Port Moody’s mayor and councillors were elected in large part because of promises to maintain the city’s “small-town character” and to control development pressures that may arise due to the advent of the Evergreen Skytrain Line — a line that residents soundly rejected in a 2004 referendum (3:1).
Instead, despite overflow crowds at town hall meetings, and many concerns raised by Port Moody residents, city council is forging ahead with its current OCP vision of massive growth concentrated mainly in the old heritage section of Port Moody — an area approximately 2 kilometres long and half a kilometre wide from Burrard Inlet to the Chines hillside.
The plan proposes a 300 to 400 percent increase in population in the Moody Centre neighbourhood, and envisions multiple towers without any corresponding addition to the local Rocky Point Park, nor does it address other infrastructure needs.
Most residents view this proposed OCP as a developers plan — not a community plan — as evidenced in public records of meetings and feedback forms.
The Moody Centre Community Association was not formally invited to the discussion table, despite numerous requests and the fact this plan is a “essentially a really a big neighbourhood plan for Moody Centre” as finally admitted in the city’s Land Use Committee meeting of April 1, 2014.
Concerns include, but are not limited to:
- the rezoning of large industrial areas to allow high rise residential condos
- massive oceanfront development and concrete canyons
- rezoning of publicly owned land to mixed use including residential
- traffic gridlock, including its effect on the movement of emergency vehicles
- loss of heritage buildings
- lack of necessary infrastructure, including parkland
- numerous environmental issues
- lack of adequate and genuine consultation with residents
Most of the Moody Centre neighbourhood is identified as at medium to high risk of soil liquefaction in the event of a serious earthquake (similar to Christchurch, New Zealand), at high risk of land slides, and of flooding. Landslides have occurred in the past in Moody Centre and on the city’s north shore.
Mayor Mike Clay lives in Moody Centre in an area designated for upzoning, and continues to vote in favour of this controversial plan.
The public hearing is set for Tuesday, April 22, 2014.