The City of Rossland has given the go-ahead for the initial design of a Washington Street development project.
The project proposed by DJM Contracting Ltd. is a five-unit, three-bedroom, three-level townhouse at 2452 Washington St. called “The Aerie.” It received a green light at the March 8 council meeting for its ‘form and character’ despite some pushback from council.
“That property has been zoned for multi-family,” said Rossland councillor Terry Miller, who also sits on the design review committee. “So the review process that went before council was to approve the look and feel of the building to make sure it passes the design guidelines versus the development process.”
The Aerie development will provide five efficiently designed units that will add to Rossland’s affordable mid-range housing stock.
“I think we’re looking to diversify our housing stock,” said Coun. Stewart Spooner. “It’s been pretty challenging to get multi-unit developments off the ground. I like this one, I had more technical concerns but I think they were all addressed in the voluminous correspondence today.”
Rossland staff reported that the design “attempts to marry character elements with a highly energy efficient building that is pedestrian oriented and vehicle sensitive.”
Features will include charging stations for electric vehicles in the garages and full heat pump system rather than natural gas. The development intends to reach at minimum Step 3 of the BC Energy Step Code.
Councillors Andy Morel and Dirk Lewis voiced concerns over parking and traffic near the RSS school, as well as aesthetics, and the size of the development.
Their points, however, could not be considered as they were not relevant to the process at hand.
“It’s actually illegal to turn this down for traffic studies, and we could be taken to court for that, this is purely a form and character guideline,” clarified Stacey Lightbourne, Rossland manager of planning and development.
The project checks all the boxes and requirements of Rossland’s Official Community Plan (OCP) and was given approval from the design review committee.
“It meets the OCP, it meets our bylaws for zoning including all the parking sizes and requirements, in fact it exceeds the parking requirements according to zoning and it meets all the guidelines for form and character and the OCP, therefore it should be approved,” added Lightbourne.