Municipal News- Port Coquitlam
September 19, 2023
BC ESC Amendment to Building and Plumbing Bylaw
At Council on September 12th, changes were adopted to the Building and Plumbing Bylaw which adjust the effective date for Energy Step Code (ESC) Step 4 compliance to January 1st, 2027.
On September 5th, Committee-of-Council expressed the desire to not be ahead of Provincial requirements, and made a motion to adjust the date recommended in the report by City staff (January 1st, 2025) to a date in 2027. This change will give the building industry and City staff more sufficient time to adjust to the changes, especially with the convergence of other mandatory implementations slated for the end of this year (like the BC Building Code and DCC bylaw). Rushing the requirement to meet Step 4, especially in the current financial climate, was discussed as adding hardship to builders, which could jeopardize needed growth in housing supply.
More information can be found in the full report by City staff.
Public Notice Bylaw
At a Special Council meeting on September 5th, changes to the Public Notice Bylaw were adopted. Moving forward, traditional newspaper notices will not be required and instead, notices will be provided on the City’s website and Facebook page, as well as a hard copy being placed on the City’s bulletin board outside of the City Hall’s main doors.
More information can be found in the full report by City staff.
July 26, 2023
2023 Development Cost Charge Update
At Council on July 11th, First, Second, and Third Reading were given to the proposed 2023 Development Cost Charge (DCC) update. The Parks DCC Bylaw is not being updated at this time, but the proposed rates include water, drainage, highway, and sewer. The last DCC update took place in 1993, which is reflected in the rate increases.
Proposed rates, with existing parks rates, can be found below:
The proposed rates will now go to the Inspector of Municipalities for approval, with an anticipated review timeline of 6-8 weeks. The anticipated timeline for adoption is late September/October 2023, with new rates effective on the date of bylaw adoption.
To qualify for the old rates, applications must be submitted prior to the adoption of the new DCC bylaw, and building/subdivision permits must be granted within one year of the bylaw adoption. Rezoning and development permit applications must result in building permit issuance within one year of the bylaw adoption.
May 30, 2023
Delegated Authority and Development Procedures Amendments
At a Special Council meeting on May 16th, amendments to the Delegation of Authority Bylaw and the Development Procedures Bylaw were adopted. The changes are intended to provide for an enhanced customer-friendly and efficient process.
The amendments delegate authority to the Director of Development Services to approve Duplex Development Permits and alterations to issued permits to allow for minor variances to parking regulations. This was a response to the enquiries the City often receives from older multi-family residential owners to allow one or two of the required parking stalls to be used for alternative or combined uses, such as electric vehicle charging, recycling cart storage and car/pet wash stations. Similarly, commercial and industrial properties often request to temporarily reconfigure or utilize parking stalls to provide for seasonal patios or display of merchandise. The Director of Development Services is already delegated the ability to amend permits with some minor variances to bicycle and recycling facilities and parking stall dimensions, so the provision has been expanded to allow for minor variances to parking regulations and provide for efficient consideration of these requests. More significant variances to parking provisions would continue to be considered by Committee through the Development Variance Permit process.
The amendments to the Development Procedures Bylaw extend the time-period for Zoning Bylaw amendment adoption to two years. Over the past several years, City staff have noted that applicants are finding it increasingly challenging to complete all rezoning conditions within the required one-year time-period, and most applicants request Committee approve an extension. The third reading time-period has been extended to two years, giving applicants an additional year to meet the conditions of a rezoning application. This will reduce both unnecessary costs and uncertainty to the applicant and staff resources in bringing the request forward to Committee for consideration.
More information can be found in the full report.
February 21, 2023
2023 Water and Sewer Amendment Bylaws
At Council on February 13th, amendments to the Water Bylaw and Sewer Bylaw were approved to reflect 2023 fee increases. There will be 2.81% increase in water rates, and 1.97% increase in sewer rates over the 2022 rates. The principal factors driving the rates are increases in Metro Vancouver charges for bulk water purchases and levy for sanitary sewer discharge.
More information can be found in the February 7th staff report here.
January 10, 2023
2023 Fees and Charges
At Council on December 13th, changes to the City’s Fees and Charges Bylaw were adopted. These are effective as of January 1st, 2023.
The full bylaw with associated changes can be read here. See page 33 for Development Applications, and page 39 for Building Services.
March 22, 2022
Climate Action Plan Engagement
An online survey is available to complete between March 9th and April 1st. The new input will help refine a draft Climate Action Plan to be presented to Council in spring 2022 for adoption by summer 2022.
November 16, 2021
Climate Action Plan Engagement
The City has begun developing a new Climate Action Plan. The Plan will set a vision for a low-carbon future and identify the steps required to get there. Grounded in climate science, the Plan will integrate community perspectives and priorities, so actions taken today to reduce GHG emissions and adapt to climate change will also create healthier lifestyles and bring new opportunities in the green economy.
Starting November 15th, check this page to complete the survey, which closes on December 5th. The survey results will be combined with input from Council and other key stakeholders, along with technical assessments, best practice research, climate science and trend analysis, as the City’s project team develops the draft plan over the coming months. The public will have additional opportunity in spring 2022 for feedback. The intent is to adopt a new Climate Action Plan by late spring or early summer 2022.
March 23, 2021
Master Transportation Plan
Port Coquitlam is updating its 2013 Master Transportation Plan (MTP) and is asking the public, businesses and stakeholders to provide feedback through a transportation survey. The City is seeking input “… on potential improvements to various modes of transportation, including:
- Transit; and
- Electric Vehicles.”
The MTP review started in late 2020 and will be a two-year process. The City is developing Preliminary Strategies and Solutions from now until Q4 2021. A Draft Plan will be written between Q4 2021 and Q2 2022. The final phase of the project, the finalization of the MTP, will occur between Q2 2022 and late 2022.
April 21, 2020
Property tax increase cancelled and payments deadlines delayed
At the Council meeting on April 7, Port Coquitlam City Council agreed to eliminate this year’s proposed tax increase – originally 0.48 per cent for the average home assessed at $735,185 – while giving property owners until Sept. 2 to pay their 2020 taxes and utilities, and waiving fees for non-sufficient funds. Measures to ensure cash-flow for the city were also given the go-ahead.
To balance the budget, the city will reduce non-essential spending and place a hold on external hiring except for critical positions.
July 8, 2019
Floor Area Exemption amendment referred to staff
On the June 25 Council Meeting, the proposed amendment to change floor area exemptions regarding secondary suites was referred back to staff for further analysis. This decision was made by Council after hearing from speakers at the Public Hearing held the same evening.
In the staff report dated May 28, 2019, the following recommendations were made:
- that the current exclusion of any area within a basement from the floor area ratio calculation be amended to impose a maximum exemption of a 0.15. This amendment is intended to address concerns related to multiple suites within basements as well as the greater bulk of buildings resulting from home builders maximizing exempt square footage;
- that permitted areas within a dwelling located within the flood plain and below the habitable floor elevation be restricted to address two major concerns: a. areas below the habitable flood elevation being converted to habitable uses despite the area being identified as vulnerable to potential flooding, and b. the increased impact of large buildings due to the floor area ratio exemption applying to all space below the flood construction level; and,
- that new definitions be added to define and restrict kitchens, accessory kitchens, bathrooms and laundry facilities to help avoid easy conversion of dwellings to include unauthorized suites that are additional to the permitted principal dwelling unit and secondary suite.
We will provide a further update once staff have completed their analysis and this item returns to Council.