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A Port Coquitlam car dealership is ripping up concrete and planting trees. Here’s why

Metro Ford has agreed to move fencing and restore an area near the Coquitlam River to get approval for a new building.
Metro Ford will be revegetating an area of encroachment near the Coquitlam River.

A car dealership located close to the Coquitlam River on Lougheed Highway has won approval to build an additional structure on its property.

Metro Ford in Port Coquitlam plans to build a 3,400 sq-ft storage building on its land at 2471 Lougheed Hwy. 

But first, it must move some fencing, tear up asphalt and plant seven trees as well as dig in hundreds of shrubs and ground cover plants.

The large landscaping plan is an effort to restore an area of encroachment on public land, including a small portion within a 30-metre Coquitlam River watercourse protection area.

City staff reviewed the project and found the dealership was unknowingly encroaching on public land since at least 1995.

Once brought to Metro Ford’s attention, it revised its plans to relocate its perimeter fence and revegetate public lands, according to a city staff report. 

Because the remedial work meets expected standards, the business won't be required to get a special watercourse protection permit.

The new building will also be constructed to keep energy use low, and additional shrubs will be planted next to the building.

"Given the encroachment area falls upland of the Coquitlam River dike and trail, the modest scale of the encroachment and the willingness of the applicant to fully restore the area with riparian planting, staff believe this work can be exempted from a watercourse development permit due to its remedial nature," staff stated in a report to council.

Councillors reviewed the plans and approved the development permit without comment during its regular public meeting on Tuesday (Dec. 14).

Restoration work will include the relocation of Metro Ford’s perimeter fence, removal of asphalt and installation of landscaping, including trees, 120 shrubs and nearly 250 ground cover plants.