Nanaimo City Council has granted a height waiver and planning permit so planning can proceed for a six-story apartment building on the north end.

The council, at a meeting on May 16, voted unanimously to issue the development permit for an 88-unit building at 6330 McRobb Ave.

The building is Phase 2 of Dover Ridge Apartments, following the completion of a 50-unit Phase 1 building in 2016.

The new building is expected to include five three-bedroom suites, 30 two-bedroom apartments, 35 one-bedroom apartments and 18 studios. Plans call for 45 new underground parking spaces and 22 surface parking spaces, which together with the Phase 1 parking lot will exceed the 140 parking spaces required on the property.

“A fairly attractive style of building, obviously mirroring the existing building…” said Jeremy Holm, director of development approvals for the city. “[There are] design elements to draw the focal point on the fifth floor and diminish the sixth floor… This stands out strongly.

The developer, Camargue Properties, indicated in its application that it was not looking for additional density and that the additional height allows for a smaller building footprint to allow for more natural retention of stormwater and green space on the site. He noted that the building’s height will also provide “a gradual transition” from four-story buildings in the area to an adjacent property on McRobb that could house a future skyscraper.

“The simplest and least expensive option for us would be to not request a height variation and proceed with a large monolithic four-story structure that pushes site coverage to the maximum and increases adjacent shading,” said writes Robin Kelley, Managing Partner of Camargue. . “After reviewing the options, speaking with some of the neighbours, as well as high-level discussions with the municipality, we felt the site would be best served via a building that has a smaller footprint with a little extra height.”

Variance increases maximum building height from 14m to 19.6m. City staff and the city’s Design Advisory Committee have recommended support for the gap.

Com. Jim Turley said the lack of available housing “casts a shadow” over Nanaimo and its ability to attract workers.

“I’m all for spreads like this if it brings us more housing,” he said.


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