A controversial development, that would bring 36 units of housing to Fairfield, is heading to public hearing.
Empresa Properties is proposing a four-storey, multi-residential building at 110-1128 Burdett Avenue, with 36 units, mostly consisting of one and two-bedroom condos on the roughly 1,600-square-metre lot. There will also be underground parking for 37 cars and storage for bikes.
A housing agreement is in the works to ensure future strata bylaws could not prohibit the rental of units or limit the age of occupants .
But the project hasn’t been without challenges. Some residents are afraid the development will destroy the residential neighbourhood and increase traffic congestion in the area.
Despite some push back, mayor and councillors voted in favour of sending the development to public hearing on Thursday.
“I’m persuaded by looking at the site that this is complimentary to the north side of the street,” said Coun. Marianne Alto. “I do believe this is an appropriate use of the site.”
But not everyone was in favour of the project. Councillors Pamela Madoff, Geoff Young and Ben Isitt voted against sending it to public hearing, citing the amount of public opposition to the project.
Young believes if the project is approved, the density and architectural style of the building will set a precedent in the neighbourhood, which currently consists of a mixture of two to four-storey residential buildings.
“We will be sending a signal to the neighbourhood that in fact further change is likely,” he said. “I do fear that if we go to infilling this urban residential area with this very dense four-storey format it will project instability to that surrounding neighbourhood. I’m afraid we will destroy that very traditional residential neighbourhood.”
Madoff agreed, adding it’s almost “schizophrenic” to have one side of the street look so different from the other.