Hundreds of residential units will be sprouting up along Highway 99, just north across the road from the SEAandSKY Waterfront development.
The first half of the sizeable Redbridge development on 1500 and 1606 Scott Road was approved by council unanimously on Nov. 10.
Elected officials authorized a development permit to Kingswood Development, a developer that is also playing a major role in the separate development of the Waterfront.
The combined Redbridge lands will have up to 435 residential units.
The project is split into north and south developments, and the authorization from council permits the start of the southern site.
That area will have four mixed-use buildings, consisting of 317 residential units and 10,000 square feet, or 929 square metres, of commercial space.
The project will have a mix of apartments and townhouses.
Some changes were also made to a previously-agreed-upon land development agreement.
The newly-approved amendments will allow for a public play structure area to the dedicated park land along the northern site's shoreline.
It will also change the order in which the first four phases of the southern site are built.
The current phasing would require the south development to build the commercial area in Phase 1, but the change is pushing that back to Phase 3.
This reason for the change in phasing is because the applicants feared the commercial units would be sitting mostly empty, as they anticipate there will initially not be enough residents in the area to support business in that area.
Municipal staff also said it may also attract more highway-focused tenants rather than businesses catering to the neighbourhood.
Everyone on council supported the project, though they did bring up a few points.
Coun. Eric Andersen said, generally speaking, he saw "a lot of sameness in colour palettes around town."
He wanted to address pedestrian movement in the area, such as park gateway issues to nearby parks like Smoke Bluffs.
Andersen wondered if there would be enough parking for that park.
He supported the change in development phasing and the public play structure.
Mayor Karen Elliott lamented the lack of affordable housing, but said that the project passed through rezoning too long ago for it to be a requirement.
"I still think it's a shame we never captured any affordable housing of importance in this development, and I think it's just a reflection of the fact that it started so long ago and evolved through different OCPs and zoning amendments," said Elliott.
"But I still think that's a real miss for something that's so close to our downtown."
The Redbridge development is the final iteration of a development proposal that has been in the pipes for a long time.
A proposal for mixed-development was initially granted rezoning approvals back in 2006, but that was rescinded between 2007 and 2008.
This was around the time a land-use study for the Upper Mamquam Blind Channel area was undertaken. The council of the day decided to defer development review and land-use approvals until the study was done.
The study was eventually presented to council in May 2012.
In the meantime, Kingswood bought additional lands to the north and would later present an updated rezoning application to council for first and second reading on June 6, 2014 and authorization to execute the Land Development Agreement and rezoning adoption was approved on October 14, 2014.
Kingswood would then buy the lands on 1606 Scott Crescent and submit a rezoning application to add it to the existing CD-77 zone.
The rezoning would become adopted on July 24, 2018. One big change allowed for 929 square metres of commercial space.
This article originally appeared here.