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Jun 18, 2019 Return to Headlines

Last Chance to Have Your Say in Coquitlam’s Housing Choices Review

by Rebecca Vaughan |

COQUITLAM, BC, June 18, 2019As Coquitlam’s Housing Choices Review reaches its final stages, residents can weigh in on proposed bylaw amendments aimed at improving the Housing Choices Program by providing their feedback at a public hearing on Monday, July 8.

The proposed bylaw amendments include changes to the Citywide Official Community Plan, the Zoning Bylaw and the Development Procedures Bylaw that will support streamlining development that provides smaller, more affordable housing units for families. Examples of the proposed changes include updates to minimum lot sizes; improved design and development guidelines for new duplex, triplex, fourplex and multiplex developments; and implementation of design and development requirements to ensure neighbourhood fit.

Further details on the proposed amendments are available at www.coquitlam.ca/housingchoicesreview.

How to Provide Input
Those wishing to provide comments on the proposed amendments may do so in one of two ways:

  • Appear in person to speak at the public hearing on Monday, July 8 at 7 p.m. at Coquitlam City Hall (3000 Guildford Way); or
  • Submit written comments to the City Clerk’s Office (Coquitlam City Hall, 3000 Guildford Way, Coquitlam, BCV3B 7N2) prior to noon on Monday, July 8.

For more information on speaking at the public hearing or how to submit written comments, visit www.coquitlam.ca/publichearing, or call the City Clerk’s Office at 604-927-3010. 

Public Hearing Wraps Up 18 Month Consultation Process
The Housing Choices Review began in fall 2017, and focused on improving the Housing Choices Program in areas already designated for Housing Choices projects.

In the first phase of the project, the City undertook architectural testing and an economic analysis in order to better understand the existing challenges with the Housing Choices Program and to provide recommendations for improvement.

Based on consultation feedback in Phase I, along with the strategic recommendations stemming from the architectural and economic testing, City staff developed eight options to enhance the Housing Choices Program and address existing implementation challenges.

The second phase of the Review focused on developing the proposed improvements to the Housing Choices Program. This included substantial public and developer consultation in spring 2018 and early 2019 to obtain feedback on the eight recommended options.

In general, the feedback received through these initiatives was in support of the Housing Choices Review for its efforts to streamline development that provides smaller, more affordable housing units.

The Public Hearing on Monday, July 8 will be the last opportunity for the public to have their say on the proposed bylaw amendments intended to improve the Housing Choices Program, before they are considered by Council for adoption. The adoption of these items would conclude the Housing Choices Review, and staff would then begin implementation to ensure a seamless update to the Housing Choices Program.

About the Housing Choices Program
The primary goal of the Housing Choices Program is to provide new, small-scale, ground-oriented housing options for varying household types and income levels in some residential areas of Southwest Coquitlam. This is achieved through a range of attached and detached housing types such as garden cottages, carriage houses, narrow-lot single-family homes, duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes and multiplexes.

About the Housing Choices Review
The primary goal of the Housing Choices Review is to ‘level the playing field’ between developing and building detached single-family and attached Housing Choices projects, including duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes and multiplexes. The proposed changes are intended to:

  • provide more affordable homes for both existing residents and new neighbours, compared to the existing single-family housing in the area;
  • provide more housing choice for new young families who want to move into the area, close to amenities including schools, parks and local shopping areas; and
  • provide new options for downsizing seniors to stay in their existing neighbourhoods.

Other goals of the Review include:

  • increasing the number of Housing Choices applications to help expand these housing types;
  • encouraging a wider diversity of Housing Choices projects (including more attached and smaller units);
  • streamlining the application processing and approvals process; and
  • ensuring that Housing Choices projects continue to fit into and refresh existing neighbourhoods.

Eight Options Proposed to Enhance Housing Choices Program
Based on consultation feedback, along with the strategic recommendations stemming from the architectural and economic testing, City staff developed eight options to enhance the Housing Choices Program and address existing implementation challenges. These include:

Housing Choices Review Goal

Potential Amendment Options

Increase and diversify Housing Choices applications

1. Reduce minimum lot dimensions

2. Limit single-family house size in Housing Choices areas

3. Encourage attached units

4. ‘Right size’ parking requirements

Streamline approvals and ensure neighbourhood fit

 

5. Pre-zone Housing Choices areas to revised RT-1 zone

6. Introduce flexible zoning (revised RT-1 Two-Family Residential)

7. Develop new multiplex zone (revised RT-3 Triplex and Quadruplex Residential)

8. Develop pre-approved standard plans

 

To learn more about the Housing Choices Program, visit www.coquitlam.ca/housingchoices.

Media contact:
Andrew Merrill
Manager Community Planning
604-927-3416
amerrill@coquitlam.ca