Upgrade proposals for Coquitlam's Rochester Park

A neighbourhood green space tucked beside Maillard middle school in Coquitlam will be getting an upgrade.

On Monday, city council received the Rochester Park concept plan, a $3-million to $4-million proposal that would see the addition of a water play amenity, youth activity area, improved parking facilities and an enhanced trail network.

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But there were two items missing from the report that caught council's attention.

An off-leash area for dogs and an outdoor pool are not in the concept plan, amenities staff said were not appropriate for the small parcel of land that makes up the park.

The news was disappointing to Coun. Bonita Zarrillo, who noted that there are not a lot of green spaces in the neighbourhood where residents can walk their animals.

"I spent some time at the park on the weekend," she said. "There is an awful lot of dogs. We need a space for the dogs. We need to make a dog off-leash area."

Raul Allueva, the city's general manager of parks and recreation, said amenities like a pool and an off-leash area may have to be considered for other parks and city land in the area.

Coun. Craig Hodge agreed, saying he supports the construction of an aquatic facility for the south slope neighbourhood but said Rochester Park is not the place for it.

Under the plans, the park would be divided into four sections:

The upper zone would feature play areas for pre-school and school-aged children, a social plaza, and bike and skateboard skills areas.

The western portion of the park would contain an informal grass area for picnics, a small 14-car parking lot and walking trails that will connect to another section of the wooded ravine trail network.

And the southern portion of the park would feature more informal grass area and education kiosks.

gmckenna@tricitynews.com

@GMcKennaTC

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