Coquitlam neighbourhood fights land-use changes before Evergreen arrives

Coquitlam neighbourhood fights land-use changes before Evergreen arrives

The Evergreen Extension has spurred a development boom in Burquitlam but it appears one neighbourhood has managed to push back against the city’s efforts to increase density in their area — at least for now.

 

 

The Evergreen Extension has spurred a development boom in Burquitlam but it appears one neighbourhood has managed to push back against the city’s efforts to increase density in their area — at least for now. 

The Oakdale neighbourhood, which is bounded by Clarke Road, North Road, Chapman Avenue and Como Lake Avenue, has been largely untouched in the latest draft of the Burquitlam Lougheed Neighbourhood Plan and city staff said any significant changes are being deferred to a later date.

 
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“It is very clear that the neighbourhood is not interested in that right now,” said Jim McIntyre, Coquitlam’s general manager of planning and development. “I think the general sense in that area is leave it alone for the time being.”

McIntyre acknowledged that residents in the area were vocal about their needs and that the changes to the neighbourhood plan show the city takes people’s concerns into consideration when staff develops planning documents.

 

He said changes may still come to the Oakdale neighbourhood if there is an appetite among residents in the future, and staff are coming up with policies that would allow for a review of the area without having to revamp the entire document. 

Jan McAndrew, a director of the Oakdale Residents Association, said she was pleased her neighbourhood was left alone in the most recent draft. 

“The people here are fairly close,” she said. “It is an established neighbourhood and many of the residents have been here for 20 to 50 years.”

Anyone who has driven through Burquitlam in the last year or two has seen the changes taking place in the area, with development expected to continue long after the Evergreen Extension is fully operational. In most places, the neighbourhood plan calls for a shoulder area, where highrises would transition into mid-rises and townhouses before turning into the single-family homes. 

But the resistance to the planning changes in Oakdale means that some single-family homes will be next to transit-oriented highrise developments, a situation that Mayor Richard Stewart took issue with during a recent committee meeting.

“I will re-echo my concern that we have a couple of locations where, right across the street from a transit-oriented highrise, we will have single-family and that is a reflection of the fact that some area residents are resisting the reality that there is change,” he said. “I understand the resistance but I also accept that those areas will change.”

The Burquitlam Lougheed Neighbourhood Plan was presented to council Monday and will now go back to the public for further consultation. McIntyre said he expected the plan to be presented to council in the new year and formally adopted in the spring. 

gmckenna@tricitynews.com

@gmckennaTC

 
 
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