The plan is too prescriptive as well as being misguided in ways that could have ramifications for both the environment and quality of life for commuters.
Those were a couple of Coquitlam council’s concerns that arose Monday night during a discussion of Metro Vancouver’s 2050 plan.
While suggesting the 2050 plan was more befitting the 1970s or 1980s, Coun. Brent Asmundson criticized the notion that office space should be concentrated in Vancouver’s downtown core.
“[Metro Vancouver] should be looking at creating more jobs closer to where people live so people don’t have to commute,” he said. A greater distribution of places to work is better environmentally and for quality of life, Asmundson added.
Through investment in infrastructure and services, the Metro 2050 plan should support new jobs in urban centres such as Coquitlam, according to a city staff report.
From 2020 to 2050, the population of the Tri-Cities is expected to swell to 396,500. That also means adding approximately 68,900 living units to the Tri-Cities, according to Metro Vancouver’s projections.
However, supporting that level of growth over an extended period may challenge Coquitlam to meet other goals, according to the report.
“The high growth rate may be an obstacle to achieving other Metro 2050 goals, like increasing tree canopy coverage or lands protected for nature,” the reported stated.
Extra support and flexibility should be offered to Coquitlam and “other high growth cities,” according to the report.
Coquitlam council also expressed concern over hitting Metro Vancouver’s targets of 15 percent affordable rental housing in certain growth areas.
By in large, council contended that municipalities should have a more substantive role in planning their future, given that: ” local government is better suited to flesh out the details within their own communities,” according to a city report.
The 2050 plan projects Metro Vancouver’s population will rise from 2.75 million to 3.8 million residents by 2050. Those million extra residents are slated to be accommodated by 500,000 new places to live – half of which are expected to be apartments. Any expansion of single-detached housing is expected to be minimal as “locations for housing are exhausted,” according to Metro Vancouver’s draft report.
The Metro Vancouver 2050 plan is set to be brought forward for approval in early 2022.