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What's on Coquitlam's plate for 2022? Lots, and pickleball

Coquitlam city hall is charting its post-pandemic course for 2022, setting or reconfirming its direction for policies and priorities.
The demand to play pickleball in Coquitlam has grown very fast, city council says.

Coquitlam city hall is charting its post-pandemic course for 2022, setting or reconfirming its direction for policies and priorities.

In December, city council is expected to endorse its annual business plan to focus on four key themes for the coming year: 

  • sustainability, growth and liveability
  • diversity, equity and inclusion
  • pandemic recovery 
  • reconciliation

The draft 2022 business plan, set to be greenlighted at the same time as the budget, aims to capture pressing civic projects as well as consultation from residents, businesses and organizations over the past year.

Graham Stuart, Coquitlam’s manager of corporate planning, said the plan is approved by the executive team and “is not meant to be a comprehensive list of all staff activities,” he told council-in-committee on Oct. 4.

He also highlighted initiatives that touch on pandemic fatigue, as well as city staff retention and post-pandemic work expectations. 

According to the latest IPSOS poll that was commissioned by the municipality, 60 per cent of respondents said the pandemic was impacting their mental health negatively and “this is true of our staff as well,” Stuart said, “many of whom have been balancing duties of their day jobs with pandemic response.”

Besides the anticipated tight labour market, the draft 2022 business plan is preparing for a series of new initiatives like the 

Still, despite the dozens of action items on the work plan for next year, councillors urged city staff to zero in on pickleball demands.

“It’s only going to continue to grow,” Coun. Chris Wilson said, noting Coquitlam is being compared to other Metro Vancouver municipalities that are more accommodating to the sport. “We really need to get ahead of this.”

“We’re aware pickleball is going nuts. We have to respond to it,” deputy city manager Raul Allueva responded, adding the city has a parks and recreation master plan and several policies that address pickleball.

Coun. Trish Mandewo said the draft community engagement strategy that’s underway — and listed as a “C” priority — is vital, as more residents reached out electronically to city leaders during the COVID-19 lockdown.

And Coun. Teri Towner said she’d like to see more community gardens to maintain food security for residents without land to grow.

And the priorities are....

Here’s what’s on the city plate for 2022: 

  • Safe and Complete Neighbourhoods: Burke Mountain Village development, housing affordability initiatives, RCMP integrated mental health response, səmiq̓wəʔelə/Riverview Lands comprehensive planning process, southwest housing review, Hazel/Coy Neighbourhood Plan, community wildfire preparedness, regional policing initiatives, Upper Pipeline and Quarry road corridors planning overview, heritage management strategy implementation, RCMP strategic plan renewal and Metro Vancouver 2050 regional growth strategy response 
  • Local Economy and Local Jobs: Cedar Drive utility and road planning, economic development strategy, strategic transportation plan update, city-wide parking review, rail crossing grade separation projects, Fremont Connector planning, streetscape enhancement program, Innovation Centre renovations
  • Healthy Community and Active Citizens: Northeast Community Centre design, major recreation and cultural facilities roadmap, Spani Pool design and construction, Place Maillardville construction, Blue Mountain Park master plan, library services and spaces study, Town Centre Park improvements, Glen Park Phase 3 planning, Coquitlam River Park master plan, urban forest management plan, Town Centre Park gateway planning, Sheffield Park construction, Coquitlam Crunch south extension planning
  • Sustainable Services, Environment and Infrastructure: climate action plan, YMCA construction, Austin Works yard renewal, eMobility strategy, water and sewer rate implementation, Coquitlam–Metro Vancouver water projects, Burke Mountain joint school/park site planning, Brunette interchange planning
  • Excellence in City Governance: Diversity, equity and inclusion, reconciliation, pandemic recovery, development application process review, integrated development financial review, local election, childcare strategy implementation, business improvement initiatives, collective bargaining, hazard, risk and vulnerability analysis update, community engagement strategy, bylaw enforcement review, city lands management strategy