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Proposed Nanaimo townhouse project would cater to families

At least half the units in the 219-unit townhouse development in the north part of the Harewood neighbourhood would have three or more bedrooms
An artistÂ’s rendering of a 219-unit townhouse development proposed for 560 and 604 Fourth St. and 361 Howard Ave. in Nanaimo. Ciccozzi Architecture, via City of Nanaimo

A rezoning proposal for a 219-unit townhouse development with at least half the units devoted to much-needed family housing is on its way to public hearing in Nanaimo.

The conceptual plan presented to city council shows rows of three-storey townhouses — a form of housing that is much in demand in the growing city, Nanaimo’s director of development approvals told councillors.

Jeremy Holm said at least half the units would have three or more bedrooms, “which I think is quite a good move toward supporting family housing in this part of town.”

City council voted in favour of second reading for the project.

Plans call for one part of the development site to be dedicated as a park, as part of the community contribution from the developer. The rezoning applications cover 560 and 604 Fourth St. and 361 Howard Ave.

The developer is proposing the land become part of a comprehensive development district zone. The proposed zone would include site-specific regulations covering height, density, lot coverage and setbacks.

Howard Avenue Project Ltd. is seeking the rezoning on behalf of numbered company 0760408 B.C. Ltd., with offices in Vancouver, and Gashtaseb and Mahin Kiamanesh.

The townhouses would be built in the north part of the Harewood neighbourhood near schools and services, transit routes and close to Vancouver Island University.

Watfield Avenue would be extended through the site.

If council approves the rezoning, an agreement to secure amenities including the three-bedroom-plus units and a multi-use trail would be required.

The park dedication is valued at $168,000, and $51,000 would be provided for the city’s housing legacy fund.

Coun. Sheryl Armstrong said some have expressed concern that Watfield Avenue would experience an increase in traffic because it would become a connecting road.

Holm said Howard and Wakesiah avenues would likely take most of the traffic and there would be improvements for pedestrians and cyclists as well.