COQUITLAM, B.C., May 18, 2021 – A new vision and guiding principles will help shape future changes along major street corridors in Southwest Coquitlam.
The Corridor Development Strategy (CDS) is an important work component of the Southwest Housing Review (SWHR). Once complete, the CDS will provide an overall long-term and phased vision for land uses along key arterial streets within Southwest Coquitlam including Como Lake and Austin avenues, portions of Blue Mountain, Marmont and Westwood streets, Mariner Way and Dewdney Trunk Road. A map of the general area under study through the CDS is available at letstalkcoquitlam.ca/swhr.
Draft Vision and Guiding Principles
Building on the feedback received during the first phase of engagement for the SWHR, staff have developed a draft vision statement for the CDS. The draft vision is that: The Corridor Development Strategy will guide the long-term evolution and revitalization of key Southwest Coquitlam corridors into linear, complete communities where a diverse mix of residents, businesses and visitors can live, work and play along complete streets (i.e. streets that are functional, safe, well-designed and enjoyable for a wide variety of people).
Staff are also developing a series of guiding principles, which will be refined based on Council feedback before being presented to the public for input in mid-2021. The principles will consider a number of key objectives for the CDS such as respecting neighbourhoods, a strong local economy, and a phased approach to growth.
Options for Providing Input
Interested residents and stakeholders will be invited to provide feedback on the draft CDS vision and principles through public engagement that is being planned for mid-2021. Staff will use the input received to build the CDS policy for consideration later in 2021.
Information on the engagement opportunities, including dates for online information sessions, will be posted to the City’s public engagement website www.letstalkcoquitlam.ca/swhr, along with opportunities to provide online input.
Generally Supportive Feedback from Phase One
During the first phase of public engagement in late 2020, there was generally supportive feedback on the CDS, especially for expanded housing options, as long as the impacts to existing neighbourhoods could be minimized and businesses and shops continued to be supported. In general, the feedback on the CDS centred around a few themes including:
- The need for family-oriented housing options;
- The importance of mitigating the potential negative impacts of development on nearby homes;
- A desire for easy access to a wide range of amenities that will support a growing population (e.g. parks, recreation, shops, etc.);
- A desire for more active lifestyles, improved pedestrian infrastructure and walkable community design;
- The importance of preserving green spaces and tree canopy; and
- A general concern about housing affordability.
Planning for the Future of Southwest Coquitlam
The SWHR will build on the Southwest Coquitlam Area Plan and various neighbourhood plans by examining the 38-square-kilometre area south of Barnet Highway that is home to some of Coquitlam’s most established and primarily single-family neighbourhoods. The project intends to study the potential of a more diverse range of housing options in an area where three-quarters of the 17,000 lots are currently designated for single-family homes, which are out of reach for many people.
Land-use changes as well as infill development – rebuilding within an existing neighbourhood – would help provide more affordable new housing options while respecting the character of the surrounding community. New development would also help to bring southwest Coquitlam’s infrastructure (like streets and sewers) and public amenities (like parks and open spaces) up to the modern standard seen in newer areas.
The project will be completed through five phases:
- Phase 1 (complete) – Mid to late 2020: Background research and consulting with the community on the overall vision for the Southwest Housing Review
- Phase 2 – Mid 2021: Work directly with the residents and property owners in the three early neighbourhood pockets to create development options for these communities. Adopt some of those neighbourhood pockets into the Official Community Plan.
- Phase 3 – Mid to late 2021: Develop vision, guiding principles and preliminary concepts for the Corridor Development Strategy (CDS).
- Phase 4 – 2022: Complete and consult on the draft CDS as well as the three remaining neighbourhood pockets.
- Phase 5 –2022: Consult further with the public on the housing choices and detached housing alternatives programs. Prepare and present final report to Council.
More information is available at www.coquitlam.ca/swhr and www.letstalkcoquitlam.ca/swhr.
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