On Monday, a controversial 6-storey, 22-unit development in the Pandosy Village neighbourhood was narrowly approved by city council.
The development stretches across three residential lots along Groves Avenue, sitting adjacent to the 14-storey Sopa Square tower.
However, the decision comes less than a month after council voted against the exact same development.
Mayor Colin Basran exercised his executive privileged to bring the development back to council for reconsideration.
“An ability I have is to ask for council to reconsider a project, it’s not something I’ve exercised often,” explained Basran.
“I believe I used it once last term.”
Following council's reconsideration, the development was approved in a vote of 5-4 with councillors Luke Stack, Maxine DeHart, Mohini Singh and Charlie Hodge being opposed.
Much of the opposition centered around rezoning the property to a RM6 "High Rise Apartment Housing" distinction, which goes against the official community plan (OCP) for Pandosy Village.
Development permit plans do include a height caveat that will limit future building to 6-storey as part of the rezoning conditions.
“I don’t support going to RM6 because, even with the caveat, it’s a significant change,” said councilor Stack.
“If you’re supporting higher density, you’re going to drive up the price of land in the area.”
Councillor Gail Given voted for the development, arguing that despite the added height, the project is only for 22 units and is not “overstretching” the community plan.
Also voting in favour, councillor Brad Sieben called the project a “high quality build” saying that a different project could fit the current zoning without blending into the neighbourhood's character as well.