'Surplus' school land to be sold

Coquitlam city council on Monday rezoned and changed the OCP for the northeast strip of land at Parkland elementary, for eight single-family homes. - tri-CITY NEWS FILE PHOTO
Coquitlam city council on Monday rezoned and changed the OCP for the northeast strip of land at Parkland elementary, for eight single-family homes.
— image credit: tri-CITY NEWS FILE PHOTO

A strip of school land deemed to be surplus by School District 43's board of education will be sold for housing.

On Monday, Coquitlam city council unanimously rezoned and changed the official community plan to allow the northeast portion of Parkland elementary to be subdivided for eight single-family homes.

The vote came after a public hearing in which council heard from two Como Lake Avenue residents — one of whom lives directly beside the proposed development.

Former realtor Pauline Hing, a Como Lake homeowner for 22 years, said the additional homes will create safety problems for the students and others using the sports fields.

She cited potential challenges with the rear lane that will extend and connect with Poirier Street, close to Como Lake Avenue, and she voiced concerns about the construction and noise levels.

"It affects my property and my enjoyment and I don't want it at all," Hing told council.

Stacey Robinsmith argued the 1.2-acre parcel "should be used for the greater good of the community," with townhomes or non-market housing — not single-family residences.

But Graham Farstad of The Arlington Group Planning and Architecture Inc. said School District 43 is aware of past opposition to area retail and trustees want to build a development that fits into the neighbourhood.

Farstad said the proceeds of the sale will be used for capital projects in the district. SD43 is anticipated to grow by 5,000 more students over the next decade, said Ivano Cecchini of SD43's facilities initiatives.

The controversial proposal to generate money for the cash-strapped SD43 comes two years after the board of education stopped a similar proposal to sell off a piece of land at Porter Street elementary school following outcry from parents.


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