While many Coquitlam residents are complaining about construction in their neighbourhoods, 22 property owners in a Burquitlam neighbourhood are calling for more homes to be built where they live.
On Monday (April 4), Silvano Padovan asked council-in-committee to change the land-use designation for the northeast sector of Whiting–Appian from townhouses to medium density for condo units.
"We firmly believe that this pocket wasn’t designated properly," he said at the meeting.
Padovan said he and his neighbours haven’t been able to convince city staff on a higher-density approach despite the surrounding area changing rapidly with high-rises and apartment blocks.
He claims, despite being close to SkyTrain, developers aren’t as eager to touch properties set for townhomes compared with parcels that are permitted for more growth.
Last year, Padovan and his neighbours petitioned the city; a follow-up letter was sent in February.
Made up primarily of single-family houses, the Whiting–Appian pocket is located north of the former Coquitlam College building and within the Burquitlam–Lougheed Neighbourhood Plan.
But it’s also part of the Southwest Housing Review — OK’d by council in June 2020 — aimed at providing more affordable housing options in Coquitlam neighbourhoods that want higher growth.
The three pockets moving ahead are Whiting–Appian, Guilby–Grayson and Miller–Grant, while Charland–Joyce, Blue Mountain–Quadling and Austin–Poirier are currently on hold.
More than half of the homes in southwestern Coquitlam were built before 1980, staff say.
At the Feb. 7 meeting, Don Luymes, Coquitlam’s general manager of planning and development, told council that city staff are assessing the "development capacity" within existing pockets to ensure a balance, but "not to have so much oversupply of land for high-density development that development activity results in destabilization of currently stable neighbourhoods," he said, "or a scattered or inefficient pattern of development."
"Staff is proposing to somewhat slow down and defer phases of planning for additional pockets beyond the three in southwest Coquitlam," Luymes said.
Meanwhile, Coun. Brent Asmundson told Padovan that council looks out for the best interests of the community and not the financial interests of land owners.
And while council will review Padovan’s request and petition, he said city staff have 236 active applications before them.
"We have a tremendous amount of development. We are meeting the needs of housing in our area," Asmundson said.