The development is big but the discussion was brief.
A proposal that would put a pair of approximately 300-foot tall towers and 556 housing units on six lots at Westwood Street and Woodland Drive won unanimous support from Port Coquitlam council during Tuesday’s meeting, likely setting up a public hearing after council re-convenes in September.
“Hopefully this will inspire other developers to come to the community,” said Coun. Darrell Penner. “This is also setting up the infrastructure to support other developments.”
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In addition to this development, Mosaic development company has put forward a plan to develop five sites within the 6.3 acre Westwood-Woodland triangle.
The site is currently occupied by four houses, two of which are vacant, as well as 100 trees that would have to be chopped, according to a city staff report. The development would likely house between 850 and 1,000 residents, according to the report.
“If this is not supported then we’re not going to have this kind of density anywhere,” Penner said during a prior meeting.
“Currently, you could not get any closer to a SkyTrain station than this particular site,” Mayor Brad West agreed, noting the project is about 400 metres from Lincoln SkyTrain station.
One of the only concerns voiced about the project so far has related to traffic, Penner added. However, the project includes a plan to extend Anson Avenue east toward Westwood Drive. The project would also put two new left-turn lanes on Westwood. Those changes should alleviate many concerns, according to Penner.
A traffic assessment based on the addition of 282 new units and 480 residents estimated the project would put another 102 cars on the road during afternoon rush hour, according to draft by Binnie and Associates.
The project also includes a row of three-storey townhouses fronting Woodland Drive as well as a 1,485 square foot park that would take shape near Woodland Drive and the Anson Avenue extension.
- Studio/one-bedroom units: 316 (including 98 one-bedroom apartments with dens)
- Two-bedroom units: 196 (including 98 with dens)
- Three-bedroom units: 40
- Townhouses: 4
- Strata ownership apartments: 486
- Non-market rental units: 49
- Market rental units: 21
- Parking spots: 660
Unit size ranges from 401 square feet for a studio to 1,579 square feet for a townhouse.
The inclusion of rentals units should send a “clear message” to other potential developers about what the city expects in that area, said Mayor Brad West during a previous meeting.
Rental is needed for residents who, “Try as they might, skip as many lattes as they can . . . can still not come up with down payments that are required these days,” West said.
Mosaic is slated to work with Port Coquitlam to find a non-profit housing provider that would buy and administer the rental housing units, according to a city staff report.
While council was united in pushing the project toward a public hearing, Coun. Steve Darling reiterated his call for one crucial inclusion.
“It has to include childcare somewhere,” Darling said Tuesday. “We are in desperate need of childcare especially in that particular area.”
The current plan also calls for Mosaic to commit to including childcare space in the development.
The project will likely house between 55 and 110 children, according to the report.
School District #43 has not expressed any concerns about growth in the area, according to city staff.
Mosaic has requested a relaxation of city parking standards. For example, the city would typically require 20 parking stalls for 20 studio units, whereas in this development Mosaic would supply 17 parking stalls for every 20 studio units. For two-bedroom units, the city typically requires six new parking spots for four new units, whereas in this case Mosaic would provide five spots for every four units.
The south section
The southern tower is set to be 30 storeys or 311 feet with 292 apartments and four townhouses fronting Woodland Drive.
Lot coverage: 85 percent
Floor area ratio, which measures a building’s total floor area against its lot size – is set to be 5.65.
The north section
The northern tower is set to be 28 storeys, or approximately 288 feet, with 264 apartments and 7,158 square feet of commercial space fronting Westwood.
Lot coverage: 89 percent
Cash on the table
In total, Mosaic would be on the hook for approximately $14.8 million in exchanged for approximately 296,963 square feet of extra density.
The tip of the triangle
Made up of 19 lots and bordered by Kitchener to the south and the City of Coquitlam to the north, future plans include four residential high-rise developments perched on commercial podiums as well as low-rise residential development fronting Woodland Drive.