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Rental homes for seniors planned next to updated community centre in Coquitlam

A public hearing will be held Monday (July 25) to consider an OCP and rezoning change for the parking lot at Place Maillardville in Coquitlam.

A parking lot at Coquitlam’s Place Maillardville Community Centre may soon become rental homes for seniors.

On Monday (July 25), city council will hear from the public about the municipality’s proposal to change the official community plan and zoning of the 18,179 sq. ft. space for a three-storey building at 1200 Cartier Ave.

Council unanimously gave the bid first reading on July 11 to move it out for residents' comments; the July 25 meeting starts at 7 p.m. at city hall.

According to a report from Andrew Merrill, Coquitlam’s director of development services, the application would prepare the land for a future nonprofit developer to build the independent living complex, with the city providing the lease.

City staff sent out nearly 400 letters to neighbours about the proposal, of which three responded and cited concerns about increasing density, parking, traffic, emergency care and lack of public transit.

“This area is not [an] appropriate location for a low-income seniors' rental development,” one neighbour wrote to the city, stating it’s “a quiet respectful working-class residential area,” while claiming low-income rental units would bring crime.

Another neighbour complained about the amount of construction in and around Laval Square, including at the community centre that’s now being rebuilt.

Architype Design also has a bid for a Heritage Revitalization Agreement at 1125 Cartier Ave. to restore the heritage home and build a duplex.

In his report, Merrill wrote the parking lot is considered surplus to the current operational needs of the 22,000 sq. ft. community centre, which is due to open this fall — with underground parking.

The revamped rec centre will also have a single-court gym, a teaching kitchen, multi-purpose rooms, a lounge for seniors and youth and childminding space.