Port Coquitlam’s committee of council put the brakes on a development permit this week for a four-storey mixed-used building on Westwood Street, citing traffic as a major concern.
At Tuesday’s meeting, the committee deferred the application by Mara+Natha Architecture after Mayor Brad West abruptly called for an in-camera discussion to seek legal advice.
Mara+Natha's proposal calls for commercial units at ground level and 26 apartments above on a property located at 3646 Westwood St., at Anson Avenue.
The vacant treed lot was rezoned in 2001 from residential to commercial and it is listed in the official community plan as a frequent transit development area of Westwood/Woodland.
Although Forrest Smith, PoCo’s director of engineering and public works, told the committee the Westwood/Anson intersection will be upgraded to include road widening and a turn lane, councillors voiced concern about the potential gridlock on Westwood given the upcoming developments at PoCo Place mall and at Sunwood Square, across the street in Coquitlam.
Laura Lee Richard, the city’s director of development services, stressed only the form and character of the planned building were up for discussion by committee — not the rezoning.
“I’m not sure if Westwood can handle it,” Coun. Steve Darling said, noting the rezoning for a higher density was made 18 years ago. “I’m not sure where we are going to put everybody.”
Coun. Laura Dupont also noted the loss of trees: 15 trees (12 living) will be removed for the future complex, it is proposed, while 11 replacement trees will be planted.
Mara+Natha also has development bids in Coquitlam for 496 Mundy St. and 2188 Austin Ave.