Residents of the Cranberry Street area are finally getting the fence they want between themselves and the Tamitik Status of Women housing project about to break ground.
In a council meeting held March 17, Anthoni Boni, from Bonni Madison Architects, who is managing the project for the non-profit society, stated a fence around the mixed-use social housing project was already budgeted into the project.
However, during the March 29 council meeting, both council and residents raised concerns about the development proposal application because there was nothing about the fence being part of the budget.
“In regards to fencing, it is a district requirement per bylaw that was not included in our budget but understood it is required,” said Boni.
“If the district is asking us to put that fence in based on community input that’s what we will do.”
After Boni reassured residents and the council that a fence will surround the building, questions about height and structure were discussed along the west side of the building.
Residents demanded that the applicant install an eight-foot-high fence on the west side of the building to help with the noise and light pollution for residents living on Cranberry Street.
Concerned about the developer’s budget, Mayor Phil Germuth proposed the affected residents should pay for a portion of the fence.
“When you’re putting a fence in usually both neighbours do put their part in and pay for half,” Germuth said.
He also said many changes had already been made to satisfy residents’ concerns.
“The only reason why we’ve had public hearings is that what’s been happening in the building, a four-storey building could have gone there in the past 20 years since the zoning has been there since then for institutional reasons,” Germuth said.
“You look at what TSW has done, they’ve modified so much, they want to work with you on the lighting, they want to make sure the landscape buffers are there, they’ve moved the garbage cans, they’ve changed the parking, none of that would of have to been done.”
After receiving the information provided by the public about the development proposal, the council reviewed the development permit application and adjusted the requirements in accordance with the public’s needs.
They also confirmed that the public will not have to pay for half of the fence regardless of the mayor’s request for residents to pitch in.
“It’s not an unrealistic expense for the form and character for this development to take place, […] It doesn’t address everything but I don’t think it’s an unreasonable requirement to put on the development,” said councillor Feldhoff talking in favour of the west side fence height being eight feet high.
The total cost for the solid eight-foot-high fence was expected to be around $76,010. That estimate will not reflect the total cost of the fence though because the council decided that only the west side fence be eight feet high, while the other fences bordering the project will only be a maximum of six feet high.
Phase one of the development will consist of a four-storey transitional housing building of 31 units, including an 18-bed transitional house for women and children fleeing domestic violence. Phase two will include a one-storey 24-hour daycare building, which will have 60 spaces offered in three rooms over a 24-hour period. Tamitik Status of Women will provide services under contract to the provincial government. Boni Maddison Architects will manage construction and will be provided funding through the provincial BC Housing agency.