Real Estate

584 acres of forested lands on Coquitlam’s Burke Mountain up for sale

By Kenneth Chan | 7 months ago | Speak Up

The provincial government is selling a massive swath of its crown properties on the slopes of Coquitlam’s Burke Mountain in an attempt to balance its budget.

Burke Mountain to account for 25% of Coquitlam’s growth by 2046

On behalf of the province, Colliers International has taken charge of the sale of 584 acres of mountainside, coniferous forested lands at Pinecone Lake Burke Mountain Park in northeast Coquitlam.

The sites for sale have been split up into 21 small parcels and “represents one of the largest long-term single and multifamily residential development opportunities anywhere in Metro Vancouver.”

According to the City of Coquitlam, the parcels lie within the municipality’s Smiling Creek and Partington Creek neighbourhoods and can accommodate between 7,000 to 8,000 residents combined once fully developed. Zoning will allow for single family homes and townhouses, similar to the type of development on the Westwood Plateau.

By 2046, Coquitlam is expected to see up to 95,000 additional residents which will increase the suburban city’s population to 225,000 from the current 132,000. This will include 23,000 new residents on Burke Mountain and another 40,000 residents along the SkyTrain Evergreen Line.

The issue of mountainside sprawl

It is certainly encouraging that Coquitlam city officials are taking advantage and making best use of the new SkyTrain infrastructure investment by centring much of the city’s future growth around it. However, the same cannot be said for the inevitable additional sprawl that will be coming to the slopes of Burke Mountain.

This type of growth completely goes against the principles of what comprises sustainable development and healthy communities which includes refitting existing developed land – to make the best use of the land we have at hand.

Density within the existing urban area and at around major transportation nodes needs to be the region’s growth strategy.

Nevertheless, mountainside sprawling growth and intrusion into forests has been common for decades in the Tri-Cities and at UBC within Pacific Spirit Park, but it is particularly visually evident on the Upper Lands of West Vancouver with development replacing forests – as homes gradually spread uphill towards Cypress Provincial Park and mountaintop ski areas.

Such policies and decisions implemented by our public officials that allow for these developments are largely at fault, but the uncompromising, neighbourhood-focused Not In My Backyard (NIIMBY) and Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything (BANANA) crowds are also accountable for pushing growth away from their centralized, urbanized communities into offensive sprawl elsewhere in the Lower Mainland.

We can argue for restricting density and height limits to protect ‘precious’ mountain sight-lines (among many reasons NIMBY/BANANA groups might have). The alternative to this is the occurrence of growth taking place in the form of highly unsustainable low density sprawl in the far corners and edges of the region like along mountain slopes.

At least everyone will have uninterrupted sight-lines of permanently scarred mountains.

Burke Mountain

Burke Mountain

Burke Mountain

Images: Colliers International

Speak Up

  • newtonbrotha

    MORE CARS SLIDING DOWN SNOWY HILLS LIKE PINBALLS

  • Quentin Armbruster

    Balancing their budget at the expense of Port Coquitlam residents and the environment. Perhaps a wage roll back for politicians would be more effective. They would never suggest a wage roll back, they might not be able to afford to eat?

  • Khelsilem

    I am curious to know how local First Nations were involved in the sale of this Crown land by the Province. The Province is selling land that they don’t own.

  • Definitely Not

    What have the First Nations done for ANYONE in our community? Please give me an answer.

  • Blackhand

    Answer: You live on their land.

  • RicardoB

    It’s a hard truth to accept that some people desire suburban housing. Chastising isn’t a solution.

  • Roger

    No mention of the many bears and other animals losing their home? Lots of people in Poco and Coquitlam regularly come into contact with bears since the development has increased. They’re often going hungry and are unsafe in the neighbourhoods.

  • Reality

    Answer: We also took it from them. This argument could go in circles for a very long time, because it happened a very long time ago. If they can keep the clear cutting to a minimum then this wont turn out too bad, something along the lines of Anmore

  • Allyana

    The proposed parcels of land could not be worse. Talk about major habitat fragmentation.

  • jamie

    I live in port coquitlam and there is no native band that owns that land. I do hike and take full advantage of the surrounding area. I’m not against development, but when the yuppies that buy these properties and complain about wildlife getting into their garbage which is left in the open which results in animals being put down it upsets me.

  • LisaM

    Except it won’t look like Anmore. I live at the bottom of Burke and the new developments are sparse and dense.

  • LisaM

    I meant sparse in reference to trees and green spaces and dense in reference to the quantity of houses and the very minimal space between them.

  • QuadraVillager

    Nice subjective piece Kenneth. That is poor reporting if I’ve ever seen it. You obviously just cherry pick the most relevant quotes from the linked Coquitlam document to support your mountainside sprawl opinion section. All that is mentioned so far is that the City of Coquitlam will start a visioning process with the community to determine the appropriate future land uses etc. Nowhere does it say that this will be hillside sprawl and development similar to other developments you highlight. NOWHERE. In fact, the previous land use designations for the area show most areas as being protected with small pockets of high, medium and low density residential (with the low density being the smallest). I’m not sure if you actually grasp the development process in this case and instead use assumptions about “unsustainable development” to trigger readership and reactions to your webpage. If that is your intention, then why not highlight that this visioning process is just starting with the City of Coquitlam and instead promote people to get involved with the process? Then there may be actual facts that people can refer to rather than basing everything on your assumptions about the final form and degree of development that may take place.

  • stephbot

    On an unrelated note, the header photo just makes me want to play The Sims…

  • Tyler

    I’m am so proud to have grown up in north Poco prior to all of this development. What a disaster to see all the wildlife, streams and forest up rooted and wiped clear off the mountain side. Only now do I take for granted the times spent camping, biking, exploring, dirt biking, adventure seeking up the one road access playground of Burk. Seeing the magnitude of homes and traffic here and that to come only affirms the fact that this once beautiful peaceful corner of paradise is now gone forever.

  • mother of nature

    I’m very upset to see the forest will be gone very soon…

  • Janice Johnstone Rannie

    This development will look more like Westwood Plateau. You are all aware with the many complaints about bears in peoples yards, water through peoples garages as there was improper drainage, steep and dangerous streets. The eye sore of strip logging to get in as many people in as they can. Please remember there is limited access to that area. Just imagine the bottle neck of traffic that is going to happen at Coast and David. Has she got Minnekhada Ranch in her sights as well? Will probably have to expropriate part of that to widen Northeast Cedar Drive to accommodate the traffic from the east side of the mountain not to mention all the other people along Cedar Drive that will have land expropriated. What about land along Gilleys Trail or Quarry Road? Will this be expropriated as well? This is all Clarks plan to balance the budget? The Coquitlam Council is on board as well. Greater Tax base for the city even though none of them goes to that side of Coquitlam, ever, so they won’t have to deal with the traffic nightmare that is about to happen. So glad I got out when I did! This has definitely not been thought through but greed always trumps rationality.

  • Mark

    Just a point about those worried about the loss of forest land:
    These lands are all outside of the Pinecone Burke Mountain Provincial Park. The park is not going away. A vast majority of these lands are either within existing neighbourhood plan areas or in areas identified by Coquitlam as being future development areas.

  • The Hunter

    Umm what about the Poco Rod and Gun club beside 3, 4 and 5? How are those lots going to deal with all that noise. I guess they’ll just shut it down.

  • http://sandpiperflyfishing.com cariboofly

    Ohh stop ! Pursuing fraudulent claims on everything in sight are no longer acceptable. At 14 billion taxpayer dollars per year to fund native services, natives are bought and paid for. Self-proclaimed apartheid is over.

  • Texeda_Tom

    We live on some of their original lands, but not 100%. The only FN land in that area is near the Coquitlam River at Pitt River Road. Do you think for one moment that they occupied 100% of the land 100% of the time for 20 miles in all directions from where they actually lived? Especially when salmon was the main course at dinner?

  • Brian

    This is true, but don’t forget that the most productive forest is at lower elevations on the south side of the mountain. Most of this kind of forest on Burke has already been developed into subdivisions.

  • Kir

    The article stated it was crown land. Crown land is owned by The queen or majesty. It may be First Nation territory but not First Nation land.

  • Janice Johnstone Rannie

    I lived just below parcel #6 up until recently. All but a couple of parcels ARE in the Pinecone Burke Mountain Park. None of that land was in any area identified as future development as we owned one of the last two parcels of land that were designated future development. They are in the process now of developing all the land that had been designated for development. It is not an easy area to access and will be a traffic nightmare should this come to pass. Clark is exploiting the fact that the Coquitlam Council has been trying to get their mitts on this land for years, and it just comes at a time that the provincial government is in need of a quick injection of cash to balance their budget.

  • Guest

    RIP Burke Mountain. No longer will Burke be a beautiful part of the horizon. no longer.
    I loved seeing Burke Mountain It stood out to me as it is a unique part of the Landscape and the Coquitlam Horizon. They way the Sun Hits the forest. Looking up at that Mountain and dreaming about climbing it. seeing Pictures posted online of hikers hiking to near the summit. photos that mark this mountain as the closest and most beautiful wilderness that is right in our backyard. Plants and animals completely displaced. The creeks in these developments that are now forever blocked in by cement. Left with barely enough trees. Only trees left along the water to symbolize that “they really do care” for the environment. thin trails along the fenced in creek marked ” sensitive ecosystem do not disturb” gee I wonder what made it so sensitive! maybe they should of given the creeks a little more space on either side! The land is given up forever. Vast forest completely Gone.

  • Guest

    RIP Burke Mountain. No longer will Burke be a beautiful part of the horizon. no longer.
    I loved seeing Burke Mountain It stood out to me as it is a unique part of the Landscape and the Coquitlam Horizon. They way the Sun Hits the forest. Looking up at that Mountain and dreaming about climbing it. seeing Pictures posted online of hikers hiking to near the summit. photos that mark this mountain as the closest and most beautiful wilderness that is right in our backyard. Plants and animals completely displaced. The creeks in these developments that are now forever blocked in by cement. Left with barely enough trees. Only trees left along the water to symbolize that “they really do care” for the environment. thin trails along the fenced in creek marked ” sensitive ecosystem do not disturb” gee I wonder what made it so sensitive! maybe they should of given the creeks a little more space on either side! The land is given up forever. Vast forest completely Gone

  • Emily

    what about the forest areas surrounding the creeks? The green belts on either side of the creeks appear unusually narrow . Are there just too many creeks on the development?

  • Brian

    Furthermore, from the development I’ve seen up there, it seems that standard practice with these “green” belts is to bulldoze the natural forest floor around the few trees they leave and then bring in potted ferns and other plants.

  • Patrick

    There are dozens of mountain biking trails exactly where that land stands. Why not keep the people living in the city and the mountains staying parks for the people to use. Mixing the two just destroys the balance.

  • Matt Devlin

    I grew up on Westwood Plateau, my parents still live there. The transit sucks and completely unreliable, but the parks are beautiful and offer an access to nature that just isn’t available in many of the other Vancouver suburbs. But it absolutely kills me that they’re just going to put in more of the same low-density sprawl that is making the human lifestyle so unsustainable. Grow up, not out. I’m really disappointed in this.

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