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Coquitlam calls public hearing for planned 35-storey tower in Oakdale

The public inquiry for proposed developments on Coquitlam's Westley Avenue, Gardena Drive and Kemsley Avenue is slated for May 15.

A single-family housing neighbourhood in Coquitlam that's sprouting with high-rises may have to make room for another tower.

On Monday (April 24), city council unanimously gave first reading to a proposal from Oakdale Limited Partnership (Strand Development) to raze eight homes for a 35-storey skyscraper with 320 homes, as well as for a six-storey rental building with 132 units (Mayor Richard Stewart was not at the meeting for the vote).

The public will get a chance to speak about the bid at a hearing at Coquitlam city hall on May 15.

According to a report from Andrew Merrill, Coquitlam's director of development services, the planned rezoning on the assembled 1.36-acre lot — at 589 and 593 Westley Ave., 648 and 650 Gardena Dr. and 584, 588, 592 and 596 Kemsley Ave. — is located about 1,560 feet from the Burquitlam SkyTrain station and within the Stoney Creek watershed.

If approved, it would include a total of 452 homes plus 504 parking stalls, of which 436 spots would be ready for electric vehicle charging, and a total of 24,318-sq. ft. of common amenity space.

The amenity area on top of the tower would have a lounge and games area, plus a hot tub and cold plunge pool, Merrill wrote.

At least one councillor voiced concern with the lack of childcare spaces within the proposed development.

However, Oakdale Limited Partnership is ready to pay the city $148,000 to make up for the missing childminding spots for the projected 91 kids, Merrill added.

Coun. Brent Asmundson urged city staff to "work with the developer" to find room on site for the young children during the day.

Couns. Robert Mazzarolo and Steve Kim also pressed the developer to get more three-bedroom units in the two buildings. The city's minimum is 10 per cent; but, Oakdale Limited Partnership is planning less.

"Staff encouraged the applicant to increase the three-bedroom units to meet the city’s target of 10 per cent of the overall unit count," Merrill wrote, "but was advised by the applicant that the proposed unit count is based on census data, which indicates that the city’s average household size has decreased in the last two census periods."

Couns. Craig Hodge and Dennis Marsden also took note of the orphan lot at 652 Gardena Dr., though Merrill said the city and the applicant had discussions with the homeowner; that property can be included in a future land assembly once the road is realigned, Merrill told council.

The redevelopment site, which is close to SFU, has a 26-ft. elevation change from the northeastern to southwestern corners.

There are several active high-rise proposals for surrounding properties, including from Qualex–Landmark, Quantum Properties, Wanson Development, Rize Alliance (Oakdale) and Intracorp Gardena Nominee.

If OK'd, the Oakdale Limited Partnership bid will bring in for the municipality:

  • $10.1 million in development cost charges
  • $9.3 million in density bonus
  • $405,000 in community amenity contributions
  • $323,800 from the disposition of surplus road
  • $148,000 for the Child Care Reserve Fund
  • $9,000 for the Transportation Demand Management Monitoring Fund

To take part in the public hearing on May 15 at 7 p.m., you can visit the City of Coquitlam's website to register.