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Coquitlam's message to developers: Respect the community, look professional and clean up the mess

'You're making a promise': Coquitlam council asks working developers to respect communities

Coquitlam council has cautioned developers: if you're building in the city, respect the community.

On Monday (Dec. 13), councillors unanimously backed Mayor Richard Stewart’s request to postpone the first bylaw reading for a company that’s applying to construct 50 townhouse units in five buildings close to the Burquitlam SkyTrain station.

The reason?

The six properties Kadium Regan Development Ltd. wants to build on — 704, 706 and 710 Grover Ave., as well as at 701, 705 and 709 Regan Ave. — have been a mess, the mayor said, with garbage strewn over the grounds, and plywood torn off the doors and windows.

“Workplaces ought to look professional,” Stewart stressed.

Currently, the west Coquitlam neighbourhood is under intensive pressure with high-rises and redevelopments popping up around the Evergreen Extension corridor, Coun. Craig Hodge said. 

The Grover/Regan intersection is particularly hard hit with the building happening in and around the Burquitlam Plaza mall for Concert Properties’ towers and the YMCA, due to open next year.

Coun. Brent Asmundson said the social impacts of construction, such as noise and street parking by tradespeople, are disruptive to area residents.

And developers not keeping their sites tidy add to the frustration, he said, while reminding the development industry of Coquitlam’s Good Neighbour Development Policy (GNDP) adopted in 2019.

Andrew Merrill, Coquitlam’s director of development services, told the Tri-City News the GNDP outlines the city’s expectations for development sites to be “secure, clean and safe.”

It’s also intended to place greater onus on the developer to manage construction-related impacts around noise, trades parking, material deliveries and storage. In addition, the policy is meant to encourage early and ongoing communication with the surrounding residents.

“The city recognizes that the development of needed new housing may cause disruptions to existing neighbourhoods so the city prepared the Good Neighbour Development Policy to assist developers, contractors, tradespeople and the general public to understand the expectations of development to minimize impacts to the surrounding neighbourhood,” Merrill said.

Developers are encouraged to read the policy and sign a declaration.

But Coun. Dennis Marsden said developers are “not just signing a piece of paper” when they agree to the terms. 

Addressing developers directly, Marsden made clear during the regular public meeting, “You’re making a promise to the neighbourhood. You’re signing a pact with the neighbourhood, with the community.”

“I tend to think of myself as being polite and respectful but, in this case, I really, really want the development community to take notice,” Coun. Chris Wilson added. 

“We’re not going to take this anymore. Our community is supporting us, but they’re also extremely tired of development, and the way this property was left is not acceptable at all by anybody — under any circumstances.”

“If you don’t maintain then this is what you have to look forward to,” Wilson said, referring to council’s motion to refer the application to staff to work with Kadium.

Kadium did not return an emailed request for comment; however, the properties appeared to be fenced off and cleaned up as of Thursday afternoon (Dec. 16).

Stewart said he anticipates the Kadium bid will be back before council early in 2022 for re-consideration.