Burke daycare needed, Coquitlam city council says

A rendering of a daycare planned to be built on Burke Mountain, at 3486 Wessex Crt. - COURTESY OF WESBILD
A rendering of a daycare planned to be built on Burke Mountain, at 3486 Wessex Crt.
— image credit: COURTESY OF WESBILD

A massive daycare planned for Burke Mountain is getting mixed reviews from neighbours but high marks from Coquitlam city council.

On Monday, following a public hearing, city council granted second and third bylaw readings to change the land use at 3486 Wessex Crt. for the daycare that, if approved, would accommodate up to 74 toddlers and pre-schoolers.

The vacant, 22,200-sq. ft. property was consolidated from three lots to build the facility, which many city councillors say will be needed given the number of young families now living on the mountain.

Raymond Nothstein, development manager for Wesbild, which owns the land, told council the daycare will be an "important community amenity" and close to a future elementary school in the Smiling Creek neighbourhood. There is also more parking than required in the bylaw and the operators will live upstairs, he said.

But some Burke residents said the daycare will stick out like a sore thumb because of its size. They also voiced concern about traffic problems, lack of sufficient parking for the parents and 12 staff, and safety concerns.

"I can really see this as a really dangerous accident point," said Harper Road resident Bob Ruskin, referring to the intersection of Wessex and Princeton Avenue, a collector road.

He also said the proposed design for the double single-family home won't fit in with surrounding builders' work.

Antonio Proietti, president of the Northeast Coquitlam Ratepayers' Association, also wrote a letter to council about the lack of information available about the daycare to new buyers in the area.

But longtime Burke resident Brian Walton supported the bid, saying the daycare will be in high demand.

Coun. Brent Asmundson, who also lives on Burke, said the builder has tried to make the daycare blend in and said, "I think it will fit in the neighbourhood very well."

"This doesn't look like an institution," Coun. Terry O'Neill said. "It looks like a big, big home."

Coun. Craig Hodge, another Burke resident, told The Tri-City News on Tuesday that many Burke families have both parents working "and this is something that we really need up here."


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