The proposal to build on what used to be the notorious Northumberland Court on Fraser Street is underway after receiving Maple Ridge council’s nod of approval Dec. 11.
A numbered company first wants to build a five-storey at 11718 – 224th St. that would have 23 one- and two-bedroom condo units and two floors of underground parking.
Once complete, it would start on Phase 2 of the project on the adjoining property on Fraser Street.
The company sought a relaxation of the setback requirements from the sidewalk, reducing that distance from 7.5 metres down to six metres, and for permission to build five storeys instead of four.
Council, at its Dec. 11 meeting, voted in favour of issuing the permits, except for Coun. Gordy Robson, who questioned its exterior decor.
“I’m wondering why this went through the development process without getting a historical appearance to it,” Robson said.
Planning director Christine Carter, though, said the building was reviewed by the advisory design panel.
She said a new building in the Port Haney area doesn’t have to have a heritage look, it simply has to blend in.
But Robson said the building wasn’t historic and didn’t fit in.
Development manager Chuck Goddard said there are several new projects underway nearby in the area and added later that recent building designs emphasize more modern looks.
The Port Haney area also has only generic design requirements, he added, while with its location on the east side of 224th, it’s not actually in the area.
Another new building is proposed for across 224th Street at 116th Avenue and calls for 50 rental apartments, while another 12 condos are proposed for 11500-block of 224th Street.
Two more buildings, four and six storeys high, have received third reading for just north of Haney House, also on 224th Street.
According to a staff report, once the phase one is built, phase two will follow on Fraser Street side which used to be the site of Northumberland Court. Northumberland was the location of many fire, bylaw and police calls until it was razed in 2011.