On November 23, a public hearing will be held at city hall at 7pm to discuss a proposal to change zoning laws to allow increased densities and taller buildings than currently allowed in Burnaby's town centres. Although not known who brought forth the proposal, it can be guessed that one or more of the developers currently holding properties in Burnaby are behind it.
Earlier this year, Brentwood Town Centre Mall was sold to Shape Properties, a local company that has stated its interest in redeveloping the existing mall and parking lots around it. The plan will very likely include a remodelling and expansion of the mall and a combination of residential and office/commercial development around it. Expect this project by Shape Properties to be the largest single development in the history of North Burnaby which will further entrench the mall site as the core of Brentwood Town Centre.
Hopefully, the project will be able to create more pedestrian-oriented accessibility to and from the site including the area immediately next to Brentwood Station and also consider the potential for developing a commercial zone just north of the station with quick access to and from the station to take advantage of the increasing numbers of commuters using the Millennium Line. Something similar to the shops in and around Commercial-Broadway Station would be a good idea.
The lot located just west of the station (right photo), formerly the site of Brentwood Brake and Muffler and a gas station, will most likely be part of a community amenity space and has been described as potentially being used as a public "celebration square" or "gathering place". Several other projects that have been on hold in the Brentwood area may be awaiting zoning change approvals to take advantage of the increased height and density allowances.
The benefit to the city in return for allowing more density is in the form of cash paid by the developer for a fund geared towards the building of public amenities and social housing or in the form of a public space or facility being built into the project by the developer at no cost to the city.
Since I will not be working during the evening of November 23, I will experience attending a public hearing for the first time in my life. It should be interesting and informative to hear varying viewpoints along with potential ideas associated with the proposal.
You can read more about this topic in the following Burnaby Newsleader article.