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A river runs through it: Burke Village Park in Coquitlam will now include a watercourse

Burke Village Park will be located in the middle of the 39-acre village site — with retail and housing, and the Northeast Community Centre.

Designs for a new park in the centre of the future Burke Mountain Village are being revised.

And the update for Burke Village Park includes plans to relocate a watercourse through it.

On Monday (April 17), Coquitlam city managers highlighted the changes to the park concept since council adopted the master plan in 2017, and new roads such as David Avenue, Burke Village Promenade and Mitchell Street recently went in around the village core.

Once built out, the park will be located in the middle of the 39-acre village site — with retail and housing on its western side and the 80,000-sq. ft. Northeast Community Centre to its east.

In his presentation to council-in-committee, Ted Uhrich, Coquitlam's acting manager of parks and facility planning, said three tributaries to Star Creek were culverted as Burke Village Promenade was being constructed.

As a result, the eastern tributary will be rebuilt in its existing alignment; however, the two western tributaries will be joined together as one as an extended watercourse through the park site, according to a city staff report.

Because of the time needed to secure provincial permits, staff are ramping up the park plans for the watercourse relocation and SPEA (Stream Protection and Enhancement Area).

To speed it up, the city hired consultants to steer its bid through the regulatory channels.

Uhrich also said the park plans were updated to make the green space more accessible.

"The grading of the park has been planned to better match the future grades of the entrances off Burke Village Promenade, and reduce or eliminate retaining walls between the park and community centre," wrote Lanny Englund, Coquitlam’s general manager of parks, recreation, culture and facilities, in his April 11 report.

Uhrich said Coquitlam residents will be able to provide feedback on a web portal about the park plans as they progress in conjunction with the new Northeast Community Centre.

Council has already budgeted $500,000 in development cost charges (DCC) for the planning and design of Burke Village Park; however, the cost estimates for both the park and the community centre will be refined for the 2024–2028 capital plan, he said.

Uhrich said the park and recreation hub are "the most anticipated addition" to Burke Mountain, as are the Burke Mountain joint secondary/middle school and its adjacent park.

The village park "is going to be a tremendous asset for Burke Mountain," said Burke resident Coun. Brent Asmundson. "It's going to be quite the jewel for Burke Mountain."

Still, Coun. Craig Hodge, a former longtime Burke resident, cautioned staff about putting in too much vegetation in the park, citing CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design) concerns and possible speculation by neighbours that the area is "overgrown."

Burke school park

As for the secondary/middle school site — a 23-acre parcel owned by the city and School District 43 (SD43) — that park is expected to be built by 2026, in time for the new school opening.

Among its amenities next to the school will be a 400-metre running track with sport lighting, an artificial turf field, four full-sized tennis courts, washrooms and at least 60 parking spots.

Several councillors pressed city staff to include pickleball lines on the tennis courts while Coun. Robert Mazzarolo said he'd like to see more trees on the hilly site.

Coun. Dennis Marsden also voiced concern about the potential backlash on the retaining walls, which are not permitted for residential developments on Burke Mountain.

The site has a 36-metre elevation change from its northeastern to southeaster corners.

@tricitynews Trees be gone? 🌲🤨 #tricitynews #coquitlam #burkemountain #newschool #trees #greenscreen ♬ original sound - TriCityNews