prepared a list of 10 recommendations that would place conditions on the application before it moves through the next phase of the council process.

“I too would like to see these questions brought forward in the third reading,” said Coun. Garth Frizzell.

The conditions included a public consultation process with an expanded 30 meters to the notification area.

The public hearing process will be withheld until the city receives a development permit application, a geotechnical report, a servicing brief, and a traffic impact study.

Lastly, final approval of any amendments needed for the development will also be withheld until administration receives a restrictive covenant meaning no development can happen on the portions of the property identified in the geotechnical report.

Once the proponent meets the conditions outlined by council, the project will come back on council’s agenda for a public hearing.