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Pemberton LiveShare development sees public opposition

Public opposition about the co-living project's lack of parking has begun to flood into council
Affordable housing - Pemberton
LiveShare is working on bringing one of B.C.’s first secured rental co-living projects to Pemberton.

Nine Pemberton residents, all of whom reside in the adjacent Orion building, have submitted letters to council opposing the LiveShare housing project proposed for 7340 Crabapple Court.

The proposed 64-unit project would bring a unique co-living experience to its residents, which would “create collaborative living spaces that enable more meaningful, interwoven and connected lives,” according to LiveShare founder Jake McEwan during his presentation to the Committee of the Whole on Aug. 31, 2021.

What this means for potential residents is approximately 300-square-foot micro units with kitchenettes, sleeping quarters and bathroom facilities, with large-scale communal kitchen, dining, lounge and laundry facilities to be shared by the residents.

However, not everyone in the community is convinced this style of living is the right fit for Pemberton.

“I’ll just get right to it, it’s a terrible idea and the developers are absolutely clueless to the real-world issues that will be caused if this goes through,” wrote Gordon Pilling, homeowner in the Orion apartment complex and strata council president, in his letter to mayor and council dated Aug. 10.

“Parking is the biggest issue by far … what these developers have proposed is a joke. There is absolutely no room for any additional parking anywhere near Crabapple Court. They have not realized or accounted for the fact that there will be no driveways at the new mountainside townhouse complex next door to Orion, meaning that those who don’t use their garages for parking or can’t fit a larger truck in their garage will be parking off site.”

Where the Orion complex has 1.5 parking spots per unit, the LiveShare project proposes less than 0.5 stalls per unit, and instead hopes to focus on communal services like rideshares and bicycle sharing to encourage people to live without a car.

While Mayor Mike Richman wanted to address the letters at the Aug. 30 council meeting, he said they were “kind of ahead of the process a little bit,” as no development application has even been submitted for the project yet.

However, the community concerns are noted, and the letters will be saved for discussion when an application comes forward to council in the future.