Thinking Bigger on Burke Mountain

mvconnectHover2The Burke Mountain area is expected to accommodate a quarter of Coquitlam’s growth in the coming decade. See how the city is working to create a plan that makes it easier for residents to live, work, and play – without having to rely on automobiles.

Compact, dense neighbourhoods help the environment by providing a customer base for local businesses and amenities. That allows for shorter travel distances and walking or biking becomes an option. Planning of this sort is underway in the upper regions of Coquitlam. It’s bringing other benefits as well.

Four new neighbourhoods are in various stages of development on Burke Mountain in northeast Coquitlam and all feature a range of housing choices.

Carl Johannsen, the manager of Community Planning for the City of Coquitlam, describes the mix of residential options.

“Instead of just a sea of single family homes you have townhouses, you have single family homes with suites, and carriage homes and duplexes.”

There are also plans for apartments in the area called Partington Creek.

“(In) the neighbouhood plan, Partington Creek is meant to be the neighbourhood heart, or center of Burke Mountain,” says Johannsen. “So, it’s where you would have shops providing for everyday needs, a community centre, apartments on top of shops.”

The dense neighbourhoods will have enough bus riders to make transit viable and that means reduced dependence on cars and fewer greenhouse gas emissions. The buses will link with the new Skytrain line.

“In 2016, the Evergreen Line will be completed right to our city center and the neighbourhoods around it will be able to feed on that sustainability of our city center,” says Coquitlam mayor Richard Stewart.

The mix of housing choices will also serve residents as their needs change through life.

“When they are single or with a partner they are in smaller housing types, like maybe a townhouse or an apartment,” says Johannsen. “When they have children maybe they are in a townhouse or a single family home. And when they are ready to downsize, maybe they are going back down to a townhouse or an apartment building.”

Burke Mountain is expected to grow from the current 6,000 people to 30,000 by the year 2025. That’s about a quarter of the city’s growth. A long-range vision is also being developed for portions of Burke Mountain further north.

“We want to come up with a thirty-year game plan,” explains Carl Johannsen. “We’re engaging residents and stakeholders with an interest in Burke Mountain.”

This draft vision for northwest Burke Mountain is expected to go before Coquitlam city council in 2015.

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