Developers need to follow PoCo's family-friendly housing rules: mayor

Mayor Brad West takes aim at applicant for failing to build more room for families, even though the bid was already in process when the regulations passed last fall

Tri-City News
July 3, 2019

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Developers in Port Coquitlam need to “sharpen their pencils” to create more family-friendly housing, the city’s mayor said this week while reviewing a permit for a northside property.

On July 3, Mayor Brad West took aim at an applicant for failing to follow the city’s policies to build more room for families, although the bid was already in process when the regulations passed last fall.

Under those new rules, all new multi-family housing projects need to include at least 25 per cent family-oriented units and at least five per cent three-bedroom units, as well as more family-friendly amenity space.

PoCo’s move follows those of Vancouver and New Westminster councils, which adopted requirements for a minimum number of units in apartment buildings to be family-oriented (two- and three-bedrooms).

But the development permit proposal for 2160 Grant Ave. that went before Tuesday’s committee of council, following a public hearing, has only one three-bedroom unit and the two-bedroom suites don’t meet the city’s policy criteria as the dens are too small, staff said.

West cited another housing application that came before council last month in which the developer made modifications to his project even though it, too, was in at development permit stage.

“I’m disappointed other applicants were able to meet it even though they were in the process,” he said. “I’m hoping developers will sharpen their pencils and will meet policies in our community.”

Coun. Steve Darling suggested council “toughen up” its enforcement while Coun. Darrell Penner countered that he would like to know if the family-friendly policies are working.

“I think we need to find out from the marketplace what’s happening. I want to make sure it makes sense,” Penner said.

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