OCP Public Hearing — Excerpts, April 22, 2014

Some speakers expressed support for the draft OCP, while others were strongly opposed. The following comments are snippets of the complete conversation. For a full understanding of speaker comments, watch the online video:
http://portmoodybc.swagit.com/play/04222014-1170

Of the supporters, comments included:

“Pass the OCP as is. Let’s get on and do something.”

“The OCP can return the small-town feel to Moody Centre — move forward on the OCP.”

“It’s time for Moody Centre to get some attention — need [OCP for] new development and amenities and services it will bring.”

“Support Westport, like OCP. We need a store, we need a park, we don’t have amenities in west Port Moody.”

Most of the people urging support for the draft OCP which affects Moody Centre very significantly do not live in Moody Centre.

Of the detractors, comments included:

“I have become more concerned over time … no teeth to the OCP … [more of a] development plan … need to be sure a 30 year document is right before it’s passed …missing pieces …”

“Wholesale change to previous OCP … lacking FSR, units per acre [measurements] for clear visions … can wind up with Metrotown down our main street … Local Government Act requires statements on parks, schools … last OCP passed only three years ago, take the time to do this right … 85% document is not good enough, if you believe 51% would support this have a vote …”

“Fails to include language and safeguards needed … ensure we don’t end up with a forest of highrises … other cities include numbers … plan to add people without identifying amenities … schools, playing fields, park space … weak environmental language such as “will encourage” where it used to say “will require” …”

“No business case … no mandate or assent from electors … we’re told its a good plan but we haven’t seen the numbers to support that … based on faulty premises and assumptions … lack of meaningful measurement tools … hazardous lands … infrastructure lacking … public space should remain public space, not rezoned [Kyle Centre, Moody Elementary] … industrial lands important … rail corridors … alternatives to consider …”

“OCP does not have [necessary] numbers … job growth concerns … without numbers its just words … Klahanie [development plan] for jobs was a strip by the rail lines … now occupied by condos [and residents now concerned with elevated Skytrain] … please use numbers for better specifics, especially developers …crystal clear …”

“Question some of the plan’s premises … ” This speaker questioned several statements in the draft OCP, particularly Chapters 9 (Economic Development) and 10 (Arts and Culture). He said the city is not beholden to trends such as “Changing use of industrial lands” and asked how we will know what Moody Centre, Murray Street, and other areas will look like without metrics. “The plan is short on metrics as to how the city supports — or not — the things it talks about.” In conclusion this speaker asked the city to “reject this iteration of the OCP and consider specifically how this plan works towards or against the city fulfilling its vision as a socially, culturally, and economically vibrant and diverse city of the arts.”

“A couple of weeks ago I said go ahead with this plan, it’s great, then I did a bit more reading and I apologize to those people expecting me to continue to say that … request more time be taken to take something from “pretty good” to something spectacular.”

“… all people need to physically interact with the environment … touch the earth … need places to play, picnic … plan favours parkades over parks.”

“People who have spoken against this plan have articulated some very strong points and it would be interesting to know why the people who support it [do] support it … [while from 2001-2011] Port Moody grew by 36%, in the same time Metro Vancouver grew by 9% … don’t see schools, green space … if this plan is 30% growth for Port Moody, what is it for Moody Centre … triple digits …? … must work out other things first, use numbers to support [vision] … could drive us to a place we don’t want to be.”

“Would like an OCP people are enthusiastic about … quite disappointed in ringing endorsements … park space, traffic suppositions are unreasonable … with another 10,000 people, don’t know what that’s going to be like.”

“Worries about heritage and character … loss of character homes … need a policy …”

“Wasn’t going to speak … don’t really feel a sense of authenticity [with public input] … felt from the 1st meeting it was already decided … reasons we live here, not Metrotown … dismayed at environmental language, “weasel language” … “should be” isn’t good enough, OCP isn’t good enough … not a plan for citizens of Port Moody. Please reconsider.”

“… sustainable growth, 1% per annum checked against census data. Achieve density through 3-4 storey buildings. Do all outstanding studies [traffic, parks, etc.]. OCP a developer’s dream, not the vision of Port Moody residents who would like to maintain the small town feel and character. … apparent … you have listened, albeit to the wrong people — to developers, land speculator and their recruits … small business owners who think mega density will make their business thrive when the opposite could be true … special interest group that supports massive development because of an amenity promise. But have you really listened to the people most affected by this plan, Moody Centre people, have you had meetings with them? No. Why not? … wouldn’t you say there was a conflict of interest if a member of council was voting on upzoning their property or if they have received campaign contributions from developers? … plan should have short-term, medium-term, and long-term components. Where is the financial plan? Have opted for massive development and transit-oriented development when neither is wanted or required. If this OCP is adopted, I consider it a betrayal of public trust, it was not even a campaign issue … If you are so sure this is what residents want, why not put it to a referendum at the next municipal election in November?”

***************************
For council comments, see:
http://portmoodybc.swagit.com/play/04222014-1180

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