Lack of street parking may stymie PoCo townhouse development

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An application to add a pair of townhouse units on Riverside Drive ran into a wall of indecision at Port Coquitlam council Tuesday.

The applicant, Pollyco Group of Companies, has applied to swap out three visitor parking stalls for two new 2,000-square foot townhouse units at the 38-unit housing complex on 1260 Riverside Drive.

Despite noting the need for more ground-oriented housing in the city, city staff recommended council reject the proposal on the grounds it would exacerbate parking pressures in the neighbourhood.

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“I’m squarely on the fence,” said Coun. Glenn Pollock:

“We’re in the middle of a housing crisis,” he said. “We’re also in a parking crisis.”

Couns. Dean Washington and Paige Petriw expressed ambivalence about the development.

“I’m not on the fence. I’m over the fence,” said Coun. Steve Darling, explaining his opposition to the project.

“It is almost near impossible to find a parking space,” Darling said. “Because there’s so much parking going on there, it’s also dangerous for kids that are coming off the playing field.”

Coun. Nancy McCurrach also opposed the addition, noting that the new townhouse units would also affect the complex play area.

“I can’t see units being squinched in there. It just doesn’t look good,” McCurrach said.

Ultimately, council voted to hear from the public before holding a final vote on the project.

Much ado about parking

A parking assessment found the visitor parking spots were “fully utilized” and the parking on Yangtze Gate and Yangtze Place was “near or at capacity.”

Reducing the visitor parking will mean more drivers looking for street parking, according to a city staff report. The report also noted that Port Coquitlam “generally receives a higher volume of complaints” regarding street parking around townhouse developments.

The city’s bylaw requires a total of 88 parking spots including eight visitor stalls at the complex. Reducing the number of visitor stalls would likely cost the developer $120,000, or $40,000 for each parking spot below the city’s requirement.

The new townhouse units would include an attached garage.

Pollyco bought the housing complex and sold each unit. As a condition of the purchase, all owners signed contracts agreeing to allow the applicant to build two new townhouses on the property.

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