This Port Coquitlam neighbourhood will be the city's first high-density transit zone

Port Coquitlam council gave two bylaw readings to change the official community plan and zoning for the Westwood/Woodland triangle, a 6.3-acre section on the east side of Westwood Street between Kitchener and Lincoln avenues.

A Port Coquitlam neighbourhood bordering Coquitlam that’s about to see massive growth will be designated as the city’s first frequent transit development area (FTDA).

Yesterday (Tuesday), council gave two bylaw readings to change the official community plan and zoning for the Westwood/Woodland triangle, a 6.3-acre section on the east side of Westwood Street between Kitchener and Lincoln avenues.

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The proposed land-use move aims to keep pace with the future high density planned for Coquitlam’s Sunwood Square, where there’s a vacant Safeway store, and at PoCo Place. It would also to ensure there is adequate transit access to Lincoln Station, along the Evergreen Extension, as well as a mix of housing.

Under the Metro Vancouver Regional Growth Strategy — a blueprint for how the region will handle another million people by 2040 — neighbourhoods within 800 metres of a rapid transit rail station can be designated by a municipality as a FTDA.

The Westwood/Woodland triangle is made up of 19 individual lots, most with older houses on them. The property owners were notified last fall about the plans with four seeking clarification, said Lisa Grant, PoCo’s development services director.

“We have had a high level of interest for transit-oriented development in the Westwood/Woodland area,” Grant told The Tri-City News Wednesday.

Under the policy changes, which have yet to be adopted, commercial/residential buildings would go in along Westwood (mid- to high-rises) while lower density ground-oriented residential buildings like townhomes would go along Woodland.

The changes also call for the allowance of density bonuses from developers in the amount of $50 per square foot for additional floor area; that money would be used by the city to pay for new community and social housing amenities, Grant said.

The FTDA proposal for the Westwood/Woodland area came up before PoCo’s smart growth committee in 2017 when TransLink opened Lincoln Station.

Mayor Brad West told city council the FTDA “is the appropriate approach” to a comprehensive development. “The entire area was given due consideration.” 

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