How Development Happens

The City has robust plans and policies that work together to guide the changes that are happening in your neighbourhood. Coquitlam is in a rapidly developing and changing region. Today, Coquitlam is home to more than 144,000 people and is one of the fastest growing cities in Metro Vancouver. The City anticipates adding 90,000 new residents over the next 25 years. 

It’s important to manage growth in a way so new development is livable, attractive, and contributes positively to the community, while making sure that infrastructure and amenities, like parks, keep pace with growth. The following work together with the City’s other Plans and Strategies to help shape the future for Coquitlam:

The City often updates the CWOCP and Zoning Bylaw to:

  • Better guide new housing and growth
  • Pan for parks and other civic facilities
  • Provide for improved housing and transportation options
  • Integrate new growth into existing neighbourhoods
  • Maintain a high quality of life for existing and new residents

Planning for Growth

New growth in Coquitlam is focused in three areas:

  • In transit-oriented areas near SkyTrain, such as City Centre, Burquitlam, and Lougheed: (50% of growth)
  • On Burke Mountain (21% of growth)
  • In existing neighbourhoods such as Austin Heights and Maillardville (29% of growth)

For more information on planning projects currently underway, please visit the Special Plans and Projects page.

Regional Growth Strategy

Metro Vancouver’s Regional Growth Strategy represents the collective vision for how our region is going to accommodate the 1 million people and over 500,000 jobs that are expected to come to the region in the next 25 years.

The Strategy sets out goals, strategies and policies to guide the future growth of the region and provides the land use framework for transportation, economic, housing, utility (water, liquid waste and solid waste), environmental and climate change planning across Metro Vancouver.

For more information, please refer to the Metro Vancouver 2040: Shaping our Future (PDF) document.

Citywide Official Community Plan (CWOCP)

The Citywide Official Community Plan (CWOCP) is a primary planning document providing the vision and guidance to the city’s future growth and development, divided into four main sections:

  • The Citywide plan sets priorities and addresses issues that affect the entire City
  • Area plans focus on land uses, policies, and issues relevant to a particular area of the City. Coquitlam has four Area Plans covering Southwest, City Centre, Northwest, and Northeast.
  • Neighbourhood Plans that provide a detailed vision for a particular neighbourhood (eg. Maillardville Neighbourhood Plan, or Burquitlam-Lougheed Neighbourhood Plan). A neighbourhood plan defines the type and location of housing and commercial buildings in the neighbourhood, identifies natural and recreation areas, plans for needed community facilities, and outlines pedestrian and cycling networks.
  • Urban Design and Development Permit Areas play a key role in implementing City policies as they provide design direction for the form and character of new development, can promote energy and water conservation, help to protect the natural environment and protect development from hazardous conditions.

The CWOCP also gives all property in the City a Land Use Designation. Each Land Use Designation in the CWOCP has several Zones from the Zoning Bylaw that could be applied to the property, typically referred to as Corresponding Zones.

For more information, please refer to the Citywide Official Community Plan (CWOCP).

Zoning Bylaw

The Zoning Bylaw regulates the present use of land. Zoning is a tool to implement the City’s policies and land use designations as set out in the CWOCP. All land in the city is assigned a zone under the City’s Zoning Bylaw. The zone on a property specifies permitted uses, the lot sizes, and the density, height, and setbacks of buildings.

For more information, please refer to the Zoning Bylaw.

Related Documents