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Port Coquitlam townhouse hearing delayed
A public hearing for a proposed townhouse development on Salisbury Avenue in Port Coquitlam will reconvene in September after residents said they were not given enough notice to prepare for the meeting.
Ben Wilson, who lives near the site, said signs posted on the property did not state when and where the public hearing would take place. He added that many of his neighbours oppose the development but did not have adequate time to prepare their submissions for city council.
“There has been inadequate notice of this public hearing,” he said. “Many people in my neighbourhood just found out today that there was a hearing. There has been inadequate time to prepare our opposition for this.”
Susan Rauh, PoCo’s corporate officer, said the city met the legal requirements for informing the public about the project. Two notices were printed in The Tri-City News and a mail-out was sent to residents. There is no stipulation in the city’s bylaws that states the date and time of a hearing must be posted on the sign outside of a property, she said.
But council voted in favour of reconvening the public hearing when regular meetings begin again in September. Councillors Michael Wright and Glenn Pollock opposed the decision.
Pollock told council he is concerned the delay, which because of the summer break will be more than a month, represents an unnecessary hardship on the developer.
If the application is approved, the owners of the property would be allowed to build a 17-unit townhouse development in an area that is largely single-family homes. According to the city’s official community plan, townhouses are appropriate for the area. But an amendment is required because the applicant’s proposal calls for two more units than what is allowed under the current zoning.
But Anne Larson, who lives on nearby Edinburgh Street, said adding 17 homes to the neighbourhood would congest local streets and harm the quality of life for existing residents.
“I strongly feel the number of units is too many for the area,” she said. “Why should I be forced into this situation when the individual profiting from this development lives in a different neighbourhood? I understand the need for more housing but at what cost?”
The public hearing is expected to reconvene in September. Once it is concluded council can vote on third and fourth reading of the OCP amendment.
POCO HIRES NEW CAO
Port Coquitlam has a new chief administrative officer. John Leeburn, a resident of PoCo, has 17 years experience with the district of Maple Ridge, most recently serving as executive director.
The CAO is the city’s top non-elected official and provides professional advice to the mayor and council.
More than 38 applicants from across the country were considered during the four-month search to replace Tony Chong, the previous CAO.
Leeburn will start on Sept. 10.