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Mar 19,2008 the Now News


Coquitlam NOW

Published: Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Highrises seem to have replaced transportation and crime as the No. 1 concern of many Tri-Cities residents.

It's not surprising, considering that we're at the tail end of a building boom and the local skyline has changed remarkably during the past few years.

Two planned developments in particular -- a 26-storey tower at the corner of Lions Way and Shaughnessy Street in Port Coquitlam, and 19- and 31-storey highrises planned for Ioco Road and Ungless Way in Port Moody -- have become huge stories in recent weeks.

An open house about the proposed Port Moody development drew more than 200 people to a meeting Thursday, despite the fact that council has not even formally discussed the proposal yet.

And the tower planned for one of Port Coquitlam's busiest corners was so contentious that, after a second public hearing was needed because of a technicality, two councillors switched their votes to oppose it. The tower passed third reading by a slim margin of 4-3.

An online poll on The NOW's website is tracking public sentiment on the issue of highrise development and, as of Tuesday afternoon, 25.29 per cent of respondents said we should allow developers to build more highrises because we need to conserve land.

Just 5.75 per cent favoured highrises because "a condo is all I can afford," while 2.3 per cent were unsure and 16.09 per cent said "suburbs are for houses."

A whopping 50.57 per cent of respondents said No to highrises because "they're ugly."

That may or may not be true, depending on your views about architecture, but one thing to consider is that by housing people in highrises, we can preserve more green space for parkland and wildlife habitat, as well as agricultural uses.

The way we see it, there's nothing ugly about that

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