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Big plans for Burnaby's Woodlands neighbourhood

Peppered with industrial businesses, Woodlands doesn't look like Burnaby's next up-and-coming neighbourhood.

Peppered with industrial businesses, Woodlands doesn't look like Burnaby's next up-and-coming neighbourhood.

But Concord Pacific and the City of Burnaby have an ambitious plan for the 26-acre area, which lies south of Lougheed Highway, east of Beta Avenue, west of Delta Avenue, and extends south toward the rail line.

Burnaby's planning and building director Lou Pelletier detailed the site concept in a report presented to council at Monday night's meeting.

"The hard work that's been done by staff with the developer and the committee in order to make this what I think is a very innovative plan, and one that reflects the best use of the Brentwood Town Centre, is, I think, extremely important," Mayor Derek Corrigan said at the meeting. "This is a site that has, I think, provided all of us with a few headaches over the years, but it seems we've come to a pretty good resolution, and hopefully the community will agree as they go for their consultation."

The plan  is divided into six areas: the Lougheed parkway at the north end of the site would include a centre median landscaped with trees, shrubs and ambient lighting, according to the report. 

The hillside area would include up to four high-rises ranging from 35 to 55 storeys with the option of townhouses on the southern slope. The plan also includes a grand staircase leading south from Lougheed Highway to Yukon Crescent. The hillside would overlook park space to the south.

The flatlands area would include a broad range of housing options such as mid-rise buildings four to 15 storeys high in a terraced formation, as well as the option for two high-rise buildings ranging from 30 to 40 storeys.

The parkside area would run along portions of Dawson Street and Beta Avenue and would include up to four high-rise buildings, ranging from 25 to 45 storeys.

The park itself would be 13.32 acres. Some suggestions for the park area include field space, water features, a children's play area, terraced seating, and there is space that could be set aside for a new elementary school for the area.

And finally, the riparian area would be an extension of the park surrounding Stickleback Creek, and could include low impact trails and pathways, as well as streamside protection to improve fish passage and wildlife habitat.

Burnaby council has approved a motion to present the plan to the public.

"It has some pretty innovative ideas that I don't think have been tried anywhere else in the world," Coun. Dan Johnston said of the report.

James KM Cheng Architecture was hired by Concord Pacific to develop the plan.

The site includes four privately owned properties at 4756 and 4828 Lougheed Hwy and 2311 and 2316 Delta Ave.; and six city-owned properties at 4874 Lougheed Hwy, and 4818, 4828, 4829, 2235 and 2285 Dawson St.

The city is starting a public consultation process for the project, with open houses planned for March and April.

The open houses will be held midweek in the city hall foyer from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and at the Holdom Resource Centre from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., according to the report, and residents in the area between Lougheed Highway and the rail line, and Willingdon and Holdom avenues, will be sent brochures with the details.

Once residents have been consulted, a conceptual master plan will be developed for the site, which will then be presented to the public.