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Coquitlam prepares to sell tracts of its development land

The Metro Vancouver city of Coquitlam is planning to sell off two parcels of pre-zoned land in it...

IMAGE: A map showing the City of Coquitlam, B.C., plans for the Burke Mountain area. Smiling Creek is in the upper left. (Courtesy City of Coquitlam)

A map showing the City of Coquitlam, B.C., plans for the Burke Mountain area. Smiling Creek is in the upper left. For a full-sized, more detailed map click this link. (Courtesy City of Coquitlam)

The Metro Vancouver city of Coquitlam is planning to sell off two parcels of pre-zoned land in its planned Burke Mountain community.

The two parcels total 9.5 acres in Smiling Creek, a far-flung undeveloped neighbourhood in the heart of the Burke Mountain area. Overall, the city of about 140,000 residents has roughly 100 acres of development land at Burke Mountain which it has either already sold to developers or plans to eventually sell.

The two sites have been zoned for townhomes and would be handed over to the future developer ready for a development permit application. The sites are fully serviced with pre-paid community amenity contributions, the city’s manager of land development, Curtis Scott, told RENX recently.

“These opportunities don’t come up that often in Metro Vancouver,” Scott said. “We’ve eliminated a lot of the risk by taking care of the rezoning. They’re development-ready.”

The lots are located about a five-minute walk from the future 39-acre Burke Mountain Village, a master-planned community that will eventually include a recreation centre, grocery store, plaza, shops and hundreds of new homes (click for a full map of the proposed Burke Mountain Village). The site also neighbours a new 3.5-acre park set to open this fall.

Parcels in preview stage

Coquitlam is now previewing the two parcels and letting the development community know the bidding process could start soon, Scott said. “It’s not (yet) a formal offering of sale.”

The preview process should help showcase the properties while narrowing down their market value.

Scott said the city is one of the primary landowners in the Burke Mountain Area.

Several other residential developments are also taking place in the area and it’s important for the city to bring more population in to support their Burke Mountain Village concept, he said. About 13,000 residents now live in the area, located in the northeast corner of Coquitlam, abutting the coastal mountains.

Burke Mountain is about 40 kilometres from downtown Vancouver. The city estimates the Burke Mountain area population will eventually climb to 50,000.

City opts for townhomes

Housing sales and prices have been falling in the Metro Vancouver region and are well off the peak pricing since the beginning of last year.

The softer market has made townhomes seem like the right option, Scott said. “Townhouses are still, in my opinion, in demand by a variety of different family groups.”

He said the future developments would be ideal for families in need of 1,200 to 2,000 square feet, who want to be close to parks and schools and feel like part of a community.

The two lots together would include approximately 160 homes and would be among the early waves of multi-family development planned for the village area.

“The site was zoned for single-family before, but we went through an amendment to bring (in) townhouses . . . and our conceptual plan shows a mix of townhouses, duplexes and triplexes,” Scott said.

“The objective is to have a development that appeals to a broad range of families.”

Burke Mountain village centre

Another main objective is to get the village centre developed. The mountainside community will eventually include 120,000 square feet of retail and other major amenities.

The area has two existing elementary schools and is expected to have two more as it grows, in addition to a future middle/secondary school. It also has 180 acres of existing parks and plans for 23 acres of future parks.

Development of Burke Mountain Village is expected to begin during the next several years.

“It’s not a piecemeal approach,” Scott said. “We are invested in this for the long haul, by doing the master planning to ensure elements the community wants and needs are realized.”

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