Burquitlam keeps getting bigger.
Coquitlam council approved a 44-storey apartment building at North Road and Tyndall Street in a unanimous vote held at about 1:40 a.m. Monday.
Located just north of Como Lake Avenue, the project includes a six-storey apartment building for a total of 446 units. Those units consist of 422 market condos and 24 below-market rentals slated to operated by a non-profit organization.
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Speaking on behalf of YWCA Metro Vancouver, Lisa Rupert zeroed in on the inclusion of two-dozen below-market units.
The region faces a critical need for that type of housing, Rupert told council, noting there were more than 1,500 applications for 30 units of rent-geared-to-income housing for single mothers at neighbouring Como Lake Gardens.
Council also heard from a single-mother who said having affordable housing changed her life as she set out to raise her family after fleeing an abusive relationship.
While an official partnership has yet to be confirmed, Coun. Chris Wilson said it would be “fabulous” if the YWCA were to operate those 24 units.
“We might be having a Como Lake Gardens 2 if the YWCA partnership comes through,” Wilson said.
“And with 1,500 on the waitlist, I think they can fill it,” Mayor Richard Stewart agreed.
While community support was less than unanimous, there weren’t many objections either, according to Oakdale Neighbourhood Association president Dale Irving.
However, Irving said there were some doubts about whether swapping seven homes for 446 new housing units would improve the spewing sewage problem.
Manholes in the area regularly spew sewage in heavy rain and pose a persistent threat to nearby Stoney Creek. However, development in the area will be the cure, not the disease, according to Mayor Stewart.
The bubbling sewage is generally caused by heavy rainfalls overwhelming the sewage line, Stewart said. Replacing leaky old pipes to make them resilient in stormy weather should go a long way to solving the problem, according to the mayor.
Aside from $1.5 million earmarked for sewer and drainage upgrades in the area, the project will also include a detention tank to eliminate runoff during storms and a water quality monitor system similar to Flowlink, according to a representative from Ouaiex-Landmark Gateway.
Irving also suggested the neighbourhood might be “messy” until the roads are built, adding that, while the traffic plan is there, the roads aren’t.
The project involves widening Como Lake Avenue to facilitate new left turn lanes and a multi-use path on North Road.
- Studio and one-bedroom units: 263 (including 92 with dens)
- Two-bedroom units: 138
- Three-bedroom units: 45
- Floor area ratio, which measures a building’s total floor area against its lot size, is 5.7.
- Trees: The project requires 105 trees to be chopped and replaced by 120 trees.
- Parking spots: 484
The development comes with two plazas, one on Como Lake and North Road and another on North Road.
The project involves a density transfer with two apartment buildings at 608 Regan Avenue. The transfer involves development company Qualex-Landmark putting approximately 7,501 square feet of extra rental density on Regan in exchange for being allowed to put 8,240 square feet of market condo density near Burquitlam.
In the neighbourhood
Located near the city’s border with Burnaby, the site is surrounded by single-family residential and ground floor apartments. However, the area is zoned for high-density residential development.
A 38-storey tower is slated to be built at Como Lake Avenue, Elmwood Avenue, and Clarke Road.
Other projects ranging from 31 to 42 storeys are in various stages of the city’s application process.
Cash on the table
If approved, the developer is on the hook for approximately $16.48 million. That includes a $9.7 million density bonus including $1.3 million earmarked for the city’s affordable housing reserve fund.
- Development cost charges: $5.7 million
- Transportation demand management: $500,000
- Community amenity contribution: $427,000
- Child care contribution: $155,000
The project requires one more formal vote from council before construction can begin.