COQUITLAM, BC, July 2, 2020 – The public will have a final chance to comment July 6 on Coquitlam’s plan to modernize and simplify its commercial zones to support businesses.
The online Public Hearing, starting at 7 p.m. before the Council meeting, will discuss a number of planned changes to the City’s Zoning Bylaw intended to improve flexibility for businesses, remove redundant or outdated regulations, and reflect current types of development.
At a time when many businesses are struggling, more flexible and responsive zoning regulations will promote local economic recovery by both supporting existing property owners and businesses and encouraging investment in the community.
Why Update the Commercial Zones?
Coquitlam’s 13 commercial zones regulate all businesses in the community, from local shops in residential areas, to large-scale retail and service stations in vehicle-oriented areas, to offices and restaurants in more developed pedestrian- and transit-oriented areas.
While the regulations generally meet most businesses’ needs, Coquitlam kicked off a comprehensive review and consultation with the public and business stakeholders last year to make the City’s commercial zones more user-friendly and up-to-date with today’s business uses and needs.
Based on feedback and best practices, the City is proposing to delete six zones, resulting in fewer and less restrictive commercial zones. Existing businesses would be allowed in the same places, with updated regulations that are more flexible and easier to understand. With the proposed consolidation of the commercial zones, about 60 properties would need to be rezoned in consultation with the property owners and businesses.
Overall, the planned changes will:
- Improve flexibility by adding new uses and replacing long lists of very specific uses with more flexible and broad categories and descriptions;
- Consolidate similar zones and remove outdated or limited ones;
- Modernize the Zoning Bylaw by adding a new low-rise mixed-use commercial zone, and removing or updating outdated regulations; and
- Streamline commercial zoning by bringing regulations together in one place and simplifying the C-5 Community Commercial zone.
Some related minor updates to the Official Community Plan (OCP) are also planned. Details of the proposed changes are posted at www.coquitlam.ca/commercialzones.
How to Have Your Say
Public Hearings are currently conducted electronically through Zoom, a video conferencing website. However, those not comfortable with that method may participate in the Public Hearing by phone, or may submit written comments by noon on the day of the hearing.
Details and instructions can be found at www.coquitlam.ca/publichearings, along with information about the other items on the July 6 public hearing agenda.
Viewers may also observe the Public Hearing without commenting by watching the live broadcast or archived video at www.coquitlam.ca/webcasts.
Next Steps for Commercial Zone Changes
Council will have the option of either adopting the zoning and OCP bylaw amendments at the meeting immediately following the Public Hearing, or send them back to staff for further refinement before considering them again at a future meeting.
The new zoning will be considered to be in effect as soon as Council adopts the bylaw amendments.
Supporting Our Community During the Pandemic
The City of Coquitlam is here to help, with these resources:
- Visit www.coquitlam.ca/csrp to learn about the City’s Community Support and Recovery Plan, which is providing immediate and long-term support for the non-profit sector, businesses and residents;
- Visit www.coquitlam.ca/spirit for a free library of activities for all ages, including fitness, arts and culture, outdoor activities and ways to connect with your community; and
- Visit www.coquitlam.ca/covid19 for updates on City services and initiatives and COVID-19 health resources.
Coquitlam residents and businesses are also encouraged to follow the City of Coquitlam on social media (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) and download the CoquitlamConnect mobile app for up-to-date City information. Links are available at www.coquitlam.ca/connect.
Planning & Development Services