New design guidelines, increased fencing and wildlife thoroughfares are among the highlights of a plan to minimize human/bear conflicts in a burgeoning northeast Coquitlam neighbourhood expected to be home to more than 10,000 people.
City staff and council began rolling out a series of strategies pertaining to the Partington Creek area of northeast Coquitlam Monday in an attempt to implement specific policies before the large-scale development is built.
As part of the plan, bear-resistant garbage containers will be distributed in high-pedestrian traffic areas, and at parks, trails, schools and the Partington Creek Neighbourhood Centre. As well, developers of single-family homes will be required to provide bear-resistant garbage and recycling containers for each new residential unit, and space within those units for the containers.
That aspect of the plan could see a fold-down locking area on the side of a home that would ensure garbage and kitchen waste is not stored outdoors.
"You have garbage containers outside of the house, but still inside - I think [that] is a really innovative way to go," said Coun. Craig Hodge, who lives on Burke Mountain.
Multi-family residential and mixed-use developments will also require similar garbage storage policies, and space will have to be provided within those developments to ensure centralized garbage and recycling pickup.
"If you're just going to have a garbage can outside that has locks, if people don't lock it properly and it's outside, you're still causing a problem with the attraction," said Coun. Brent Asmundson.
The use of chain-link fences at least 1.8 metres (six feet) high is also being recommended along all riparian areas, schools and parks.
The idea of designated wildlife crossing points was also examined in order to decrease the number of vehicle crashes involving wildlife in the area.
The addition of clear-span bridges built underneath roadways would help prevent those incidents, according to a staff report, while large culverts are also planned in order to divert wildlife away from residential areas.
"Generally, I think we're in a real good position here, and I like this report," said Coun. Terry O'Neill.
"I think it's got a lot of common sense into it and reflects, I think, the way people will want to handle the issue."
Monday's discussion will be factored into the draft Partington Creek Neighbourhood Plan, which is expected to be made available to the public within the next two months.
Mayor Richard Stewart was absent from Monday's meeting.