UniverCity is taking down the parking lot and putting up a sustainable residential development in its place.
The Simon Fraser University Community Trust is moving forward with Phase 4 of its development on top of Burnaby Mountain near Simon Fraser University.
The trust has put forward a rezoning application to subdivide the site, which is composed of eight parcels of land for development and one parcel designated for a neighbourhood park.
The area, known as the South Slopes in the UniverCity official development plan, is currently the location of the G parking lots.
It's a greyfield site, so there is no stormwater management or landscaping there now, according to Dale Mikkelsen, the trust's director of development.
"So from a pure land development perspective, putting in our stormwater management measures, re-landscaping this area, adding a neighbourhood park, adding an additional stormwater pond, will all greatly improve the environment from a series of terraced parking lots," he said.
The residential development will be different from the larger towers and apartment buildings at UniverCity, as the buildings will be about four to six storeys, he said.
It'll be a lower density area, too, with 714 larger apartment and townhouse units, Mikkelsen added, and the ground-level homes will have front door access.
As the community matures, with the new child-care facility, elementary school and Nesters Market, people want to stay longterm, he explained.
"And a lot of those people are having children and wanting to stay in the community, so they're looking for larger homes," Mikkelsen said. "What we've learned is, families are willing to live in more dense communities, but we do have to provide them with more space to grow."
The units could be more inexpensive as well, as the buildings will be primarily wood-frame, which is cheaper to build, he said.
If the rezoning goes through, the project will be the final phase of the East neighbourhood development, according to Mikkelsen, with only one other building in High Street to be completed.
Any new residential development on the mountain after that would require an amendment or review of the official development plan.
One spot where that could happen is the south area along Ring Road, Mikkelsen said. "There is an opportunity to re-engage the official development plan and ask the question, where could you put another - 1,500 additional units," he said.
But that would also require a public process, he added.
This year, UniverCity is expected to expand by about 500 residents from the current estimate of 4,000, as three developments are being completed.
Units in two other developments - the Hungerford Groups' two-tower project, Altitude, and Porte Development's Lift - have begun selling this year, Mikkelsen added.
Rezoning for Phase 4 goes to public hearing on May 29.
Public hearings take place at the council chamber at city hall at 7 p.m.