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Quesnel council approves 6-storey, 56-unit residential building near city hall

A development permit for construction was approved at a regular council meeting
A rendering of a 6-storey, 56-unit residential building that will be built at 442 Kinchant Street near Quesnel City Hall. (City of Quesnel council handout)

More homes will be available in downtown Quesnel.

City council approved a development permit application for a 6-storey residential building with 56 units at 442 Kinchant Street by city hall at their Tuesday, Nov. 22 meeting. Council also approved reducing the parking requirements from 64 to 54 stalls.

According to a staff report, the development will include 41 one-bedroom and 15 two-bedroom dwellings, ranging from 575 to 895 square feet. Half of the units will also be adaptable for accessibility.

Parking will be split between two lots, with 28 stalls located on the new site and 26 on a lot on Vaughan Street which is currently a developed parking lot next to city hall.

“This is something that we’ve been talking about and hoping about for quite a long time now,” councillor Scott Elliott said, adding 56 downtown units is exceptional for the community.

Staff recommended that council approve the application, noting it would provide much-needed housing close to amenities for all ages and increase public safety with more eyes on the street.

Tanya Turner, the city’s director of development services, said the applicant would most likely be applying for their Multi-Unit Development Incentives Program, which requires a number of units meeting a number of criteria in order to obtain incentives, including a 10-year tax exemption and DCC (development cost charges) waivers.

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Renderings by David Eaton Architecture Inc. and Klimo & Associates from the Lower Mainland were included in the Quesnel council agenda package.

In a letter to the city, the proponent, Xerox Properties, noted they feel excited about what the contemporary design will do for the area and hopefully set a precedent towards a modern design ethic while still fitting in the neighbourhood. Proposed materials will include hardie board, longboard and dark ebony brick, providing a “fresh face” to the block with a contrasting white and marine blue.

While staff noted no major infrastructure concerns have been identified, several items will need to be addressed in the servicing agreement, such as removing the existing picnic table, garbage receptacle and bench, and determining if the underground wiring for the electrical and lighting between city hall and north parking lot are trespassing.

“It’s been sitting in the hopper for a long time, and I look forward to seeing the skyline of downtown Quesnel being changed for the better,” said mayor Ron Paull.

A 2019 Housing Needs Assessment found the city and the Cariboo Regional District lack sufficient and appropriate housing stock for older adults, which is tying up the housing stock for families and other households that are lacking access to housing stock that meets their needs. Pet-friendly rentals are also lacking.

Read More: Final North Cariboo housing report highlights need for more rental supply, housing affordability

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