News

Coquitlam tackles duplex, townhouse, other proposals

Coquitlam council turned down a development permit for a seven-unit townhouse development next to the non-profit society’s retirement residence, citing concerns over parking, building form and massing.

When council issued the development permit for the Earl Haig Society in 2008, it included approval for four market townhouses at 491 Laurentian St. that would be sold to generate funds for the society. The townhouses were never built, however, and the property was sold.

The new owner was hoping to build seven units of three to four bedrooms as well as underground parking.

Staff recommended approving the permit, noting it meets official community plan, zoning and development permit area guidelines for the southwest Coquitlam neighbourhood.

But councillors Mae Reid and Brent Asmundson objected, saying seven units were too great a density for the property. Councillors Neil Nicholson and Selina Robinson added the design was “too clunky” and would overshadow the smaller single-family homes nearby.

Coun. Terry O’Neill echoed staff’s comments that the application meets zoning and OCP requirements, and density shouldn’t be a factor in considering a development permit. He was the sole vote against a motion to reject the permit.

Other Coquitlam news:

 

 

SRS. HOUSING

A proposal for a seven-unit seniors housing project at 352 Marmont St. was given first reading at Monday’s Coquitlam council meeting.

The Bulgarian Home Society of BC, which currently operates the two-storey duplex, hopes to renovate the building into seven one-bedroom rental units for low-income seniors. Funding for the project would come from the BC Housing Community Partnership Initiative.

Councillors raised concerns about whether the seven parking stalls and one visitor spot would be sufficient and whether there would be accessibility features.

Mayor Richard Stewart took issue with concerns raised by surrounding neighbours, however, many of whom want the area to remain single-family residential and object to rental housing in their area.

“It troubles me when I see concerns about rental housing being translated into the kinds of people that rent,” Stewart said. “We need seniors housing and we need seniors housed affordably.”

The application for official community plan and zoning bylaw amendments — from neighbourhood attached residential to low-density apartment residential and from two-family residential to two-storey low-density apartment residential — will go to a public hearing.

 

 

UNIQUE STRATA

Coquitlam council approved first reading for zoning bylaw amendments for an application to convert a single-family dwelling at 1408 Austin Ave. to a four-unit single-family strata development.

The standalone homes will range from 2,081 to 2,113 sq. ft. over three floors, one of which will be a basement with no access to the outside.

Staff recommended approval of the project because it encourages innovative housing types and a diversity of housing choices, promotes upgrades to existing neighbourhoods and offers high-quality design.

The owner will need a landscape architect to develop a plan for the site since none of the mature trees can be retained. A development variance permit is also required because at 21.6 m, the lot falls just short of the minimum 22.5 m width required.

Council took issue with the amount of parking but agreed the proposal offers a positive infill development.

The zoning bylaw amendment application to change the property from one-family residential to RT3-quadriplex will go to a public hearing.

 

spayne@tricitynews.com

 

 

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