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Developer looks at three homes for single-family lot
A developer is going back to the drawing board after his plans to squeeze four new homes on a single-family lot in Coquitlam stirred up controversy last month.
After a public hearing on Dec. 10 where neighbours criticized the proposal for 1408 Austin Ave. (located between Schoolhouse and Gatensbury streets), city council voted 7-2 in favour of granting second and third readings to proposed zoning changes.
But many councillors cited the area residents' concerns about potential access problems — the property can only be entered via a rear lane off Charland Avenue — and about lack of parking.
According to a city staff report, the property is 0.9 m too small for a fourplex and the applicant, David Lin Design Studio, had applied to vary the lot width requirement for the new development.
Last week, Raul Allueva, Coquitlam's manager of development services, told The Tri-City News the variance likely wouldn't be granted given council and the residents' issues. As a result, the applicant is now scaling back the project to a triplex, allowing more on-site parking. Allueva said the revised plans are expected to return to council for fourth and final rezoning readings after a city staff review.
The development falls under the city's Housing Choices strategy, a policy implemented by council in 2011 to densify larger lots in southwest Coquitlam and Burquitlam to meet affordable housing needs.
Other Coquitlam news:
Two Coquitlam pubs want to change their liquor licences so they may open at 9 a.m.
Last month, city council reviewed bids from Micky's Public House (formerly the Two Parrots Pub) and Townhall Public House (formerly the French Quarter Pub).
The former is asking to increase the capacity and the size of its licensed area — as well as an extension of hours to serve booze — while the latter wants to alter its hours.
If approved by the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch (LCLB), the new hours for both pubs would be from 9 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. Monday to Thursday and 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. on weekends.
Coquitlam's city clerk office is now accepting public comments on the applications; the feedback will be forwarded to the LCLB along with council's recommendation.
The city of Coquitlam has made a number of power savings over the past four years but it didn't meet its target to be carbon neutral by 2012.
Under the provincial government's Climate Action Charter, which the city signed in 2007, Coquitlam would have had to buy about $140,000 in carbon offsets that would have been payable to a third party such as the Pacific Carbon Trust.
Instead, the city will sink that cash into an internal Climate Action Reserve Fund for municipal conservation projects. That move means Coquitlam will be in the province's "Making Progress Towards Carbon Neutrality" category rather than in the carbon neutral box.
According to a staff report that went before the city's council-in-committee in November, Coquitlam has implemented 57 energy-reduction projects since 2008 and it's on track to slash another 30% of corporate greenhouse gas emissions by 2015.
Those 57 initiatives — retrofitting civic buildings and pools, starting a "staff behavioural" campaign, etc. — have translated to a reduction of 1,137 tonnes (or 17% of the city's total corporate emissions) and a savings of $276,000 in electricity, natural gas and gasoline bills, according to the report.