UPDATE: North Van City will retake Onni development vote

Proposed Onni project at Lonsdale Avenue Safeway site. - Submitted photo
Proposed Onni project at Lonsdale Avenue Safeway site.
— image credit: Submitted photo

North Vancouver city council will recall Monday's vote on the massive Safeway site development proposal, taking a mulligan on one of the largest and most divisive development projects in the city's history.

After a marathon six-hour public input session on the Onni Group's proposal to build two new condo towers and one office building at 13th Street and Lonsdale Avenue, city council voted 4-3 against moving ahead on the project, sending it back to a public hearing next year after allegations the first hearing had been tainted.

But now that decision may be reversed after Coun. Don Bell told The Outlook he's willing to reconsider his Nov. 26 vote to revert to another public hearing if Onni is willing to consider a few changes.

"If the answer I got was no, it would be 'See you at the public hearing,'" Bell said in a phone interview Friday. "My understanding is they are willing to consider them."

Onni was not ready to comment when reached by The Outlook Friday.

If the company agrees to consider some of Bell's changes to things like traffic patterns, building heights, density and store frontage, the matter will likely pass second reading at the Dec. 3 council meeting. Onni will then have approximately one week to work with city staff to determine what changes to make before third reading, likely on Dec. 10.

"At that point I'll decide whether I feel they have responded enough to the issues that have been raised," Bell said.

A favourable vote then would approve Onni's preliminary plans for one 24-storey and one 17-storey residential high-rise and one six-storey commercial office building on the 1300-block of Lonsdale Avenue.

Mayor Darrell Mussatto told The Outlook he decided to call the matter back to council this week after conversations with staff and council.

"I think that what Coun. Bell is looking for in terms of changes [to the project] can be accomplished under the existing public hearing that we've held," Mussatto said Friday.

Under the B.C. Community Charter, a mayor may recall a vote of council within 30 days of the vote being taken.

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