The need for more affordable places to live in Port Coquitlam became the thrust of the public hearing and council talk last week about a proposed townhouse development on the city’s north side.
Jan. 14, area residents and council members spoke for nearly two hours about the plans to build nine 1,700-sq. ft. townhouse units in four buildings at 1752 and 1758 Salisbury Ave., close to Kwayhquitlum middle school, with some homeowners flagging potential traffic woes.
In the end, council voted unanimously to grant third reading of the rezoning bylaw (Mayor Brad West was absent), saying the company had done its due diligence to reach out to the neighbours and had responded with amendments to an application council previously turned down.
These included changes to the building massing as well as adding parking and construction management requirements for the half-acre site between Oxford and Wellington streets.
Coun. Glenn Pollock, who's a member of Metro Vancouver’s housing committee and moved the rezoning motion, said contrary to comments and concerns expressed at last week's public hearing, the development will be a “gentle densification” to the neighbourhood and will provide infrastructure improvements such as an update of the road’s water main, streetscaping and side fencing.
Pollock said the four-bedroom townhouse units will be an affordable option for families wanting to move up from condos.
Coun. Laura Dupont also praised the developer for making changes to the original application and for implementing energy-saving features.
“This part of the city is faced with a lot of challenges and we acknowledge that," she said. "It is leading the way in the transition to a more dense neighbourhood.”
Coun. Darrell Penner, who seconded the rezoning motion, added that the developer had done “an exceptional job in trying to address the issues.” He told opponents at the public hearing the townhomes “will fit in with the rest of the neighbourhood,” with the larger single-family homes also going up.