The rumours were out there: a new proposal for Coulter Berry? Speculation was rampant! What could it be?
I was thinking we might see one of three possibilities â€“ not that I would agree with them, just ideas the developer might put forward to make it all work.
The first possibility would be to turn the third floor into a rooftop garden/patio, just like the Reid Building.
How many times is it pointed out the Reid Building is three storeys? So why not make Coulter Berry the same? No third floor living area â€“ just an access point to some nice roof gardens.
Second possibility would be to relinquish the 70 parking credits out of the 130 parking stalls needed.
Street parking is at a maximum. There are only 200 commercial street parking spots available (easy to count, as they were all occupied).
Realizing only 60 parking stalls might not work for a 41,858-square-foot building, something needed to change. Perhaps the parking credits available in Fort Langley work only for a smaller two-storey building as it was designed to be. After all, how could it be allowed to cherry pick from the OCP, using the credits allowed and not keeping with any restrictions.
Could we have seen a deeper underground parking lot?
The third idea for consideration could be a height restriction of one storey on another property of equal size in the commercial core.
That would have kept the average height reasonable throughout the village: a variety of heights in keeping with the design guidelines, some give and take.
After all, the whole village cannot go three storeys.
Those are just three possibilities â€“ none of them the windfall expected by the developer, however some compromise that the building might incorporate.
Coulter Berry 2.0, as presented, is a visual redesign, however height and density are still very much an issue.
There are lots of pretty marketing brochures out there to convince us itâ€™s all changed. Not really sure on that.
Coulter Berry reaches heights of over 44 feet 11 inches. Thatâ€™s taller than the four-storey condo building on Billy Brown Road.
Andy Schildhorn, Fort Langley