Smith Avenue site proposed for townhouse project

The site of an apartment building with a history of serious fires is now being proposed for a townhouse development.

The four-storey rental complex at 3526 Smith Ave. was destroyed by fire in February 2013. While no one was killed, several pets in the pet-friendly building perished.

Four years earlier, in March 2009, a fire broke out in the building's lobby. A 60-year-old woman died of her injuries and an eight-year-old boy suffered extensive burns.

Now vacant, the owner of the site at the southeast corner of Smith Avenue and Linwood Street is seeking a rezoning to allow for a three-storey, stacked townhouse project with underground parking. Vehicle access would be from Linwood Street.

The site is designated for medium-density, multi-family residential use in Burnaby's Broadview Community Plan, said a city staff report.

The proposal consists of 34 units within five townhouse buildings separated from each other by landscaped courtyards and pedestrian walkways. The report noted that a Section 219 covenant would be registered on the property to ensure the protection of Spring Brook which runs through Avondale Park next door.

A public hearing on the rezoning will be held Aug. 26 at 7 p.m. in Burnaby city hall council chambers.

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