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As expected, the View Royal Council’s hearing on the proposed rezoning and redevelopment of the Christie Point apartments drew a large, vocal crowd on Tuesday.

Current residents, members of the surrounding community, and proponents of both sides of the argument gathered to voice their opinions on the potentially massive changes.

Toronto-based Realstar Group has proposed a $200 million redevelopment that could potentially oust numerous tenants. The new buildings would also be up to six stories in height, four higher than the current complex.

The rents of the new development are unclear, with Realstar only promising “market rates”. However, they have promised to grandfather in rents for 20% of current residents.

Members of the Christie Point Advocates (CPA) created a Facebook Event and wrote a detailed blog post before the hearing.

Although tensions around the issue have been running high, the CPA encouraged civility. The group wrote: “We must listen quietly as others are speaking, and we must not clap when they are finished. Instead, we are all encouraged to speak when it’s our turn, and to share our opinions at that time.”

Although critical voices seemed to make up the majority, supporters of the deal also emerged.

David Hutniak, the chief executive officer of Landlord BC, said “the community cannot afford to miss this opportunity.”

And on Monday, View Royal Mayor David Screech cited the generosity of Realstar’s tenant-compensation package, saying “I can’t imagine any future offer being any better.”

The council vote on the rezoning will occur on July 4.

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