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Are these new homes Port Coquitlam's first row houses?

One single-family home on Kelly Avenue will soon become five three-storey row house units under a plan approved by city council.
A new five-unit row house project on Kelly Avenue has been approved by Port Coquitlam.

A large single family lot near downtown Port Coquitlam will soon provide housing for five families.

Port Coquitlam council approved a development permit for five row houses to be built on an 8,646 sq-ft. lot at 2258 Kelly Ave., each with its own two-door garage roughed in for electric-vehicle (EV) charging.

"I really like the design and beautification," said Coun. Nancy McCurrach in joining her colleagues in approving the project on Tuesday (Jan.17).

There is currently an older home on the property valued at $2.4 million, according to BC Assessment, and the property abuts Elk's Park, where a community garden and a new playground are located.

However, concerns were raised by Coun. Dean Washington about the lack of on site visitors parking.

Washington quizzed PoCo staff on the difference between townhouses, which are required to have visitors' parking in common areas, and row houses that don't.

"I don't see the difference, they're obviously going to have visitors, where are they going to park?"

He was told the only difference between the two housing forms is that townhouses are usually constructed on larger land assemblies and have more units that require additional parking.

In the case of 2258 Kelly Ave., a land assembly was impossible because it is located between the Donald Street Pathway and a four-unit apartment building developed in 2008. 

While a townhouse project might have 16 or 17 units or more, this row house development only has five.

Bruce Irvine, director of planning and development, said row houses are considered the equivalent of single family homes and duplexes, neither of which are required to have visitors' parking.

Here are the details of the new development, according to a staff report:

  • Three bedrooms in each unit, which will be three storeys in height
  • Between 1,636 and 1,743 sq. ft. in size
  • Access to parking aisle off Kelly Avenue
  • Outdoor picnic area with tables, hopscotch
  • Fourteen new trees, in addition to hedging and shrubs
  • A fence between the adjacent property to the west

According to the Canadian Homebuilders' Association, row houses can also be called townhomes or townhouses and consist of similar single-family homes, side-by-side, joined by common walls.

Importantly, they can be freehold (non-strata) or condominiums. 

To answer the earlier question, does Port Coquitlam have row houses?

The answer is yes, according to two recent sales listing.

There's a row house for sale at 1338 Paula Place according to a listing on

It's a non-strata, four-bedroom, two bathroom home for sale for $719,900. The home has more than 1,700 sq. ft of living space and is 55 years old.

Duplex proposed for floodplain

On the other side of town, meanwhile, at 3688 Hamilton St. near Sun Valley Park, plans are in the works to construct a 2.5 storey duplex.

Port Coquitlam is being asked to consider rezoning of the property to permit the development, which would have to meet the city's strict floodplain requirements.

The plan calls for the main entrances to the units to be accessed via stairs and front porches at grade.

Each unit has one bedroom on the main floor and four bedrooms on the upper floor with a total of more than 2,200 sq. ft of living space for each unit.

The crawl space will be limited in height to 1.5 metres and would not be allowed to contain any exterior doors or windows to stop them from being used as bedrooms or illegal suites under the new floodplain rules.

According to the most recent assessment, the property is valued at $1.2 million, with a 1960s era, two bedroom home on an 8,174 sq-ft. lot.