City planner kills six-storey proposal that saved Stong’s in wake of Dunbar outcry

A six-storey mixed use proposal for Dunbar that exceeded the community plan’s four-storey limit, but ensured the future of Stong’s grocery store, a neighbourhood institution, has been quashed in response to community opposition.

City council members had heard vocal opposition to the proposal from community members who pointed to the Dunbar Community Plan, which recognizes the importance of the store but limits new buildings to four storeys.

The developer of the Stong’s site had argued a taller building was necessary to provide the higher ceilings required by Stong’s. It now appears doubtful that Stong’s will remain.

Brian Jackson, general manager of planning, today advised Janet Ingman-Baker, chair of the Dunbar Implementation Committee, that “there is currently no definitive policy to support a six-storey market development on the Dunbar St. site, particularly when there is little to no demonstrated support from the local community.”

Jackson asked the developer to withdraw the application and offered to work with the proponent on a C-2 rezoning that would be a maximum of 55 feet under certain conditions. A copy of Jackson’s letter was circulated to councillors this afternoon.