First project in new Sixth Street plan gets go-ahead

Burnaby council has given approval in principle to the first rezoning since its Sixth Street Area Plan was adopted last year.

The proposal will see vacant properties at 7485 and 7495 Sixth St. and 7873 16th Ave. developed into a 17-unit townhouse complex with underground parking.

While vehicle access is planned for 16th Avenue, a speaker at last month's public hearing asked if it could be moved to Sixth Street.

City staff responded in a report that such a change would create traffic and pedestrian safety concerns since Sixth Street is "significantly busier" than 16th Avenue. It would also go against the recommendations of the Sixth Street Area Plan.

Relocating the driveway eastward would also create safety concerns from it being too close to the intersection.

Another suggestion that a "delta island" at Sixth and 16th, which restricts traffic to right-in and right-out, be moved west also was rejected by city staff. The traffic-calming device was installed in 1993 after 16th Avenue residents requested that traffic be reduced in that block. And it needs to be within one metre of an intersection to be effective.

The site is within an area designated as "multiple-family district" in the new area plan, which aims to create denser housing to support future businesses earmarked for properties nearby.

The proposal is that the three-storey townhouses would be all three-bedroom units of around 109 square metres (1,200 square feet). It would include 31 parking stalls and a secured bicycle room large enough for 22 bikes.

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