Opponent of Commercial Drive development says there are other options

Opponents of the Boffo Properties development on the intersection of Commercial Drive and Venables say there are other ways to increase density that don’t involve building a 12-storey tower.

The Boffo development is down to 12 storeys but critics say that's still too tall for the neighbourhood

The project is four years in the making and will revitalize the neighbourhood at an intersection that is currently industrial, says Kettle Society's executive director. (Boffo Properties)

Opponents of the Boffo Properties development on the intersection of Commercial Drive and Venables say there are other ways to increase density that don't involve building a 12-storey tower.

Daniel Boffo says his company can't scale down the tower any more without compromising the project's ability to fund its social component — 30 units of supportive housing and a mental health drop-in centre, operated by The Kettle Society.

But some residents in the neighbourhood have argued for years that towers simply don't fit the neighbourhood.

"The vast majority of people support the Kettle Society. What people don't support is the building form, the height of the building," said John Shayler, a former member of the Grandview Woodland Area Council.

"Two hundred units of condo and 30 units of supportive housing and other facilities could create an incredible density in one location."

Shayler says there are other ways to increase density that don't involve building a tower.

"We really don't want to go the high-rise route. There are other ways to achieve density and we want a choice."

The longtime resident says he wants the city to limit the height of buildings to four or five storeys in the area. If developers are allowed to build this tower, Shayler warns more high-rises may be on the way.

"You build something like that there and it can be a wedge development that will then have other developers asking for the same thing."

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