On Monday, November 16, 2020, Coquitlam Council approved the updated City Centre Area Plan (CCAP) as well as the related amendments to the Citywide Official Community Plan (CWOCP) and Zoning Bylaw, following an extensive consultation process that closely involved the general public, Advisory Committees and Boards, external partners and stakeholders.
The updated CCAP (“the Plan”) replaces the previous Area Plan for City Centre (adopted in 2008), and renews the vision for City Centre as the downtown and ‘heart’ of Coquitlam and northeast region by building on the concept of transit-oriented development, recognizing the importance of economic and cultural vibrancy, and affirming the area’s history as a family-friendly community. The Plan also further implements the vision and policies of the 2012 Transit-Oriented Development Strategy (TDS).
The Plan will guide the physical, social, environmental and economic development and evolution of City Centre in order to ensure a sustainable and measured approach to growth for the next 25 years.
Building off the successes of the past, the Plan identifies five new Big Moves. These Big Moves reflect the community’s aspirations for the future of City Centre and they articulate the vision and major policy directions of the Plan. They include:
The Plan was developed following a two-phase planning process, which began in the winter of 2017. The planning process included a series of successive building steps involving research and analysis work, and a professional peer review. Extensive engagement with the public, property owners and key stakeholders was also undertaken throughout the planning process to understand the needs, priorities and aspirations of the community. Engagement opportunities included public surveys, community information sessions, ‘Pop up’ kiosks at SkyTrain stations and Douglas College, information booths at City and industry events, and meetings with Advisory Committees and Boards, residential strata groups, property owners, external partners and stakeholders.
This layered, iterative approach created opportunities for Council and the community to provide input and direction at key milestones throughout the planning process.
Late 2017 – Mid 2018
Rediscovering City Centre: Phase 1 investigated the existing context of the CCAP, including analyzing City Centre’s identity and character, and exploring early policy directions that strengthened and reflected City Centre’s identity.
Mid 2018 – Late 2020
Shaping the Future of City Centre: Phase 1 findings were synthesized into a draft CCAP containing a proposed land use concept, with associated policies and guidelines on transportation, parks and recreation, environment, utilities and urban design. A national planning firm undertook an objective, third-party professional peer review of the Plan which provided a fresh perspective with an understanding of global best practices. To support the Plan’s implementation, a Servicing Assessment was also prepared to provide a high level “snapshot” of estimated costs and proposed funding sources for needed servicing requirements.
City Centre - Coquitlam’s downtown - is made up of retail, office, industrial, cultural, recreation and educational services. It is an important community gathering place both for the residents and businesses of Coquitlam and the region, and where the Millennium Line Evergreen Extension (Evergreen Line) begins.
The opening of the Evergreen Line in December 2016 was a significant transportation investment, offering a critical and timely opportunity to revisit the 2008 CCAP, and shape future growth along the Evergreen Line to create livable and vibrant neighbourhoods as development interest increased.
The concept of Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) is a key concept that informs the vision and policy directions of the Plan, which seeks to create a mixed-use, pedestrian-friendly and transit supportive downtown. The Plan also further implements the vision and policies of the 2012 Transit-Oriented Development Strategy (TDS).
The Plan builds on important past decisions by the City and community to put in place the public amenities and facilities currently within City Centre, including:
These milestones "Big Moves" continue to shape City Centre’s character as a regional City Centre, and Coquitlam’s downtown. Development has also gradually transformed City Centre with urban, high rise, mixed-use buildings over the past two decades, contributing to a steadily growing population, and creating more of a downtown feel.
Continuing to strengthen City Centre’s identity as the urban "heart" of Coquitlam and the region, and building on the past Big Moves is an essential goal of the Plan. Part of this is providing thriving hubs of diverse activities in City Centre for both residents and businesses.
The Plan will continue to strengthen City Centre’s role as a hub of activity and concentrate on increasing housing and employment choices close to the Evergreen Line station in areas referred to as the Core, Shoulder and Transit Corridor areas identified for City Centre within the TDS (PDF) (City Centre Core, Shoulder and Transit Corridor Map (PDF)).
The majority of employment and residential growth has been concentrated within walking distance of existing SkyTrain stations to reduce land consumption, the distance between destinations, and to improve cost efficiencies in provision of public infrastructure and community services. Future development has also been directed to larger tracts of underdeveloped lands (e.g., mall sites) to minimize land use change in established residential neighbourhoods and to create a connected and concentrated land use pattern.
The established neighbourhoods beyond the TDS areas (e.g., Eagle Ridge, New Horizons) are characterized by homes built primarily during the 1970s and 1980s. Based on the age of this housing stock, and the role it plays in providing a range of affordable housing choices in Coquitlam, these areas are beyond the focus of the Plan.
Design guidelines establish design standards that help to establish neighbourhood character as redevelopment takes place. The following design guidelines are currently in place in City Centre: