Letter: Too much building in Coquitlam

The Editor, Re. “Rent costs high & on rise” (The Tri-City News, May 11).

The Editor,

Re. “Rent costs high & on rise” (The Tri-City News, May 11).

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Reading the article about Doug Baker trying to find a place to live after his older building, which is owned by Concert Properties, which is also the developer, made my blood boil.

Coquitlam is turning into Burnaby and I thought we were better than that, that we looked out for our citizens.

Apparently not.

I live in the Town Centre area and, over the last 23 years, have watched more and more highrises going up, which, if you don’t count all the trees that came down to do this, is fine — at least people were not being displaced.

Not anymore.

I know of one complex on Inlet Drive that was approached by a developer several weeks ago to see if the owners would take a buyout so this developer can build on this site.

And just the other day, an acquaintance was telling me that her daughter lives in one of the three buildings just south of Glen Drive on Westwood Street that face Glen Park that have also been approached by developers.

When is it going to stop? And where are these people to go?

As the article shows, there is little in the way of rentals available and what is available has high rents. Even if you are an owner and get a million dollars for your apartment, unless you move out past Abbotsford or even to Vancouver Island, that money isn’t going to go very far these days. That isn’t going to work for people that work in this area and have to commute to Burnaby, Surrey, downtown or anywhere for that matter for work.

You might be able to get a newer condo in this area but they are in short supply, too.

I know all councils say they have to build around SkyTrain stations to give people a place to live but for the Town Centre, anyway, we have done more than our fair share of building highrises.

Yet there are plans for a 40-storey building on the corner of Westwood and Glen to be built by Polygon and directly west of this property there are plans for three more towers.

For the Polygon tower, just 51 of the 273 units will be for rentals and I would bet anything that the rent will not be cheap. Ridiculous.

And Burquitlam is turning into another Burnaby. The average working person who rents is being pushed out and I am sure wouldn’t be able to afford units in those new fancy highrises once they are built.

All city councils are still putting the cart ahead of the horse: not enough infrastructure set in place to accommodate the influx of people moving in, like schools or hospitals.

In their zeal to build, build, build, they are making the communities way more crowded. Traffic is getting worse as well; the roads aren’t wide enough to accommodate all the vehicles and traffic jams are a problem every day.

For those owners who are approached by a developer, I say hold out for $1.5 million or even $2 million. I am sure the developers can afford it.

Michelle Clayton, Coquitlam

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