Narrow lots subdivision — Port Moody

Narrow lots subdivision — Port Moody

2017-pomo-narrow-lots-map

The narrow lots subdivision proposal was before council on November 22, 2016, focussing on Moody Centre.

A draft bylaw (RS1-N) including areas outside of Moody Centre is on council’s agenda for January 10, 2017, with a potential public hearing on January 24, 2017.

If approved, this represents a major change and we encourage people to review the material (available at this link: 2017 Council Agendas and Minutes).

Related post:
Narrow Lots proposal for Moody Centre, Bert Flinn Park, Pacific Coast Terminals Update, parking changes

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Update: The proposed bylaw was not adopted by council on January 24, 2017. Further discussion and review to be completed “to get it right.”
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4 Responses to Narrow lots subdivision — Port Moody

  1. Karen Lim says:

    It is my opinion that the new bylaw will result in more “monster homes” being built. I am in favour of subdivision if done in a manner which preserves the heritage and character of the neighbourhood and respects the principles of the Good Neighbour policy. Unfortunately, these proposed amendments do not.

    Among other things, the new bylaw allow setbacks to be reduced from 5 ft to 4 ft, lot coverage to be increased from 40 to 45%, and floor area ratio to be increased from .5 to .7. If these amendments were approved, it is imperative that the maximum allowable height of 34.5 ft. be reduced. Without a reduction of the maximum height, the new homes will be tall and long, towering over existing neighbouring houses, thereby, resulting in the loss of light in the homes and yards of neighbouring properties. So far, council have ignored the issue of height in relation to the new bylaw.

    City staff have been working on a review of the general bylaw since at least 2015 to prevent monster homes, and as part of this initiative, had consulted various Port Moody communities on this issue. According to staff’s report to council (Council meeting Agenda – Nov 22/16 at p. 296), the current maximum height was identified as a concern by the various communities consulted, and residents called for a reduction of the maximum height, as a solution to the monster home problem. Other solutions included increasing setbacks and reducing site coverage. The current proposed bylaw amendments are contrary to these recommendations/solutions.

    Staff in their report to Council (at p. 294) regarding the draft amendments as presented at the Nov 22/16 meeting, specifically stated that “the new regulations for lot width do not represent either the historical or current ‘feel and heritage character’ of Moody Centre”. The report further stated that “the new narrow lot width has the potential to run counter to the efforts to preserve existing heritage character homes”.

    These new amendments, if approved, will significantly impact Moody Centre.

    Below is link to the staff report/agenda from the Nov 22 council meeting where the initial draft (since revised) of the bylaw amendment was presented.
    http://www.portmoody.ca/modules/showdocument.aspx?documentid=12841

  2. Jim says:

    This should be part of the zoning bylaw update. Should not be rushed as a one-off piece. Slow down council.

  3. Karen says:

    You should tell Council that at the meeting tomorrow. They need to hear from people. Otherwise, they think there is no opposition.

  4. Chris Rowe says:

    I think you’ll find that there is no appetite for building homes that are 25′ tall.

    A family of four with a mortgage helper that is partially above ground will require additional height to work with (i.e. 10.5 meters). If we don’t create a workable height for narrow lots now the outcome will inevitably be land assemblies and larger homes and/or a push for multifamily units in the near future.

    The idea that subdivision is a cash grab is inaccurate. It costs roughly 50k to subdivide excluding demolition (40-50k), as well as rental costs (30k), and real estate fees (20-25K) if the home owner is rebuilding. Council will not permit one to simply subdivide without going through the entire application process which is expensive and entails some risk. There is no guarantee that the market will hold its price during the subdivision process. Most home owners will not be willing to complete this process which means the developers will be the primary builders of narrow lot homes.

    In this regard, we have an opportunity (responsibility?) to create building requirements that incentivize heritage style designs for narrow lot homes in a manner that is financially viable for builders with expertise is this area.

    Next, if Council and the community are interested in keeping heritage homes they should come up with specific criteria for what constitutes sufficient grounds for keeping the house (i.e. how much of the original home needs to be there? Was it built well in the first place? Is the cost for revitalization realistic for the average home owner?

    Also, what expectations are there for rectifying asbestos ceiling tiles, removing vermiculite, updating plumbing, insulation, and electrical? Are existing building codes going to be waved or adjusted on a case by case basis or are there going to be specific standards that each heritage home is consistently held to? These are important questions that still need to be addressed.

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