A tale of two townhouse projects

Happy Friday, everybody. Jeremy here, idly wondering if it really is safe to go outside. Thoughts?

Today we’ve got a new word to learn and a new library to visit but we’ll start with a tale of two townhouse projects, one of which was nudged forward and another that was pushed back.

A proposal to build a 10-unit stacked townhouse development at 2222 Clarke Street was rejected Tuesday with one councillor describing the project as an effort to “jam pack” the single-family property.

Located north of St. John’s St. and about 1.2 kilometres west of Moody Centre SkyTrain, the three-storey development was designed to offer a range of housing options, including accessible units. However, the project came up short of green space, according to Coun. Hunter Madsen.  

“It sounds like this is another place where they thought, ‘Let’s not worry about the green space because we’ll just send them all over to Rocky Point Park,’” he said, noting his concerns about: “the ruination of the park.”

The project’s floor area ratio – which calculates a project’s total floor space against its lot size – is 1.32, slightly higher than the maximum allowable 1.25 floor area ratio. However, developer DF Architecture Inc. contended that the extra density was necessary to allow for two fully-accessible units on the ground floor.

Observing the meeting remotely, resident Katie Holder praised the project for potentially accommodating young families.

But while she liked the look, the design and the inclusion of accessible units, Coun. Meghan Lahti ultimately voted against the project. “I’m just not sure that this is the right amount of density to put on one lot given the restriction in the amount of green space.”

  • The project was defeated 6-1 with Mayor Rob Vagramov supporting the proposal.
  • However, following a successful motion from Coun. Steve Milani, a revised version of the project can return to council without observing the customary six-month delay.
  • The project was expected to generate a $54,000 cash contribution to the city as well as a total of $29,960 earmarked for public art, a bicycle lane along Clarke Street and intersection improvements at Clarke and Elgin streets.

A 23-unit townhouse development in Burke Mountain breezed through first reading at Coquitlam council Monday evening.

Applicant Annesley Homes is requesting an amendment to the city’s official community plan to go from two to three storeys on the 3400 block of Queenston Avenue. The site, located east of the Coquitlam River, is currently vacant. However, the city recently received a 66-signature petition opposing the OCP amendment.

The project’s opponents raised concerns over worsening traffic, loss of parking and construction impacts.

City staff recommended supporting the project, noting that it provides for a range of housing types near the Smiling Creek Elementary School.

Following minimal discussion around the best way to keep the public abreast of forthcoming development applications and the project’s proximity to a watercourse, council voted 7-1 to send the project to a public hearing with Coun. Bonita Zarrillo opposed. The public hearing is set for April 12.

  • Coun. Dennis Marsden recused himself from the discussion, explaining that he’s done consulting for a firm engaged by the applicant.
  • The project is project to generate approximately $740,500 for the city through development cost charges, community amenity contributions and the community amenity enhancement program.

It’s pronounced suh-Mee-kwuh-El-uh. It means The Place of the Great Blue Heron and it’s the new name of the 244-acre parcel just west of Lougheed Highway formerly known as the Riverview Lands.

The renaming is “very significant to our nation’s overall goal of reclaiming and revitalizing our culture and traditional language,” stated Kwikwetlem First Nations Chief Ed Hall in a provincial press release.

The name was chosen because the land was once used as roosting ground for the great blue heron, Hall explained.

The səmiq̓wəʔelə name also signals the nation’s intent to reconnect with the ancestral territory by partnering with BC Housing on the master planning process for the land’s redevelopment.  

Recommended uses for the land include a range of housing options including: non-profit and co-op housing as well as a commercial component, healthcare, parks, and both a heritage and financial strategy.

  • For help with pronouncing the new name, click here.
  • Taste of the Tri-Cities: From now until March 19th restaurants across the Tri-Cities area are being showcased for a local food festival. Check out our featured restaurant below. 
  • Plant pollinator gardens at Mundy Park: Coquitlam green thumbs can register to dig into the soil at Mundy March 23 to 25. 
  • Farmers Market: The Port Moody Farmers Market is set to serve up BC produce and baked goods Sunday, March 14 in the lobby and courtyard at the Port Moody Recreation Complex at 300 Ioco Rd. The outdoor event runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Construction of a planned Burke Mountain middle school may be delayed without an influx of cash from the province
  • Province OKs outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people
  • Tri-Cities coronavirus cases spiked in February
  • Port Moody highrises may have to cut out concrete as council looks to reduce greenhouse gas
  • Lastly, if you were thinking of buying a parking pass for Coquitlam rec facilities, now might be a good time as the city’s offering an extra four months free of charge at the Coquitlam Centre Aquatic Complex and Pinetree Community Centre.

You love parks and you love libraries but you only have enough time to visit one. What do you do? Well, if you live near Burke Mountain, you’re in luck as a new little library recently opened in Riley Park.

There are little libraries at 13 locations across Coquitlam. If you’re interested in buying or building a little library in your neighbourhood you can find information here.

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