Input sought next week on Burke hub

A rendering from the 1975
A rendering from the 1975 'Concept for a New Community on Burke Mountain,' prepared for the Dunhill Development Corp. (an arm of the provincial government), when 80,000 more people were envisioned to live in the northeast region. The drawing is an example of a proposed construction method using helicopters to move prefab housing units into place.

After a half-year delay, Coquitlam city planners will gauge public opinion next week on what Burke Mountain's newest commercial core should look like.

The city will host an open house Thursday, April 19 at Leigh elementary school to listen to residents' views on the Partington Creek Neighbourhood Centre — a commercial district that could hold between 2,900 and 6,000 residents, depending on what level of density city council chooses.

Community planner Andrew Young said city staff will be on hand to answer questions, and 20 display boards will show the options for the commercial core that, when built, will be the hub for Burke Mountain, which 20,000 more people are expected to call home over the next 20 years.

Feedback from the open house will be included in a report likely to go before city council next month, Young said.

The ecologically rich Partington Creek is the fourth and largest master-planned neighbourhood on the mountain, with up to 13,500 more people to move to the area.

The vision for the shopping district — of which the city is the majority landowner — generated a number of comments at last June's open house at Leigh, where participants offered mixed reviews on its intended growth. Some pressed for highrises to protect green spaces and sensitive lands while others urged a low-compact sprawl.

Besides density, Young said the city also wants to hear from the public about topics like transportation and amenities, such as whether the district should have a public square, library, recreation centre and playgrounds. As well, attendees can give their input on what kind of retail businesses would be suitable for the centre.

Some of the more creative projects the city has discussed for the centre include district energy (i.e., central geothermal) — a system being used in Lower Lonsdale in North Vancouver — and a fibre optic network.

A lot has changed for Partington since the public was first surveyed in 2007: The housing market is different and many Burke homeowners have moved in to the other three neighbourhoods — Upper Hyde Creek, Lower Hyde Creek and Smiling Creek.

The city was expected to hold an open house last October on the Partington Creek Neighbourhood Plan but that was put off for additional studies related to development cost charge estimates and further preparation for options on the village core.


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