Big Changes Coming to Coquitlam Zoning and Density

The City of Coquitlam has been growing for all 150 years of its history. From the early days of development along the Austin corridor, to expansion in Coquitlam Centre, Westwood Plateau, and Burke Mountain, the city has always been growing, and Coquitlam zoning has always been changing. With the advent of the Evergreen Line in mere months, Coquitlam zoning is currently in a realm of “Transit Oriented Development.” This style of planning has been used in municipalities within Metro Vancouver since the SkyTrain first hit the tracks in the late 1980s, and can notably be seen in Metrotown, Brentwood Town Centre, and Downtown New Westminster. Transit Oriented Development (TOD) encompasses high density mix-used development around transit stations. A common theme of TOD is the “tower and podium” style of architecture, pioneered in Vancouver.

As shown in the above photo, the tower and podium design involves a tower of residential living space, and a “podium” of commercial space, or townhouses. The key of tower and podium design in TOD and Coquitlam zoning is to increase density around transit stations, and to make the areas more walkable. With TOD design in mind, one should be able to make access all necessities without a car as everything should be either within walking distance, or just a short trip on the SkyTrain.

The densification of Coquitlam Centre has been ongoing since the early 2000s, but is going to continue in that area. However, the neighbourhoods in Coquitlam that are going to experience a massive change in density are Burquitlam, and Lougheed. The Burquitlam Plaza revitalization is already well underway, a project by Bosa Properties that is reinvigorating the vintage strip-mall style plaza. However, the Coquitlam zoning changes aren’t just stopping with the 2 new towers in the area. Zoning amendments have been approved by the City within the Official Community Plan to allow for high densification around Burquitlam Station, as well as medium density/mix-used development in the surround area. This creates sweeping zoning changes in the areas along Robinson Street, along North Road, and Foster Avenue.

Picture above is “The City of Lougheed”, a new masterplanned community that will feature 23 high rise towers, and 300 new shops and restaurants. While technically in the City of Burnaby, this new development is also a sign of things to come in the Lougheed neighbourhood of Coquitlam. The feed streets to Lougheed Town Centre such as Austin Avenue and Westview Street will be the location of high density towers and development which hasn’t been seen this area of the city. The Coquitlam zoning will also create more townhouse development in the West Austin area, as well and medium-height residential condominiums and apartments.


Coquitlam has consistently been one of the most populated cities in all of British Columbia, but now is the time for the municipality to make the change from suburb to city. In fact, Coquitlam is expecting almost one quarter of all people moving to Metro Vancouver within the next 35 years. As the city continues to grow, be sure to expect more densification, better access to rapid transit, and walkable communities. If you need help settling on the perfect place to live in Coquitlam, then please contact us. 

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