Read Stapleton of DOWL Engineering addressed the council on behalf of New Blueprint Partners, seeking to contrast the project’s promised outcomes with what the campus would look like if it retained its existing light industrial zoning designation.
A fully industrial campus would generate heavy truck traffic and comparatively fewer jobs, he contended, and wouldn’t fit in with the surrounding neighborhoods.
The plan calls for the heavily forested 14-acre northeast corner of the site to be preserved and used as a public park through a covenant with New Blueprint Partners. The city and developer are still negotiating the design and maintenance of the park, Snodgrass said, and the city is also negotiating to purchase the park area outright.
New Blueprint Partners and Rabina purchased the campus last summer and hosted a series of community meetings to pitch their plan to residents of the surrounding neighborhoods later that year. The initial reception was somewhat skeptical, generating a lot of questions about traffic impacts and requests for additional park space.
Some of those concerns persisted during the public comment period at Monday’s hearing, but the project also received support. Two residents expressed concerns about tree preservation and making sure the park area is maintained as planned, and another said she was initially skeptical but had come to view the project as the kind of development that Vancouver should pursue in order to avoid sprawl as more people move to the area.
Anthony Macuk: 360-735-4547; firstname.lastname@example.org; twitter.com/anthonymacuk