- BC Games
Falcon Drive mid-rise is 'premature': council
Coquitlam council sided with the city's planning manager this week in postponing a proposed housing development near a future Evergreen Line station.
On Monday, council voted 4-3 to defer a bid from Epix Developments, which had proposed to construct a five-storey, mixed-use building at 1120 Falcon Dr. and 2565 Runnel Dr.
Jim McIntyre, Coquitlam's general manager of planning, cautioned council the City Centre Area Plan (CCAP) had yet to be updated and allowing the development to proceed without the vision for the area would pose a problem for the surrounding community.
As well, the city isn't clear if an Evergreen station will be built at Falcon Drive and Barnet Highway, which would affect the way development goes up around the core and shoulder areas.
McIntyre told council Epix's bid was "premature" given the uncertainties.
But Coun. Terry O'Neill contended city staff were being hypocritical as a neighbourhood plan for Burquitlam and Lower Lougheed also has yet to be updated but one-off projects are being allowed by city staff and council.
"This is a small, little development and let's get on with it," Coun. Lou Sekora said of the Epix plan.
Coun. Brent Asmundson said the Epix proposal is within the city's Transit-Oriented Development Strategy guidelines for building highrises — and creating high density — around future stations. As well, Epix's site is within the shoulder (about 800 m) of the Ioco station in Port Moody, Asmundson said.
The lot has been vacant for years and Epix's plans to build a mid-rise with a sloped roof would fit well with the nearby residential area, he said.
But Coun. Neal Nicholson argued city staff's suggestion for deferral was well-intentioned. "We don't often see staff recommending against," he said.
"The people in this area need to have a neighbourhood plan in place before we do a one-off," Coun. Craig Hodge said, adding, "I think we only get one chance to get this right."
After council voted to defer, McIntyre vowed the CCAP would start later next year and "will not fall off the agenda."