2015-06-13: Neighbourhood planning — Moody Centre and Coronation Park

2015-06-13: Neighbourhood planning — Moody Centre and Coronation Park

Moody Centre starts at the left side of this map, ending just to the right of the middle circle. Coronation Park (CP) is located to the right of this map just east of Ioco Road. CP is intersected by the far right circle.

2015-06-13-MC and CP

As indicated in earlier posts,
Community update — May 17, 2015; and
ATTENTION – Neighbourhood plan for Moody Centre
the city is embarking on neighbourhood consultations for Moody Centre and Coronation Park.

Coronation Park
The Coronation Park consultation is starting first, due to land assembly company London Pacific‘s decision to hold a meeting on June 3, 2015 with invitations to just some of Coronation Park’s residents — not an inclusive list.

As the neighbourhood consultation should be led by the city, not by development interests, the city felt it had to prioritize this discussion.

Therefore, on Thursday, June 18, 2015, the city and council will host an open house and town hall style meeting, at city hall. It will be livestreamed (link available here). Then, on Tuesday, July 7, 2015, the discussion will continue at the Land Use Committee meeting.

For more information on the city website, click Coronation Park Community Dialogue.

A concerned resident’s letter to the Tri-Cities Now about the London Pacific meeting:

People make a community
July 11, 2015

I attended a “community envisioning workshop” on June 3 for Coronation Park. The event was organized by London Pacific (LP), a land assembler.

After a talk by London Pacific’s Grant Gardner extolling the virtues of increased density, each of the six tables had an opportunity to play with a map of Coronation Park.

In my group, we started talking about what various people in our neighbourhood want — who wants to sell (supports zoning to maximize profit), who wants to stay (doesn’t want any changes that would negatively impact their quality of life), and who seems undecided.

The facilitator (a pleasant young man who works for LP) said that we should not be thinking about what people in our neighbourhood want, but rather thinking somehow in the abstract, just envisioning, a “new community.”

I do not understand this. My community is not the properties — it is the people.

Jill McIntosh
Port Moody

Update June 20, 2015:
The Thursday, June 18th event was well-attended. There were some very different viewpoints, including from people who said they wanted to sell and move on, and those who wanted to stay in their neighbourhood. Interestingly, all (or most) said they were attracted to Coronation Park due to its charm, backyards, trees and greenery, location, and relative affordability.

Also noted was that decisions on rezoning should be more heavily influenced by the people who plan to remain in the neighbourhood — not those who are choosing to leave.

Related:
Coronation Park planning kicks off with residents’ meeting
Sarah Payne / Tri City News, June 25, 2015

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Moody Centre
The timing for the Moody Centre neighbourhood consultation process is as yet undetermined.

However, at the upcoming Committee of the Whole (COTW) meeting on June 16, 2015, Moody Centre will be a topic of discussion.

On the agenda is an item called Facilitating Employment-Based Development in Port Moody.

In early March 2015, the city hosted roundtable discussions with “senior members of the real estate development and brokerage community in Metro Vancouver … to offer their views on Port Moody’s competiveness in attracting development, especially employment-generating.”

Seventeen people accepted the invitation and their names are noted in the report. A consultant was retained by the city to facilitate the discussion and provide the report.

A few samples/excerpts from the report/agenda are pasted below. However, we strongly encourage people to have a look at the entire document for a better understanding and complete context. The document is too long to include in this post, but you can access the June 16th material here.

The discussion appears to stray from the stated topic of facilitating employment based development.

Given the concern noted above about Coronation Park neighbourhood planning being co-opted by a land assembly company, it’s interesting that senior members of the real estate development and brokerage community were consulted in advance of Moody Centre residents.

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Excerpts from report:

—Port Moody’s setting is unique in the region, which makes it very attractive as a place to live and, in turn, makes it attractive to residential developers.

—There is increasing demand from the market for smaller commercial districts with distinct character, which is where many smaller businesses thrive, and Moody Centre fits this model.

—Port Moody has proven that it can achieve density while protecting the natural environment.

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—The City lacks a clear and realistic vision in its OCP for parts of Moody Centre, especially around the new station.

—Mid-rise (7 to 12 storey) towers, as set out in the OCP, are not economically viable to develop in Port Moody, nor in most other parts of Metro Vancouver.

—The market will only support either low-rise buildings that are up to 5 to 6 storeys or high-rise towers that are at least 18 to 20+ storeys in Moody Centre.

—Port Moody is a very attractive residential market, but it is not a strong office market, with most of the office space that is developed targeted at local population serving users (doctors, dentists, lawyers, realtors, etc.).

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—Developers and their financiers need certainty, including:

– clear and consistently applied rules for development that are aligned with market realities;

– reasonable time frames for development review and approval processes; and

– confidence that their developments will be approved if the rules and processes are followed.

—This certainty is seen by many as lacking in Port Moody.

—There is the perception that applications are sometimes bogged down by a small number of residents or interest groups in Port Moody who do not reflect the views of the broader community.

—Port Moody is perceived as a high risk by many developers, which is one of the reasons why there has been little development in the City in recent years.

—Port Moody does not have a Community Amenity Contribution program, which many other municipalities have in place to help fund public amenities and, if properly structured, a CAC program that gets public amenities built faster can help developers market their projects.

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—Building a quality product is key: Port Moody only has one chance to get it right around the Moody Centre station and this will set the standard for much of the development that follows elsewhere in the neighbourhood.

—Density can be leveraged for city-wide amenities, provided that it is economically viable for developers, which means towers that are at least 18 – 20+ storeys.

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—Residential can be made to work at-grade (i.e., street level) along with commercial in appropriate locations (focal points) and still create an interesting streetscape.

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—There is a perception by some developers that there is either resistance or at least indifference by Port Moody to further development, especially in Moody Centre.

—The connections between density and the City’s ability to leverage public amenities from development, including substantial financial contributions, do not appear to be clear to all in the community and may be one of the reasons behind the perceived resistance / indifference to further change.

—The policies in the new OCP that re-designate Murray Street from light industrial to mixed-use could, over time, push out many of the existing small businesses and jobs located there, which is not a desirable outcome.

—The focus on redevelopment over the short to medium term should therefore be along the St. Johns / Spring / Clarke Street corridor south of the railway line, with the possible exception redevelopment of the Mill & Timber (Flavelle Cedar) site.

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As stated above, MCCA encourages people to have a look at the complete document (link).

Update June 20, 2015:
Some members of council felt the roundtable discussions could have been improved by inviting input from a broader group, such as reps from organizations that provide good quality employment. The report seemed to focus more on high-density residential development than it did on creating employment-related development.

It was agreed more work on Facilitating Employment-Based Development was necessary.

Video of the June 16th council discussion (and others) can be accessed here. It’s the same link as above, and goes to a city webpage with links to agendas, minutes, and video.
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Port Moody neighbourhoods talking — see PlaceSpeak circa May-June 2013

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