A mix-up by Pemberton's planning division almost sent a proposed apartment building development back to the drawing board — a setback that could have cost the developer both time and redesign fees.
Village of Pemberton (VOP) council was considering a new 45-unit apartment for 7350 Crabapple Court at its regular council meeting Tuesday, Feb. 20 when the confusion arose.
Brought forward by Whistler's Innovation Building Group, the proposal met stiff opposition from VOP Mayor Mike Richman and Councillor Jennie Helmer when it came to "form and character."
Richman objected to the "penitentiary-like" colours, while Helmer said, "It does not look like it belongs in Pemberton" and at one point called it "atrocious."
Over the better part of an hour, council discussed ways to improve the design, from adding wood to metal siding.
The issue also resulted in a tense exchange between Coun. Ted Craddock, who felt that council had no business deciding on colour schemes, and Helmer, who felt otherwise.
However, as the discussion went on it became apparent that council was considering an architectural rendering of the development that wasn't a true likeness of the building. The image had been included in the briefing material.
The accurate rendering of the building was attached to the project proposal, but members of council, including Richman, were unable to open the file on their computers.
Senior Planner Lisa Pedrini had been given a large printed version of the actual rendering earlier, but at the time council met the drawing was back with the developer who was not aware he was to bring it to council meeting.
To help councillors understand the actual vision of the development, Rod Nadeau, managing partner at Innovation, pulled an image up on his phone, which was passed around for council to view.
"What I see there is completely different," said Richman as he viewed the phone image.
Council granted a requested variance to allow the developers to build one metre higher than permitted, and also granted the development permit with non-design-related conditions. In a second resolution the applicant was also asked to bring renderings showing design options, including metal siding, to a March 6 council meeting.
Those conditions include: a formal grading plan with engineered retaining wall design be submitted to the satisfaction of the village engineer; that a formal stormwater management plan be submitted to the satisfaction of the village engineer; that in lieu of undertaking an individual Traffic Impact Study for the subject property, the equivalent costs be contributed to the Village toward the cost of a greater Traffic Impact Study for the Arbutus/Portage Road Corridor;that the remaining comments by ISL Engineering, provided in the correspondence dated January 12, 2018, be addressed by the applicant to the satisfaction of the Manager of Operations & Development Services; that the Fire Chief’s concern with respect to the location of the electric car parking is addressed to the satisfaction of village staff; that a flood level covenant be registered on title to dictate the elevation of residential development and restrict the items that can be stored in the underground storage units; that an estimate of landscaping works and security deposit (in the form of an Irrevocable Letter of Credit or equivalent) to complete the works be submitted; an that any proposed future building signs receive a Sign Permit in conformance to the Village of Pemberton Sign Bylaw.
Following the meeting, Nadeau said he was happy the project was moving forward in light of the mix up.
"The architectural drawings are not designed to have the proper representation of colour.
"The actual rendering of the building — and the colour board — is what you need to make a decision on for colour."
Nadeau, who was visibly frustrated during the meeting, said it was difficult to watch it all go down.
"As a developer you just sit in the background and listen. There is no opportunity to make presentations as a developer. The only presentations I made here were to clarify things in their drawings."
During the meeting, Pemberton also considered repair and maintenance projects.
One of the projects up for review was the Youth Centre, which was asking for a total of $38,500 for renovations. Of those funds the centre was proposing to spend $13,500 on flooring, $15,000 on furniture, $5,000 for the office and $5,000 on a new pool table.
Coun. Karen Ross took issue with a $5,000 pool table, while Coun. Craddock suggested that it would be good to get the youth involved in some of the renovations.
The latter point was echoed by Richman, who said that the centre should look to local groups for assistance.
"Let's put a focus on bringing these costs down and leveraging our assets," he said.
In the end, council voted to allocate $10,000 for capital improvements for the year.
A letter of support
Council also voted to send Minister of Health Adrian Dix a letter in support of a BC Association of Farmers' Markets initiative that puts healthy food on the tables of vulnerable families.
Carried out in coordination with the Sea to Sky Community Services Society and the Pemberton Farmers' Market, low-income pregnant women, families and seniors are given vouchers for fresh food.
The program invested $10,000 in Pemberton last year, and across the province it helped an estimated 11,000 British Columbians.