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Letter: Council, please consider fourth option for new city hall site

"The area at Kingsway and Patterson is an underutilized site that could stand out as a proud addition to the city," reader says.
The former Burnaby Firefighters' Public House site is among potential Burnaby City Hall locations under consideration. But there is a better option, a reader says. Photo City of Burnaby.


Burnaby is considering sites for a city hall replacement building. They've proposed three sites in the Metrotown area.

I'd like them to consider a fourth option, the little-used park area at Kingsway and Patterson. It would have city hall separate from the Metrotown-area congestion. It will allow it to stand apart, proud and monumental, not just another tower crowded into Metrotown. It could have public spaces and amenities added to it without disrupting the current public spaces that are on the other suggested sites.

It has easy SkyTrain access from the underutilized Patterson station. It has much easier car access from Kingsway, and from uncongested Patterson Avenue. The seven-year construction period there would have limited effect on people, unlike the disruption that would be caused with construction on the other suggested sites.

Please do not make the Metrotown SkyTrain area more chaotic and congested than it already is. Building the new city hall at any of the three suggested sites would make Central Boulevard, Willingdon Avenue and Nelson Avenue a nightmare. It would not improve access to city hall. It would make it extremely frustrating to get there. It would make it more frustrating for customers of Metrotown Shopping Centre and for the growing number of residents in this area.

The Bonsor site would reduce the much-needed recreation centre for the seven years of construction.

The library site would take away the peaceful oasis of Burnaby Civic Square with its well-established trees.

I believe city hall is mistaken if they think most of their visitors and staff would transit there. They'll still drive. Is the mayor going to take the SkyTrain or a bus? Will other visitors to city hall? Perhaps some of the staff, but not the majority. You'll be adding even more traffic to an already overloaded area.

The area at Kingsway and Patterson is an underutilized site that could stand out as a proud addition to the city; a new site for a more efficient city hall. It has the potential to add more public amenities without taking away any of the current ones during City Hall's construction.

Please reconsider your plans.

Clarke Rowe, a 24-year resident of Burnaby