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Higher densities in revised Chilliwack hillsides plan

A revised area plan for Chilliwack
A revised area plan for Chilliwack's Eastern Hillsides has slightly higher densities projected for build out with a total of 6000 people.
— image credit: JENNA HAUCK/ PROGRESS FILE

A revised Eastern Hillsides Area Plan is on the agenda for Tuesday's council meeting with higher and more "realistic" densities for hillside development.

The plan originally presented to council in November 2011 came with a proposed build-out of about 1700 homes and 4000 people.

The newly revised land-use scenario calls for an outright build out of 2800 homes or 6400 people on the Eastern Hillsides, which is still considered low density development.

The recommendation for the draft hillsides plan to be referred to outside agencies will be voted on at the Tuesday council meeting.

That's the first step before the OCP amendment comes before council for introduction and first reading on June 5.

“We are confident the revised Plan addresses infrastructure, parkland, trails and a realistic amount of development for the Eastern Hillsides,” said Mayor Sharon Gaetz. “It contains everything needed to ensure a livable community.”

The hillsides plan reinforces "community values" such as increasing green space with a new parks plan, or preserving hillside characteristics, according to the press release from city hall.

Hillside plan revisions are aimed at ensuring:

• Development gets concentrated where infrastructure investment is forthcoming for pending or current projects;

• More realistic hillside densities;

• Neighborhood park and trails are established as development occurs; and

• The plan is based on local market conditions and a clear strategy for infrastructure funding.

“There is a clear cost recovery model in the plan that is consistent with the city’s past practices,” said Gaetz. "In other words, development pays for itself.”

The plan has single family houses making up the bulk of housing projected for the hillsides, but townhouses, a hotel, and resort/commercial uses are anticipated near the existing golf course.

City staff will be recommending that the Eastern Hillsides Area Plan be referred to outside agencies such as the Fraser Valley Regional District, School District 33, First nations and Ministry of Environment. It will be available for viewing online at Chilliwack.com after May 15. The plan is expected to come before council for introduction and first reading on June 5.

jfeinberg@theprogress.com

twitter.com/CHWKjourno

 

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