… in council reaction to public outcry.
Pay parking at Rocky Point Park
Council decides on July 8, 2014 to implement a pay parking trial to start on August 15. Complaints follow. Two weeks later, on July 22, 2014, council backtracks. “With the public outcry we have heard, it’s almost like Armageddon that we started.” (Councillor Bob Elliot, quoted in both local community papers)
Trial plan delayed until at least 2015, to allow for public consultation.
Media stories, published in July 25, 2014 print editions — Rocky Point pay parking on hold:
Monster homes — house size and height
Concerns over monster homes get significant media attention in June 2014. Local Facebook page (Good Neighbour Bylaw Port Moody) provides online forum dedicated to these concerns. Council holds a town hall meeting on the topic on July 15, 2014. Town hall is well-attended, and many comments are also sent electronically (email and online comment form). Special Council Committee of the Whole meeting to discuss the issue is set for July 29, 2014, with promises for resolution as soon as possible, and back to regular council in September 2014. The agenda, including town hall minutes and other public feedback is here: http://www.portmoody.ca/modules/showdocument.aspx?documentid=7294
[Note: the agenda has two parts — the first part is the ‘Building Discussion’ and the second part is Tree Bylaw Update.]
Official Community Plan (OCP)
Council ‘re-opens’ OCP (adopted in 2011) to ‘update’ plan in response to confirmation of Skytrain Line going ahead through Port Moody. ‘Update’ proposes very major changes in vision and zoning, including population increases of up to 400% in Moody Centre, but other areas affected as well (and with some unknowns; e.g., large special study areas such as Imperial Oil and Suncor lands on north and south shores). Concerns raised regarding traffic, parking, parks, neighbourhood character, environment (numerous issues), schools and other community space, and more.
Residents send feedback resulting in 900+ page agenda in spring 2013, and pack subsequent town halls to overflowing to speak and to listen. Feedback, largely negative, and questions continue to flow to city hall.
Council ‘listens’ to concerns, makes some relatively minor changes, and then forges ahead with 1st, 2nd, and 3rd readings (with public hearing in April 2014) for a new bylaw to adopt the plan.
Current status: OCP requires 4th and final reading to pass and adopt new bylaw. This would likely have happened in July 2014, except the plan had to go to Metro Vancouver’s board of directors for review, and did on July 11, 2014 (with no local notice to advise residents). The Metro Vancouver board of directors upset Port Moody council by not approving all requests for changes to industrial zoned land to ‘general urban’ (denied changes for Andres site and Mill and Timber, aka Flavelle, mill site). Council expresses anger and disappointment over this roadblock; considers whether or not to pass OCP anyway, which would put Port Moody into a dispute with Metro Vancouver (and potentially involve very expensive legal fees). On July 22, 2014, council decides to look into potential for an appeal of Metro Vancouver’s decision. Next steps — unknown, but Metro Vancouver’s next meeting is scheduled for September 19, 2014.
Options for council: get Metro Vancouver’s approval either by appeal or by text amendments (which would involve a new public hearing), or adopt plan without approval at a time of its choosing (i.e., at any regular meeting of council).
Recent media attention: nil.
Did you spot the differences?
[Hint: One of the above will have impacts on the other two, affect Port Moody for the long-term, be more difficult to adjust for unintended consequences; and council has not addressed numerous public concerns.]