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'Pretty big hill to climb,' Port Coquitlam mayor says of proposed 20-unit townhouse project

A developer is proposing to build a 20-unit townhouse project on land zoned for small lot residential — with room for child care and non-profit housing. But city wants more information before approving a community consultation plan.
CityState Consulting is proposing a 20-unit townhouse project on a large single-family lot.

Port Coquitlam council wants more information about a proposed townhouse project near Westwood Centre mall before allowing a community consultation plan to go ahead.

CityState Consulting is proposing to build a 20-unit townhouse project on a heavily treed, single-family lot at 3149 Raleigh St., close to Fox Park.

Plans call for two of the units to be below-market rental and one of the units would have room for a home-based day care.

But the 20,000-sq. ft. property is in an area of single-family homes and is zoned small lot residential.

Building the townhouse project would require an amendment to the Official Community Plan, according to city staff who recommended that the developer be allowed to begin official consultation for the project, with meetings and a web page.

Still, city council decided it wanted to hear more about the proposal before agreeing to the consultation plan.

"This application has already caused a fair bit of consternation in the neighbourhood and I’ve heard from a lot of residents who have a lot of questions and a number of concerns," said Mayor Brad West, who noted that project is mid-block and in an area not yet in transition.

West said he had "general support of allowing projects to go through the process but I do feel there’s a pretty big hill to climb here due to the particulars of this location."

Coun. Nancy McCurrach said she opposed the project "out of the gate," noting that 50 of 71 trees would have to be cut and the property is close to Maple Creek.

"I don’t feel right about the points that I’ve mentioned for it to go through," McCurrach said.

Coun. Steve Darling said while he liked the stacked townhouse form of housing, he said it's not the right project for the spot.

"It's a challenging one."

But one councillor said he was open to the project because of its location and the fact that the city needs housing.

Coun. Glenn Pollock said it's within a half-hour walk to a SkyTrain station.

Councillors unanimously agreed to ask CityState Consulting Group to make an appearance at an upcoming meeting to provide more information about the project.

In a statement, the company said it was looking forward to an opportunity to discuss the project with council.

"CityState looks forward to continuing the public engagement process that started months ago and collaborating with neighbours to create a community-focused project that also addresses Port Coquitlam’s housing needs. We welcome every opportunity to address council in chambers and look forward to continuing the discussion at an upcoming meeting," stated partner and project manager Aidan Shirley in an email.

CityState Consulting has another project in Port Coquitlam.

City council recently approved a 23-unit townhouse project for the city's northern side.

Located at 1759, 1771, 1775 and 1781 Prairie Ave., the project will provide three-bedroom units, with sizes ranging from 1,560 to 1,810 sq. ft. for families, as well as a children's play area, and retain nine mature trees.