SkyTrain station, highrises at public hearing Tuesday

We may be in the lazy days of summer but there will be no shortage of rezoning applications being considered at the public hearings on Tuesday, July 22 at 7 p.m. in Burnaby city hall council chambers.

TransLink is seeking rezoning approval for its major renovation and expansion of Metrotown SkyTrain station as well as the adjacent bus loop and Central Boulevard bus services. The changes are designed to improve accessibility, safety, comfort and convenience in accommodating projected ridership demands for the next 30 years.

Upgrades will include the addition of two stationhouses, two more elevators, eight new escalators and two new stairways at mid-platform and a bicycle storage facility. It is also designing the station to include public washrooms, "which will be constructed and open for operation once an agreement on operations and maintenance can be reached with a third party," said a letter from TransLink to the planning department.

Next on the agenda is a rezoning application for a highrise development at 6280 Cassie Ave. and 6331, 6363 and 6377 McKay Ave.

Designed by Chris Dikeakos Architects, the 490-unit project will include two towers. One at 41 storeys will be built above a four-storey commercial office-retail podium while the second, at 26 storeys, will be oriented towards McKay along with six, three-storey townhouses.

The developer is proposing to use density bonus provisions the site is eligible for. If the rezoning is approved, it will contribute $16.5 million in density bonus funds to the city, with 80 per cent to be used for future amenities in the Metrotown area and 20 per cent to go into Burnaby's city-wide housing fund.

A hearing will also be held for Epta Properties' application to rezone the triangular-shaped site at 418 Gamma Ave., at Hastings Street. The property received final rezoning approvals in 2012 for a four-storey mixed-use development, but Epta has had difficulties leasing or selling the planned office space on the second floor.

It's now seeking to have that office space converted to residential instead, a move that will require another rezoning. Retail space will still be on the ground floor and the rest of the proposal is essentially the same.

Council will also be listening to any public input on a development proposed by Otivo Developments for 7262, 7268 and 7274 18th Ave. It will comprise a three-storey, 27-unit stacked townhouse project with underground parking.

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