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Coquitlam OK's Coronation Heights after two-hour public hearing

Polygon Homes gets second and third rezoning readings to build Coronation Heights, north of Barnet Highway, in the City Centre neighbourhood of Coquitlam.

A new master-planned community for about 5,000 residents at the Coquitlam–Port Moody border will help ease the housing crunch, speakers told city council on Monday.

During a public hearing that ran for two hours in council chambers and via Zoom, most of the Coquitlam and Port Moody residents taking part urged council to back Polygon Homes’ bid to build nine towers in a new neighbourhood called Coronation Heights.

The application, of which council unanimously gave second and third bylaw readings afterwards to rezone the land at 135 Balmoral Dr. and 2508–2548 Palmer Ave., calls for high-rises up to 51 storeys on 11.3 acres with 2,000 condos, 800 rental units and 201 below-market suites.

The proposal also includes a one-acre park, 3.7 acres of open space, 3,500 sq. ft. of retail, a 20,000 sq. ft. clubhouse and two childcare facilities for up to 80 kids.

Once fully approved, the project would generate $160 million in financial and economic benefits to the city, said Polygon officials, who hope to start “as soon as possible.”

Calling the transit-oriented site a “Gateway to Coquitlam,” as it would be next to the proposed Coronation Park project in Port Moody, where Wesgroup is expected to construct another master-planned community for about 5,000 residents on 15 acres, speakers talked about the need for affordable housing, jobs and retail in City Centre.

Leslie Courchesne, CEO of the Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce, said Polygon met with Chamber members to lay out the plans. She called Coronation Heights a “massive and exciting project” that will allow workers to live locally as the labour market tightens.

Coquitlam business owners and realtors added their voices in support of Coronation Heights.

“We need a lot of jobs; we need a lot of homes,” one speaker told council.

Younger speakers also asked council to build places for the next generation of homeowners.

Still, former city councillor Chris Wilson said even the below-market housing rates will not be affordable at, he estimates, $2,000 a month for a two-bedroom unit.

Longtime Coquitlam resident Yvonne Harris also talked about the dangers of raising children in skyscrapers and not having enough natural space for them to play.

One neighbour called Coronation Heights “inadequate” for family living given the towers’ heights, lack of green space and proximity to single-family houses.

“I believe that the need in this area is for family-friendly housing. This is not that,” she argued.

However, Port Moody resident Margo Bates said high-density developments like Windsor Gate and Klahanie give homeowners a chance to purchase a starter home and upsize when financially ready.

“We can’t build homes fast enough in this area," she said.

“I think it’s a great addition to our community,” said John Wolff, board chairperson for the Coquitlam Foundation, who noted Polygon is now partnering with the non profit.

As for council, Dennis Marsden said the city is trying to densify around rapid transit.

“This [project] checks all the boxes,” he said, praising Polygon for the rental units.

Mayor Richard Stewart said most of the correspondence the city received prior to the public hearing was positive about Coronation Heights.

“We need more housing and we don’t have more land left…. We have to use our land more efficiently,” Coun. Teri Towner said.


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