PoCo presses for undergrounding of overhead wires for downtown

BC Hydro turns down two requests from developers to meet the municipal requirement.

Port Coquitlam city hall’s plans to underground overhead wires in the downtown are being stalled by BC Hydro.

This week, the city’s committee heard about two upcoming apartment blocks in which the developers have been told by the power company it can’t currently meet the municipal requirement.

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As a result, Kappa Construction will have to install ducting around its site at 2381 Shaughnessy St. (slated for a 31-unit residential complex) and pay the city $205,820 for future works.

Mondevo Properties will have to do the same for its permit variance, ducting around its property at 2337 Rindall Ave. (for a 75-unit apartment building) and giving $260,965 as cash-in-lieu.

“They say it’s not possible for them to underground at this time,” Laura Lee Richard, PoCo’s director of development services, told the committee at its Tuesday meeting. “We ask BC Hydro. They say no.”

Richard said the city would be in a better position with its undergrounding requests if the developments came in larger formats like for an entire block — not on a site-by-site basis.

A BC Hydro spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.

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