Coquitlam City Council started its first meeting of 2023 by sending a massive proposal for a master-planned community — next to the Port Moody border — out for comment.
Tonight (Monday), council unanimously gave first reading to Polygon’s Coronation Heights planned development north of Lougheed Highway; Coun. Dennis Marsden was not present for the vote.
A public hearing will be held at Coquitlam City Hall on Feb. 27.
Located in the City Centre neighbourhood, on the site of a former elementary school, at 135 Balmoral Dr. and 2506 to 2548 Palmer Ave., the area is set to be rezoned for high density: Nine residential towers with child care spots and a park, similar to what Marcon Quadreal aims for the corner at Lougheed and Barnet highways at Pinetree Way.
If OK’d after the public hearing, the development would be built in six phases including:
- three purpose-built rental towers with about 785 units (homes for about 1,500 residents) and about 210 units of below-market rental housing
- six market condo towers with about 2,050 units (homes for about 4,000 residents)
- a stand-alone amenity building of nearly 27,000 square feet plus 3,600 sq. ft. of retail
- two childcare facilities (spaces for at least 79 kids)
- a new road linking to Barnet Highway plus new or reconstructed local roads
Meanwhile, to the west, the City of Port Moody is eyeing a bid from Wesgroup to assemble 59 single-family homes for another high-density mixed-used development.
According to a report from Andrew Merrill, Coquitlam’s director of development services, Polygon’s plan is to build 2,835 homes — most of them two-bedroom condos.
Child care would come in Phase 1 while another space, double in size, would arrive in the last construction round.
And there would be up to 50 jobs available onsite.
Still, if the application goes ahead, Polygon would be short 73 on-site spots for child care and, as a result, would pay $590,000 in lieu to the city’s Child Care Reserve Fund.
An estimate of the total number of dollars the municipality would also take in is:
- $62 million in development cost charges
- $76.2 million in density bonus, including $10 million to the Affordable Housing Reserve Fund
- $3.7 million in community amenity contributions
- $9.8 million to buy 2545 Palmer Ave. from the city
- $3.1 million for transportation demand management measures
Coun. Matt Djonlic said given the Housing Needs Report that council-in-committee received earlier in the day, he’d like to see Polygon provide more below-market and non-market housing as the site is within a 400-m walking distance to Inlet Station.
But Merrill said Polygon met “all the expectations” of the city’s housing affordability policy.
Coun. Robert Mazzarolo also said he’d like to see more rental suites than studios, and he pushed the company for more child care.
Those spaces, Merrill told Coun. Teri Towner, are open to anyone — not just for the future families at Coronation Heights.
Still, Coun. Brent Asmundson warned council not to tinker with policy as development applications roll in and investment is made in the community.
His comments were echoed by Mayor Richard Stewart, who referred to Wesgroup’s Coronation Park where Port Moody City Council came under fire last year for “changing the goal posts.”
As for studios, Stewart contended they have value as an entry point into an expensive housing market, and they form an important component of the city’s housing stock.
• To take part in the public hearing on Feb. 27 on the Coronation Heights application — in person, remotely or in writing — visit coquitlam.ca/publichearing.