The latest building plans for the current Cumberland Hotel site include a sloping roof that extends beyond the actual four floors.
In the opinion of some, this one is a bit too big and doesn’t necessarily square with the surrounding downtown area. The point was the subject of a public information meeting last August.
“The public concern is the mass of the building and the height of the building,” senior planner Karin Albert told the council.
Council reviewed the latest renderings of the mixed-use building located at 2714 Dunsmuir Ave., which would include three commercial units on the ground floor and 15 apartments on the top three floors.
The developer needs a deviation for a few features including roof height and parking requirements. Albert said council had questions about whether the building actually had a fifth story, but as she explained, the plan is to add a covered shelter with a sloping roof to hide infrastructure such as ‘a mechanical room above the fourth floor.
“The roof puts the building on top [maximum] height, ”she said.
Some council members had reservations about the size and character of the building. One of the main concerns of the proposal has been to maintain a certain sense of heritage at the site when the Cumberland Hotel is replaced, particularly with a new building larger than the surrounding structures. Albert said the developer plans to use materials which, while unnatural, reflect the appearance of traditional siding.
On the issue of parking, the promoter wanted exemptions to reduce the required number of 22 spaces by eight, as well as an exemption from special parking requirements for recreational vehicles or coaches, pregnant women or people with young children. , electric vehicles and the disabled, as well as two commercial loading stalls.
Staff recommended rejecting requests to reduce the number of booths to eight or to forgo spaces designated for electric vehicles or for people with disabilities. However, they recommended exemptions to forgo the RV / coach or for pregnant women or people with young children. As Albert told council, the latter provision is usually reserved for large lots typical of shopping malls.
The project is supposed to use a Klaus multiple parking system for 14 vehicles. The unit stacks vehicles in stalls with an automated system that saves space.
While board members were impressed with some of the ideas, they still raised issues. Com. Sean Sullivan said the developer had met many requirements, although he had concerns about the “square” shape and how it might fit into the historic character of the downtown area. At the same time, he realized that the site was going to be different from what people know.
“Nothing will look like the Cumberland Hotel,” he said.
Com. Vickey Brown spoke about height issues as well as arrangements for awnings and road setbacks.
“I would like to see a floor less,” she said.
She was happy that they are now considering naming the building the Cumberland. The staff report notes that there is a commemoration plan for the old hotel as part of the plan for the new building.
Council approved a motion that staff bring back a report on heritage alternation permits and a height variation permit.