Coquitlam to Revamp as Population Rises


The Burquitlam and Lougheed areas are under review at Coquitlam City Hall, as planners look to create documents that will guide development for the next 25 years.


Coquitlam council debated at length the parameters of how to plan for a plan at Monday's council meeting.

City planners appeared before council to take the first steps in updating neighbourhood plans for both the Burquitlam and Lougheed areas Monday, and sought council approval to kick off the process.

That approval was eventually granted, though half of council opposed moving forward with a consolidated vision for the area.

Planning staffers argued in favour of combining the two area plans into one to save time and money.

Some councillors, however, wanted a pair of separate area plans and argued the line separating the two neighbourhoods Foster Avenue is arbitrary, inaccurate and not reflective of each neighbourhood's character.

"Lines on a map don't define a neighbourhood," argued Coun. Neal Nicholson, whose motion to have the two plans separated was defeated by a 5-4 vote.

After Nicholson's motion was defeated, only Coun. Bonita Zarrillo voted against combining the two plans.

Carl Johannsen, the city's manager of community planning, noted the two plans will be complementary, largely due to similar land use policies in both neighbourhoods. In situations where those plans are different, "specific area policies" would be developed to reflect an area's unique characteristics.

"This is intended to be an update, not a complete rebuild," added planner Ryan Perry.

The final neighbourhood plans won't be finalized until the latter part of 2015, and will guide development in those areas for the next 25 years. Last updated in 2002, the land use plans are intended to guide development in light of the Evergreen Line's arrival, and the ramifications that will come with it; transportation corridors, redevelopment, land use, density, building character and height will all be examined.

According to 2011 census numbers, the Lougheed and Burquitlam neighbourhoods are home to 9,000 and 11,000 residents, respectively. Planning forecasts have estimated those numbers will jump to about 15,000 and 19,000 by 2041.

As part of the process towards reaching the final plans, a series of stakeholder groups will be set up representing resident associations, residents at large, the development community, School District 43, SHARE, SUCCESS and local business groups.

Council was adamant that the outreach process be done in an easy-to-understand manner that's free of technical language.

The need for correspondence to reach residents in a number of different languages was also stressed.

According to a staff report, the next step in the process will see the first open house take place at some point in the fall or winter.

- See more at: http://www.rew.ca/news/coquitlam-to-revamp-neighbourhood-plans-as-population-rises-1.1342425#sthash.NPj9jodX.dpuf

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