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Big plan for condos in Port Coquitlam near Colony Farm Regional Park. But will it fly with neighbours?

Developer seeks to build 220 units in two six storey condo units with underground parking, a park and playground, but at least one neighbour is concerned about the size and scope of the project

A Vancouver developer has been canvassing Port Coquitlam residents about its plans to build condos with 220 units near Colony Farm Regional Park.

The project — just in its earliest stages — is proposed for a lot at 1563 Shaughnessy St., a close walk to the eastern entrance of the park on the western edge of both the Mary Hill neighbourhood and near the bypass.

A spokesperson for the developer, Ascentus Capital Group, meanwhile, confirmed the mid-rise project is in its early stages of planning but was shared with nearby residents in order to obtain feedback.

“The buildings will be situated on the slope, thus obscuring much of the height from the street front. We are still in early stages of planning and have yet to submit a formal development application to the city,” said Peter Dhillon, Ascentus chief executive officer, in an email to the Tri-City News

“We are committed to being good corporate citizens and working with the communities in which we build. As such, we recently distributed pamphlets to nearby residents and knocked on doors in an effort to consult with them at this very early stage in the process to allow community consultation to be meaningful,” he further added.

Dhillon said that by sharing “our very initial project plans” and getting neighbours' thoughts and suggestions on potential revisions, the company has an opportunity to revise plans in response to feedback.

A company brochure shows plans for two six-storey condo buildings on a 2.85 acre plot.

The property, valued at nearly $5 million according to the BC Assessment Authority, was recently sold to a developer, a spokesperson for the city of Port Coquitlam stated in an email.

But there is no formal proposal before the city and the property would have to be rezoned to accommodate the project.

The land is currently zoned agricultural.

"They are undertaking some early consultation with the community in advance of an application," stated Lisa Grant, director of development services, in response to a query from the Tri-City News.

But according to at least one neighbour, the project is not appropriate for the area because of traffic, slope stability and proximity to the regional park.

"I have many concerns about this development," said Paul Baker, who lives nearby. "I don't know which is my biggest but what shocks me the most is that the existing property could be rezoned to permit a project of this size. A few townhomes would be fine but two six-storey high rises with 220 units just seems excessive and very much out of place for this area."

Across the street are single-family homes but also many townhomes are located nearby.

Baker also expressed concerns about the development being so close to Colony Farm Regional Park, an approximate 600-acre park operated by Metro Vancouver, which shares boundaries with Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam.

However, the lot has had a single-family home since the mid-seventies.

As well, the developer stated in its handout that parking would be underground, a lane would be provided for access, and a community park and playground would be built.

The project would also provide much needed family-oriented housing in the area, the handout said, noting as well that being built on a slope would serve to lower the street level mass of the building to a couple of storeys because most of it would be below grade.