On October 14, 2014, council (5:2) approved the controversial draft Official Community Plan, knowing a lawsuit was likely to follow after the Metro Vancouver board (GVRD) rejected certain aspects of the plan in July 2014.
Ten days later on October 24, 2014, the GVRD board voted to file a legal challenge. (The GVRD board is governed by representatives from 24 Greater Vancouver municipalities including Port Moody.)
What to do?
On January 27, 2015, council opted to hold a public hearing on March 24th for the purpose of amending OCP designations for the two areas rejected by Metro Vancouver/GVRD (Andres Wine land and Flavelle/Mill and Timber land), as well as some other items not considered as major.
The public hearing discussion will be limited to the specific items identified.
The city would then resubmit the OCP document for Metro Vancouver/GVRD approval before the March 31st deadline to avoid further legal complications and costs. A motion to ask for an extension of the deadline was defeated (4:3).
Moody Centre Community Association president Hazel Mason spoke at public input to suggest a different option to quash the lawsuit — namely, rescind adoption, fix the plan, and then resubmit. (The public input notes are included below in a separate post.)
The idea was rejected.
Members of council have acknowledged there are other concerns with respect to the OCP.
Whatever the remedy, it’s safe to say no one wants ongoing litigation between Metro Vancouver/GVRD and the City of Port Moody.
The Now News carried a story: Port Moody backs away from OCP stance.
The council meeting can be viewed online: http://portmoodybc.swagit.com/play/01272015-1129
The Metro Vancouver/GVRD decision to pursue legal action was not made public in a timely way, and the vote was “in-camera” (closed door). In its wish list for 2015, watchdog MetroVanWatch is calling for the regional district authority to provide greater transparency, including less in-camera, and with video archives available to the public for all board and committee meetings, something the regional district does not offer despite making important decisions that affect the region.
Note: The Moody Centre Community Association is on record as supporting sensitive infill and modest “human-scale” development for the Moody Centre area; together with infrastructure improvements to accommodate additional population.