The city hopes it has allayed fears that traffic in and around the Valley Line LRT, and the Grey Nuns Hospital will be taken care of when it shows off the updated redevelopment plans Thursday night for the Mill Woods Town Centre.
The proposed rezoning would allow the site to change over time from the low-density shopping mall that’s there now, into a higher density mixed-use centre that developer Rio Can intends on being home to more than 3,100 residents with town homes, low-rise and high-rise apartments.
It’s still early stages said Michelle Ouellette, a senior planner with the city. Those in attendance won’t see final drawings of what the project will look like, because there are still some details to be worked out.
“Not specific for this development,” Ouellette said. “Rio-Can is bringing renderings of similar projects that they’ve done, to illustrate what buildings will look like, for sure. But we haven’t gotten to a level of detail where actual building elevations are going to be required. They may add illustrations and things like that but the zoning doesn’t require an actual building elevation.”
This is the second open house for the project. The first saw nearby residents raise plenty of questions.
“The public in Mill Woods has concerns about general parking issues near the hospital. It’s a little bit related, but unrelated,” Ouellette said. “It’s just that the city is providing resources to address some of the concerns that we’ve heard through our engagement process for this particular project. The city is working on a parking strategy as well as an overall strategy for park’n’ride.”
The big worry is how visitors to the hospital use side streets to park. With LRT coming through starting in 2020, the concern is, just like near Century Park LRT, people will drive, use a side street for parking then ride LRT into downtown.
Ouellette confirmed more details will be worked out, but Thursday’s event will provide a good progress report.
“The idea is that we’ve heard comments the first time. We have information to offer which address a lot of the things that came up in the first open house,”
She’s hoping a final report will go to city council by September. No time line for Rio-Can is in place for the construction of the project, because that will be based on market conditions Ouellette said.
“We have to sign off on the transportation impact assessment,” she said. “Eventually over the next few months what’s going to be happening is we’ll prepare a report to council for a public hearing to occur later in the year,” Ouellette said. “If you talk to Rio-Can they would like it to happen sooner rather than later obviously, but we still have from an administrative perspective a few final details to work out with them.”
The open house is being held 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday at the Mill Woods Senior and Multicultural Centre, on the second floor of the Mill Woods Library.