How Development Happens

Coquitlam is fast-growing City in a rapidly developing and changing region. It’s important to manage growth in a way so new development is livable, attractive and contributes positively to the community – while making sure that infrastructure and amenities, like parks, are provided to keep pace with growth. 

A Growing and Evolving Community

Have you ever wondered how new houses and neighbourhoods come to be? Coquitlam’s history has been one of constant growth and evolution. Today, Coquitlam is home to more than 144,000 people and is one of the fastest growing cities in Metro Vancouver. We anticipate adding 90,000 new residents over the next 25 years.

The City of Coquitlam has robust plans and policies in place that work together to guide changes that are happening in your neighbourhood.


Planning for Growth

Coquitlam is not only growing rapidly, we are also changing and evolving as we grow. In Coquitlam new growth is primarily focused in three areas:

  • In transit-oriented areas near the SkyTrain such as City Centre, Burquitlam and Lougheed: (50% of growth)
  • On Burke Mountain (21% of growth) 
  • In existing neighbourhoods such as Austin Heights and Maillardville (29% of growth)

The Regional Growth Strategy, Official Community Plan and Zoning Bylaw work together with the City’s other Plans and Strategies to help shape the future for Coquitlam.

The City often updates the OCP and Zoning Bylaw to better guide new housing and growth, plan for parks and other civic facilities, provide for improved housing and transportation options, integrate new growth into existing neighbourhoods, and maintain a high quality of life for existing and new residents. Please visit the Special Plans and Projects page to learn more about the planning projects currently underway.

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  • Regional Growth Strategy

  • Official Community Plan

  • Zoning Bylaw


How does development happen in Coquitlam and how does the City plan for growth?

Like other BC municipalities, Coquitlam has an Official Community Plan (OCP), which is the City’s blueprint for guiding growth. The OCP provides a vision for the future use of land in the City and gives all property a Land Use Designation. Each Land Use Designation in the OCP has a number of Zones from the Zoning Bylaw that could be applied to the future use of property.

Official Community Plan (OCP) and Zoning Bylaw overview

  • Land Use – describes the future uses and building types a property can have. Changing the land use designation required amendment the Official Community Plan but does not automatically change the zoning.
  • Zoning – specifies permitted uses, lot sizes, height, and setbacks as well as the maximum density of buildings.

Development Example – Building an Apartment Building

When a property owner decides to develop their land, certain permits, depending on the type of development, are required from the City. Please visit the Licences and Permits page to learn more about the different types of Development Permits and Building Permits. Each development application process is unique, so this video example is for general information only.

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  • Property Owner Resources

Planning & Development Department

Email: planninganddevelopment@coquitlam.ca 
Phone: 604-927-3430