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Childcare centre, 'age-in-place' townhomes planned for Burke Mountain site

A massive Burke Mountain site, next to Smiling Creek elementary and park, could soon have townhouses and a childcare centre for up to 94 kids.

A massive Burke Mountain site, next to Smiling Creek elementary and park, could soon have townhouses and a childcare centre for up to 94 kids.

But the homes will be marketed to families and buyers who want to “age-in-place,” meaning the units will be geared to people who want to live there for the rest of their lives.

Monday, Coquitlam council gave first reading to the proposed development at 3420 and 3428 Queenston Ave., and moved it to public hearing for April 12.

The bid, by Ankenman Marchand Architects, calls for 52 stacked townhouses and a 8,137-sq. ft. childcare facility — on a 99,719 sq. ft. sloped property, owned by Lijuan Jiu — that will be split into two lots; 94% of the homes will have three bedrooms.

Andrew Merrill, Coquitlam’s director of development services, wrote in his report to council that the townhomes will be marketed to families “and those looking to age-in-place as master bedroom on main floor configurations are proposed.” Resident and visitor parking will be underground, he added.

The developer also plans to build a common amenity area for the children and residents; however, 107 trees will be chopped and replaced with 99 trees.

“I was extremely excited to see this project,” Coun. Chris Wilson told council. “This really shows a city can have a very important role in childcare… by facilitating it with an incentive. I thinking it will really serve as a model elsewhere in our city.”

Coun. Bonita Zarrillo said the plans have already yielded significant interest: According to a city staff report, the applicant received 91 signatures from neighbours in support of the proposal, and a letter with 24 names opposed to the project. Last month, the applicant also had an online consultation with Burke residents to offer more information.

If approved after the public hearing, the project would generate $1.3 million in development cost charges (DCC), $237,633 in voluntary community amenity contributions (CAC) and $250,000 for the city’s community amenity enhancement program.

WOODBRIDGE TOWNHOMES

Meanwhile, following the public hearing on March 15, city council gave second and third bylaw readings for another major Burke Mountain proposal.

Woodbridge Developments plans 24 townhouses — over four buildings — at 3489 Baycrest Ave., in the Partington Creek neighbourhood. The proposal, if given final reading, would see Gislason and Baycrest avenues built, from east to west.

That Burke Mountain development would add $620,300 to city coffers in DCC as well as $113,000 in CAC, according to a city report.

However, James Howard of Woodbridge Homes told council that his company’s foundation — struck last year for Woodbridge’s 25th anniversary — would give $1,000 per unit to non-profit groups if Coquitlam council moved its bid ahead.

The comment bristled Mayor Richard Steward and councillors Zarrillo, Chris Wilson, Craig Hodge and Trish Mandewo. “The language that was used was disconcerting,” Stewart criticized. “To suggest that it was related to the vote, is just awkward.”

Council later voted 8-1 in favour, with Mandewo against.

When built out, the Partington Creek neighbourhood will be hub for Burke Mountain, with shops, a recreation centre and multi-family homes. 

The other Burke neighbourhoods are Upper Hyde Creek, Lower Hyde Creek and Smiling Creek; city staff are now consulting with stakeholders on the Hazel-Coy neighbourhood plan, for the top of Coast Meridian Road.

The city is now estimating 50,000 residents will call Burke Mountain home.