Coquitlam council approves expansion of city’s only cemetery, which is running out of room

The City of Coquitlam is running out of room in their only cemetery — so it’s planning an expansion.

City staff says population growth means there will be no space left for burials in Robinson Memorial Park in four years, prompting city council to approve a new upgrade plan.

The 20-year plan was approved at last week’s council meeting, and includes a new concept for the eight-and-a-half-acre cemetery that will add new burial areas, roads and green spaces.

The expansion will encroach into the nearby Robinson Memorial Forest, requiring the repeal of a bylaw meant to protect it from use as a burial site.

Coquitlam’s manager of parks Lanny Englund said the last time the cemetery had an upgrade was in the 1990s.

“The cemetery has been in operation for 80 years, so as time has gone on there’s only so much capacity in an acre of land at the cemetary,” he said.

The expansion will be paid for out of the city’s land sale reserve fund, and is expected to cost between $6 million and $8.6 million over 10 years.

Englund said he’s heard through public consultation that it’s about time to overhaul the site.

“If you’re a resident in Coquitlam and you want to have a loved one buried in the city, this is the only option,” he said. “So what we’ve heard from the public is it’s very important.”

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