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Outside elevator for Royal City Centre

Royal City Centre will install an outside elevator on the Princess Street side of the mall but it won't be for shoppers.

The elevator will service patients accessing the new Fraser Health kidney dialysis unit. According to a report to city council, most of the clinic's clients will be arriving by HandiDART so a separate elevator was needed so patients could be transferred from the vehicle.

HandyDART buses are too high to access the mall's underground parking and its elevators to get to the clinic on the upper floor. So RCC is proposing to install an elevator on the outside north wall.

It will be across the street from a highrise apartment building and just down the block from another. The report said 20 residents attended an information meeting on Feb. 13 expressing concern about noise from the elevator and buses. They were also worried about the loss of landscaping that would be needed to accommodate the elevator.

The report said the loading zone for the HandyDART buses will be on the street and directly across from balconies on the west side of 719 Princess.

The clinic would be open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., with drop off and pickup times at 7 a.m., noon, 4:30 p.m., and 10 p.m. Each time one or two buses would be involved with up to eight patients per bus.

A consultant determined there was enough room for a safe loading area, and it was designed so the buses can pull directly into the space and leave without having to back up, avoiding the accompanying annoying beep waking up or disturbing nearby residents.

"I don't think it's going to be an intrusion at all, especially since it's structured so there's no backing up. I don't know how much noise a HandyDART makes, but it's not much," said Coun. Bill Harper on Tuesday.

The report concluded, "The noise and light from the loading area should not have adverse impacts on the residences across the street."

Harper also said the clinic will be good for the mall's bottom line and as well as being convenient for Uptown's many seniors.

"From our perspective that's a decent use of that space that has never been used," said Harper. "It's an important kind of health care facility in the city."

The report said the architecture of the elevator's lobby and shaft will blend in with the existing building. The new landscaping will also screen the existing wall and complement the existing landscape on the block.

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