UnOfficial Community Plan passes 3rd reading (again), back to MetroVan (again)

Put out fires








The OCP process has unfortunate optics of reactively dousing ‘fires’ as problems are identified.

In the spring of 2014, after its first (and typically only) public hearing, the unofficial community plan was sent to the regional district (Metro Vancouver/GVRD) and other external stakeholders.

It hit serious snags, eventually leading to a lawsuit against the city of Port Moody for adopting an invalid plan … leading to the need for a second public hearing almost one year later.

It was noted in Evolution of an Official Community Plan (OCP) — what’s next? that materials for the recent March 24, 2015 public hearing were incomplete.

In its very recent March 10, 2015 letter to the city, Metro Vancouver/GVRD identified several remaining outstanding issues including weak language, and numbers such as projected employment.

To address the latest problems, the city provided “on-table” materials for the public hearing and regular council meeting. It could be argued these materials should have been available for review well before the public hearing; and they were not online prior to the March 24th discussion.

Materials and meeting videos can be accessed from this link.

The on-table items included revised employment projections, in which the Port Moody numbers were bumped up, and the Metro Vancouver/GVRD numbers were bumped down, apparently with the co-operation of MetroVan, as the “city is working towards goals” and moving in the right direction.

Port Moody employment numbers for 2041 were bumped up by about 2,000 (from 9,573 to 11,527), and the MetroVan numbers were bumped down by about 3,000 (settling at 15,000).

The discrepancy is still considerable, at about 3,500, but without the bumping up and down from the two stakeholders, it would have been much greater at about 8,500.

Now, instead of numbers at about 50% of the goal, new estimates sit at about three-quarters of the goal.

City numbers were updated to include ‘home occupations’ and ‘transient jobs.’

Are these (and other) numbers meaningful?

Before council discussion began, Councillor Dilworth removed herself from the room due to a potential conflict of interest related to her employer, Pacific Coast Terminals.

Discussion included the numbers problem as well as the question of why certain areas that used to be labelled “conservation and recreation” are now labelled “general urban” (for example, the west end of Rocky Point Park where the restaurant is located).

In the end, the plan passed 3rd reading (again) and goes back to MetroVan/GVRD (again).

Since there are still many unresolved problems identified by Port Moody residents, we hope corrective action can be taken can be taken as time goes on. This sentiment was echoed by some members of council on March 24, 2015:  Councillors Glumac, Royer, and Vagramov.  Councillor Lahti, who was absent, is on record that the plan needs more work.

Note: Recent revisions to the OCP in order to quash the lawsuit filed by Metro Vancouver regional district/GVRD are not reflected in the current edition of the OCP posted on the City of Port Moody’s website, which is prefaced by the statement: “The current Port Moody Official Community Plan (Bylaw No. 2955) was adopted by City Council on October 14, 2014.”

For example, see updated OCP Map 11 from council’s Feb. 10, 2015 meeting under the Maps drop-down tab on this site, which is different from the official published version. The city preface should arguably include a disclaimer to the effect that the plan is still under revision, despite passing 4th reading by council on October 14, 2014.

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