Not an April Fool’s joke: OCP endorsed by Land Use Committee April 1, 2014

On April Fool’s Day, April 1, 2014, the Land Use Committee (LUC) voted in favour of the proposed OCP.

Is this your vision of St. John’s St?
St John's - looking east (Merrick 3D)

St. John’s Street, as illustrated by Merrick presentation commissioned by council.

If so, you may be happy.

The Land Use Committee votes were from 6 civilian members and all 7 members of council.  That in itself seemed curious because the Land Use Committee terms of reference are for the committee to make recommendations to council.  But council makes up more than half of the voting members of the committee.

The only dissenting votes were from Councillors Royer and Glumac, two out of a total of 13 people eligible to vote.

There were several speakers including me.

The meeting can be viewed at:
http://portmoodybc.swagit.com/play/04012014-1011

Key issues:

Legal:  Is the OCP really just a vision document with no legal ramifications?  [NO]

Conflict?:  Are all of the decision-makers unbiased and free of potential conflicts of interest?  [At least one member of council has title to property in an area proposed for upzoning.]

Mandate:  Does this proposed OCP have a true mandate from the local electors?

Going forward …

On the agenda at council’s upcoming meeting on Tuesday, April 8, 2014, the 1st and 2nd readings for turning the draft OCP into a reality are on the agenda.  There is a public input opportunity.

Unfortunately, the Land Use Committee draft minutes and public submissions are not included in the council agenda materials for this Tuesday, April 8, even though the LUC meeting was a necessary step in this process.  I asked the city why not because it is very relevant.

Part of the answer I received follows:

“The Land Use Committee agenda and submissions are considered separate to that of Council given that this committee makes a recommendation to Council for consideration and are not forwarded to Council.  [Ed. note:  What does this mean??]

Should the draft bylaw receive 1st and 2nd Readings on April 8, 2014 and should a public hearing be scheduled following this date you are welcome to re-submit your information to Council prior to the close of the public hearing.  The information would then form part of the public hearing record.”
**********************

I believe the LUC written submissions and the draft minutes are VERY IMPORTANT – now, not later!  Readers, what do you think?

Since that exchange, the draft minutes are still not available, but the LUC public submissions are now posted on the city website here:
http://www.portmoody.ca/modules/showdocument.aspx?documentid=6753

At the Land Use Committee meeting, I asked all voting members of the committee to disclose any potential conflict of interest– i.e., property owner, direct or indirect financial interest in any areas proposed for upzoning.  The question was not answered.

Another admission from the Land Use meeting …
“Essentially a really a big neighbourhood plan for Moody Centre” says Tim Savoie.

Maybe including pocket parks.  But Moody Centre wasn’t consulted on its “neighbourhood plan” despite many requests.  SHOULD WE NOT GET THE CONSULTATION/WORKSHOP OPPORTUNITIES WE DESERVE??

City statement:  “OCP is just a vision” – “No guarantee anything will ever happen … rezoning application [to take place]… – Tim Savoie.

Question:  why would a rezoning application be required if the land is already re-zoned under the OCP?  The explanation from the city is circular; not clear on this.  Again, the Local Government Act states all other adopted bylaws must conform with the OCP.  So why – if the zoning is already approved – would a re-zoning application be necessary?  What would trigger a public hearing if the proposal aligns with the adopted Official Community Plan?  Would a public hearing be required??  The vague answers from the city are not at all reassuring.  The answers are clear as mud.
**********************

Related articles:

Brookswood OCP defeated
Langley Township council turned down a new, and highly controversial, official community plan for Brookswood and Fernridge.
Matthew Claxton / Langley Advance, April 1, 2014
Click here for article:
https://portmoodycommunity.wordpress.com/2014/04/06/2014-04-01-langley-brookswood-ocp-defeated/

Opinion: We have a choice on density
Urban Land Reserve needed for quiet neighbourhoods
By Gordon Gibson, Special to the Vancouver Sun, February 3, 2014

“Here are three contrarian statements, quite against the conventional wisdom, almost blasphemous to some but nonetheless true. And they must be said:

  • Urban density is not destiny. It is a choice.
  • Population growth in Vancouver is not inevitable. It can be controlled or even stopped.
  • The world of the future clearly must be a steady state, a sustainable society, where growth comes in the quality of life, not in quantity. …”

Read more at:
http://www.vancouversun.com/Opinion+have+choice+density/9463842/story.html

Much more information is available on our website.  Check out the posts and different pages seen near the top (with drop-down menus).

For city contact information, see:
https://portmoodycommunity.wordpress.com/port-moody/

As always, we welcome your comments and input to MCCA.

Talk to your neighbours and friends.

If you can, attend the Tuesday, April 8, 2014 council meeting.

Hazel Mason, President
Moody Centre Community Association (MCCA)

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2 Responses to Not an April Fool’s joke: OCP endorsed by Land Use Committee April 1, 2014

  1. Jillian Scott McIntosh says:

    On p. 26 of the agenda:

    “The updated Official Community Plan will provide policies to guide the long term future of the City of Port Moody regarding land use. After Official Community Plan Bylaw 2014, No. 2955 is adopted, all bylaws or works undertaken must be consistent with the plan in accordance with the Local Government Act”

    So, it’s not that things are already re-zoned. But, of course, if somebody applies to have them re-zoned in a way consistent with the OCP, they’d likely succeed. Actual re-zoning would depend on the plan in question. I don’t think it furthers the cause to say that the OCP has already re-zoned areas, since it hasn’t. But I totally agree that’s not much comfort, given the short step involved.

  2. urbanizta says:

    Reblogged this on MetroVanWatch and commented:

    The Moody Centre Community Association continues to monitor the process Port Moody’s Official Community Plan. See here for details of the status as of April 1, 2014.

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