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May 15, 2019 Return to Headlines

Coquitlam Moves Forward with Cemetery Services Plan

by Michelle Frilund |

COQUITLAM, B.C., May 15, 2019 – Coquitlam is moving ahead with a new vision for Robinson Memorial Park Cemetery following Council’s endorsement of the Cemetery Services Plan.

A New Cemetery Services Plan
The need to develop a Cemetery Services Plan was identified in the Parks, Recreation & Culture (PRC) Master Plan. With space for full burial plots expected to run out within three or four years, the new plan is required to help address the need while guiding the City’s cemetery services for the next 20 to 30 years.

Coquitlam’s Cemetery Services Plan focuses on several key areas including: 

Business Planning
Currently, the Cemetery operates on a direct cost-recovery basis. The plan will use a Planning for Growth funding model, which proposes moderate price increases to generate additional revenue. Those funds will establish a cemetery capital reserve to provide adequate funding for future expansion phases as well as the eventual development and/or acquisition of a second cemetery site in the future.

Interment Options
Another key objective of the plan is to look at projections and trends in interment options and consider new choices.  As such, the plan maintains certain services (e.g. full burial double-depth plots, and cremated remains in niche wall, ground or scattered), discontinues some services (e.g. single-depth burials, side-by-side niches) and introduces altogether new services (e.g. sustainable family burial, green burial). 

Concept Plan
The services plan also provides a new concept plan for the cemetery. The concept plan is divided into three phases: 

  • Phase 1 (2019/2020) – includes a new asphalt road connecting the existing cemetery road and Robinson Street; new seating and storage areas; new hedges along Robinson Street and Foster Avenue; clearing new areas for over 1,200 green burial plots and 380 traditional plots; removing a redundant road for more traditional burial plots; installing columbarium pedestals and memorial boulders; and infill of cremated remains plots in several areas.
  • Phase 2 (2023) – includes construction of two new columbarium walls as well as a wall for in-ground interment of cremated remains.
  • Phase 3 (2030) – includes further infill of cremated remains and traditional burial plots as well as an additional four columbarium walls.

Learn more about the Cemetery Services Plan at www.coquitlam.ca/cemeteryplan.

Feedback on the Cemetery Services Plan
In June 2018, members of the public were invited to share their views on the Robinson Memorial Park Cemetery through an online survey. Nearly 600 people responded and feedback generally aligned well with the proposed direction identified by staff.

A full summary of the survey data is available at www.coquitlam.ca/cemetery.

Additional feedback was requested from more than 3,000 households living near the Cemetery regarding the repeal of the Robinson Memorial Forest Bylaw. Feedback received was generally supportive of repealing the Bylaw and moving forward with implementation.

Next Steps for the Cemetery Services Plan
In order to move forward with the site development outlined in the plan, Council repealed Robinson Memorial Forest Bylaw No. 3102, 1997. With the repeal of that Bylaw, staff will be able to create a new Cemetery Bylaw as well as updates to the Fees and Charges Bylaw, which combined will enable staff to implement the Cemetery Services Plan.

With Council’s endorsement of the Cemetery Services Plan, the document will be finalized and staff will begin moving towards detailed design for Phase 1 of the implementation plan with construction anticipated to start in 2019 or 2020.

About Robinson Memorial Park Cemetery
Robinson Memorial Park Cemetery is a 3.4 hectare (8.5 acre) site in Southwest Coquitlam owned and operated by the City. It has been in operation since 1935. The Cemetery serves current and former residents of Coquitlam and operates on a direct cost-recovery basis offering a mixture of interment options for cremated remains and full burial.

For more information on the Cemetery, visit www.coquitlam.ca/cemetery.

Media Contact:
Lanny Englund
Manager, Parks Planning & Forestry