COQUITLAM, B.C., Oct. 27, 2020 – The public will have a chance to comment in November on plans to continue to transform Coquitlam City Centre into a lively, walkable urban downtown and regional economic, civic and cultural hub.
The major City Centre Area Plan (CCAP) update that began almost three years ago will go to public hearing on Nov. 16, 2020, after Council gave first reading last night to several related amendments to the Citywide Official Community Plan and Zoning Bylaw. Feedback received through the public hearing process will inform the final draft of the CCAP, anticipated to be presented to Council for approval later this year.
The public hearing will take place remotely through Zoom video conferencing or phone to ensure public safety; see www.coquitlam.ca/publichearing to learn more or register.
A New Plan for City Centre
City Centre’s current population of about 31,000 is expected to almost double by 2046. The overall vision for the area is for a mix of high-density commercial, office and residential development within a bustling, transit-oriented core, and improved connections to surrounding family-friendly neighbourhoods and lower-density business areas.
Over the years, City Centre has grown to become a regional focal point, with a wide range of land uses including retail, office, industrial, cultural, recreational and educational. The previous Area Plan for City Centre was adopted in 2008, before the arrival of SkyTrain in 2016 opened up new possibilities for the area.
Available at www.coquitlam.ca/CCAP, the draft updated CCAP aims to build on the progress to date and guide development and service-delivery over the next 25 years in the areas within walking distance of the three downtown SkyTrain stations.
The public hearing will focus on bylaw and policy changes required to bring about the draft plan’s “five big moves,” intended to enhance community and economic vitality in City Centre:
- Creating a vibrant downtown core with a mix of shops, services and amenities, including a new Entertainment District;
- Establishing a strong employment base with more job-generating business floor space, office districts near transit and a wide range of businesses along the area’s periphery;
- Building a family-friendly downtown with a range of housing options, services and amenities for people of all ages;
- Enhancing recreation and cultural services with new or renewed amenities and a network of new parks and public open spaces; and
- Integrating and connecting the downtown with destination and activity hubs near SkyTrain stations, and improved street and pathway connections.
Providing Feedback to the Plan
Registration will be required to speak at or watch the online public hearing. Those who choose not to take part via Zoom can join in by phone or provide written comments in advance. Full information can be found at www.coquitlam.ca/publichearing.
To ensure all stakeholders have a chance to provide feedback, the City is going beyond the typical notification requirements with alerts on City email lists and social media, and communication to development industry groups and to other area governments and agencies.
Significant Community Consultation Informed the Updated Plan
The public hearing will be the last significant consultation opportunity for the updated CCAP, which has included extensive engagement with residents and businesses, internal and external experts, and other key stakeholders since the process began in late 2017.
Three rounds of consultation have already taken place – on the vision for City Centre, the guiding principles for the CCAP and the draft plan – using tactics such as surveys, community information sessions, pop-up kiosks, information booths, a virtual reality simulation and meetings with advisory committees, boards and other stakeholders.
In total, more than 3,000 people attended 17 public events or pop-up kiosks, more than 2,500 completed surveys and more than 1,800 people participated in the Let’s Talk Coquitlam online engagement portal. The project webpage www.coquitlam.ca/CCAP also received more than 13,400 unique views.
Next Steps for the CCAP
Feedback from the public hearing will be considered before the related bylaws and policies are presented to Council for final adoption, anticipated in late November 2020. If Council proceeds with adopting the CCAP at that time, the plan will be ready to guide new development in the City Centre area.
Staff will also begin to prepare updates to supporting strategies, regulations and standards as part of the annual department work plans.
Updates will be posted at www.coquitlam.ca/CCAP. Residents can also sign up for City Centre Area Plan updates through the new NotifyMe service at www.coquitlam.ca/notifyme.
Manager Community Planning
City of Coquitlam