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Sunday, August 4, 2013

Upcoming by-election

Yes October 26 will see the residents of Burquitlam, along with the rest of Coquitlam, go to the polls to vote for a couple of new council members.

From the Tri-City News
In an early Tuesday morning vote at a meeting that started Monday evening — and with no debate on the topic — city council formally set the byelection date and appointed deputy city clerk Kerri Lore as the chief election officer and Lauren Hewson, the manager of information, privacy and administrative services, as deputy chief election officer, effective Aug. 12.

 So far one person that we know of has put their name forward. 
But where is the representation for Burquitlam?  We badly need someone in our corner as evidenced by the Foster "Fiasco".

Watch for local All Candidate's meetings and let's get in there and ask some tough questions.

Foster Development

Two interesting stories in the Tri-City News this week.
The first talks about the size of the Foster Development.  Apparently it is a bit bigger than planned.  It amazes me that the developers are able to do this in spite of the huge amount of opposition.  From the story in the paper:
The Vancouver-based developer Intracorp has been assembling the land over the past two years and is waiting for the go-ahead from city hall to build 107 three-storey townhomes and a 99-unit, five-storey apartment block at 514-554 Foster Ave. and 636-640 Aspen St.

So in 2011 this development was inconsistent with the OCP
In 2011, when company representatives first came before council with a pre-application for 124 townhomes, the city temporarily halted the bid, saying it was "inconsistent" with the 2002 Burquitlam Neighbourhood Plan, a visioning document expected to get updated this fall.

But in 2013, while the neighbourhood OCP is being redeveloped and will not be done until the fall, the developer is able to move in there because the old plan doesn't apply and the new one isn't done and.... say what????

And *this* is why Burquitlam needs someone in our corner on City Council.  It isn't enough to say "oh sure, we'll just write it in to the new OCP".  It takes someone standing up and saying "Wait.  Can we just take a break here for a couple of months, figure out what we want first and then move on it?"

Haven't we put the cart before the horse here?

A local resident noted how the people adjacent to the development felt:

Therese Weel of the Burquitlam Community Association said she drew up a petition in March, when the legal notices were published and letters were mailed out to affected agencies, that called for a smaller development, as put forward in the original plan.
"We canvassed the neighbourhood and ultimately collected the signatures of 29 residents living near the development," Weel told The Tri-City News. "Researching, understanding the issues, discussing the options and providing written feedback requires considerable time and effort.

Ms. Weel also noted in a separate email that 

There are homeless people living in the lane now that they have knocked some of the buildings down.

 Oh wait but somehow it is all okay, according to this second story, because the developer is going to give a bunch of money for some infrastructure.  
A new city of Coquitlam fund set up to collect developers' cash for a future recreation centre in Burquitlam will soon have $665,000 in the kitty.

The problem is the people of Burquitlam have heard this before.  In the past, with development, the money has gone to the City and then they've used it elsewhere.  So now is the time to start calling City Council and make sure they know we want it used here. If we have to have higher densification, at least we should get what the developer promises instead of having this go the neighbourhoods from which the individual council members come.

Evergreen Line Construction

The last month has seen quite a bit of new construction here in Burquitlam.  Where the DQ once stood is filled with cranes.  At one point, even the ingress to the parking lot at Burquitlam Plaza was blocked off.  A few seeks ago it was just a lot of rebar:

This seems to be moving quickly.  Now it has some shape to it:
So we're starting to get an idea as to the height.  It still remains to be seen how much of the "seeing" will be blocked because of it.