COQUITLAM, B.C., Feb. 9, 2022 – Following extensive public consultation, Coquitlam will consider Official Community Plan (OCP) designations in order to bring more housing options and amenities to the Burquitlam-Lougheed area in early 2022.
Yesterday afternoon, Council gave approval for staff to begin developing draft OCP and zoning amendment bylaws for the Guilby-Grayson, Whiting-Appian and Miller-Grant areas, three of six neighbourhood pockets undergoing targeted review and public consultation as part of the Southwest Housing Review (SWHR).
Consultation Drives Land-use Changes
The multi-year SWHR is studying varied housing options in the southwest portion of the community. After initial consultation and research in late 2020, the City developed preliminary land-use concepts for three of six neighbourhood pockets where residents had asked for more intensive development.
Last summer, the City consulted with the public on proposed land-use changes in Guilby-Grayson, Whiting-Appian and Miller-Grant such as new parks, realigned roads and increased building density, such as townhouses and apartments.
The public engagement included a detailed survey, extensive online background information and online information sessions, yielding 287 survey responses and about 190 event participants. Support for the preliminary concepts ranged from 67 to 83 per cent. A summary of the feedback is available in a What We Heard infographic.
Land-use Concepts Refined
After evaluating the public feedback, staff refined the concepts as follows:
- The Guilby-Grayson pocket currently is designated for townhomes and currently has just under 40 homes. Staff recommended no changes to the preliminary concept, which had designated the area as medium density (consistent with other surrounding future housing) and was supported by 72 per cent of respondents.
- The Miller-Grant pocket has about 230 homes and is currently designated for a mix of townhomes, attached homes and single-family homes. While 67 per cent of respondents supported the draft concept proposing a mix of medium density and townhome development, many called for a greater proportion of medium density.
An updated concept was developed, expanding medium density throughout the area bounded by Clarke Road, Ingersoll Avenue, Grant Street and Miller Avenue. The concept now also includes a one-acre neighbourhood park proposed at the northwest corner of Miller Avenue and Grant Street. Additionally, the revised concept includes changes to the transportation network in order to accommodate the new proposed park and anticipated future lot consolidations. This includes maintaining the cul-de-sac at Sproule Avenue. Funding for the parks and transportation infrastructure would be provided through Development Cost Charges (DCCs).
- The Whiting-Appian pocket currently has over 170 homes and is designated for single-family homes. The draft concept, bringing a mix of high density and medium density apartments as well as townhouses, organized around a central green spine (the Green Link) was endorsed by about 83 per cent of respondents. It will go forward with minor refinements to respond to the general themes from the consultation and create a plan that is clear, implementable and flexible.
The area’s northwest quadrant is proposed for a unique medium density-plus designation where a developer could choose to construct the City’s first mass timber building of up to 12 storeys, or develop higher-density options by transferring density from one or more lots within the Green Link park area, and donating the Green Link site to the City for park land at no cost. The updated transportation plan also includes a number of refinements for this area.
Staff anticipate bringing draft OCP and zoning bylaw amendments for Guilby-Grayson, Whiting-Appian and Miller-Grant areas to Council for first reading this spring, along with policy updates to accommodate the proposed lot consolidations.
Updates on Remaining SWHR Project Pieces
City staff are also currently studying technical aspects of the Corridor Development Strategy (CDS) and three remaining neighbourhood pockets (Austin-Poirier, Blue Mountain-Quadling and Charland-Joyce), and will temporarily defer these components of the SWHR until the analysis is complete.
This will ensure that when the CDS and remaining three pockets advance, they will meet community needs and deliver improved housing, transportation and amenities to serve the City’s long-range growth in a balanced way.
People interested in staying informed on this project as it progresses are encouraged to sign up for email updates at letstalkcoquitlam.ca/swhr.
About the SWHR
- The SWHR is a multi-year planning project that aims to support more affordable housing options to Southwest Coquitlam through:
- Examining neighbourhood pockets where residents have come forward requesting a review of Southwest Coquitlam Area Plan (SWCAP) land-use designation of their neighbourhood
- Developing a Corridor Development Strategy (CDS) for key arterial streets
- Exploring the potential expansion of the recently updated Housing Choices Program into other areas of Southwest Coquitlam
- Reviewing infill housing options in single-family areas to further address the policy directions in the SWCAP
More information is available at www.coquitlam.ca/swhr and www.letstalkcoquitlam.ca/swhr.
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Director, Community Planning