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Developers say no to mandate on mid-rises by Burquitlam station

Woodbridge Oakdale and Polygon Homes have penned letters to state they won't be following the new provincial housing rules for Tier 3 development around Burquitlam SkyTrain Station.

As Coquitlam city planners continue to sort out the provincial government’s new housing legislation, council is back to reviewing new development bids.

Tonight, April 22, elected officials will consider first, second and third bylaw readings for two new housing applications within transit-oriented zones — the first time in weeks that council has eyed proposals since the new rules started rolling out last November.

But under Victoria’s mandate to press B.C. municipalities for more homes during the housing crisis, no public hearings will be held on the development bids.

In the first plan, Woodbridge Oakdale LP aims to build two six-storey apartment buildings and two three-storey stacked townhouse buildings at 628, 632, 636, 640, 648 and 652 Harrison Ave., as well as 631,635, 639, 645 and 647 Kemsley Ave. and 661 Clarke Rd. in the western Coquitlam neighbourhood of Oakdale.

A total of 259 stratified units are proposed for the 12 consolidated single-family lots, including 12 adaptable units and 36 three- and four-bedroom suites.

The 2.09-acre site is located within Tier 3 of the Burquitlam Station Transit-Oriented Area as set by the provincial government, meaning a floor area ratio of three times the lot area, with a minimum height of eight storeys, is allowed — without any residential parking requirements.

Still, Woodbridge plans to go ahead with 319 parking spots via three levels of underground parking off Harrison Avenue, of which most of the residents’ stalls will be equipped with a Level 2 charging outlet for electric vehicles.

“Given the continued market demand for off-street parking at this location and the difficulty of achieving the provincially mandated density/heights targets in a wood-frame building form, the applicant has provided … [a] letter indicating that they wish to proceed under the current policy/financial context,” wrote Chris Jarvie, Coquitlam’s director of development services, in a report to council.

If approved, Woodbridge would provide the city:

  • $3.7 million in development cost charges
  • $891,000 in community amenity charges (including $150,000 to the Child Care Reserve Fund)
  • $5,200 for Transportation Demand Management monitoring

Two six-storeys

Meanwhile, council will also vote tonight on first, second and third rezoning readings on Polygon Homes’ proposal for two six-storey residential buildings.

The company plans to construct 184 market units at 622, 626, 630, 632, 634 and 640 Smith Ave., as well as 702 Fairview St. and 637, 639 and 641 Vanessa Crt.

Polygon has two similar projects, directly to the south at 621 and 625 Cottonwood Ave. that have already been OK’d by council.

According to Jarvie’s report, Polygon intends to raze the existing homes on the 10 single-family lots that are also within Tier 3 of the Burquitlam Station Transit-Oriented Area — except for 622 Smith Ave., which is located within Tier 2 (where a floor area ratio is four times the lot area, with a minimum height of 12 storeys).

Like Woodbridge, Polygon also has provided a letter to proceed under the city’s current policy/financial context, Jarvie wrote in his report to council.

Besides the $66,900 sale of a 16.7 sq. m. portion of the Vanessa Court cul-de-sac, which will be closed for the development, the city stands to gain:

  • $2.3 million in development cost charges
  • $727,779 in community amenity contributions
  • $3,689 for Transportation Demand Management monitoring

The council meeting starts at 7 p.m. at Coquitlam City Hall (3000 Guildford Way).