The City of Coquitlam will be hosting an information session exploring possible options for addressing concerns around large homes; the concerns being addressed do not not include the issues around how to pay for heating, lighting and keeping monster homes clean and tidy.
On Tuesday, May 12th from 4:00 – 8:00 p.m.residents are invited to the Centennial Pavilion (620 Poirier Street) where staff will be on hand to share information about potential options to help guide development of single-family homes in certain areas of Coquitlam.
Some residents in more established Coquitlam neighbourhoods – for example, Austin Heights, Burquitlam-Lougheed, Harbour-Chines, Ranch Park and Maillardville – have expressed concerns about the size of new homes going up around them.
Some have taken to calling the very large homes “monster homes” and when one Coquitlam council candidate in last fall’s municipal election was asked for his thoughts on “monster-sized” homes he replied that “only monsters live in monster homes.”
If that is the truth, then there are a lot of monsters moving into Coquitlam neighbourhoods.
The reality is that most of Coquitlam’s single-family homes in those neighbourhoods fall under the RS-1 One-Family Residential zone. Many homes that are subject to this zoning in older neighbourhoods are relatively modest in size, and are well below the maximum density allowed and therefore very different in appearance to the monster sized homes that are being developed.
In contrast, many new homes are built close to, or meet, the maximum density allowed which includes larger square footage, higher rooflines, smaller setbacks and often a basement suite.
The question of large homes is not unique to Coquitlam, but rather, is being asked throughout Metro Vancouver where many monsters seem to want to set up house. The trend toward maximizing the size of new homes is being driven by overall rising property values as the supply of developable land for single-family homes becomes more constrained.
In Coquitlam, these concerns have been ongoing since the 1990s. Since then, and as recently as 2011, Coquitlam has implemented a number of changes to the building size provisions in the RS-1 zone that are felt to have produced better-designed homes. These changes included, for example, encouraging better building design, maximum site coverage of 45% and adjustments to perimeter wall height and perimeter wall area.
For more information you can visit with Coquitlam city staff on Tuesday, May 12th from 4:00 – 8:00 pm in the Centennial Pavilion (620 Poirier Street) or you can visit www.coquitlam.ca/largehomereview.