CPAC update (Feb. 6, 2018) — Obligation to Onni to relocate public works yard?

CPAC update (Feb. 6, 2018) — Obligation to Onni to relocate public works yard?

Is the City of Port Moody legally obligated to Onni to relocate the public works yard? See below for more.

CPAC meeting summary, see also recent post below: Tidal Wave (with CPAC links).

On-table material is now available on city website (121 pages includes presentations and community feedback), direct link here.

The meeting was long, beginning at 7:00 pm, and ending after 10:30 pm. The first item, Centro Development proposal for 50 Electronic Avenue, took a little over an hour, with the remainder on the subject of public lands. Worth viewing if time allows: Council meeting video recordings (select “specialty” tab).
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Centro Development, 50 Electronic Ave.
Four written submissions (plus one for public lands that includes comment on Centro), several speakers. See links above for submissions and video.

Received mostly in positive light by committee, will be on an upcoming council agenda, date not yet known.
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Public lands: works yard and former fire hall sites
Many speakers (about 20, minutes not yet available), with all but 3 voicing opposition to this proposal. 2017 by-election candidate Gerry Kent spoke in opposition.
Written input (50+): all but one person voicing opposition.
Many views expressed, common theme (residents) was to keep public lands public.

General
The land is currently zoned P1 (Public and Institutional); the city proposal is to change this to comprehensive development (CD), with paired OCP amendments. This would enable the city to market the land for sale to prospective developers. The city has already asked for expressions of interest (December 2016), and strong interest has been confirmed. Mayor Clay indicated he has seen some beautiful concept drawings.

Chair Barbara Junker noted at the beginning of the meeting that regardless of voting outcome this item would be forwarded to regular council. It seems any developer can ask for an item to be forwarded even if it’s received negatively by the committee. Most developers wouldn’t ask for that; instead they would make changes and try again at the committee level before proceeding further.

For example, the Aragon (Platform) proposal presented the first time on Nov. 3, 2015, and rejected by the committee, was not immediately forwarded to council, but came back to CPAC at a later date with hopes for a better outcome. In the case of public lands, the city presents the proposal as both “developer” and city, making it an unusual situation. Therefore, the city can, and did, decide to forward the item to council regardless of the vote.

Conundrum
Chair Barbara Junker reminded committee members and residents to stay on topic, namely that the discussion was about land use with OCP and zoning amendments, not sale of the land. Confusing, since it’s all very abstract at this point, and land use changes appear to depend on selling the land to the selected bidder(s) once rezoning and OCP amendments are achieved.

Highest and Best Use
In the opening presentation, the term Highest and Best Use was described only in terms of economic value, omitting the full definition. On July 14, 2015, council passed a motion defining Highest and Best Use, as follows:

“That any vacant or underdeveloped publicly owned property in the City of Port Moody be designated for highest and best use, and that only if this is deemed not possible a lower use be considered on a case by case basis, and that the city defines the term highest and best use as the reasonably probable, possible and legal use of property that is physically possible, properly funded, and financially feasible and that provides the opportunity to address community needs for infrastructure and services and results in the highest value (including but not limited to social, financial, environmental, cultural, historical, and/or quality-of-life value) for residents, and that staff be directed to draft a corporate policy on designating highest and best use for all city-owned property for council consideration.”

Required relocation of public works yard, relating to Onni (Suterbrook) — Conundrum 2
As noted above, the meeting took just over 3-1/2 hours. Just before the 3-hour mark (about 175 minutes into the video), Councillor Dilworth made some comments, including: “… lot of misunderstanding … many people don’t understand the city has a legal requirement to relocate the works yard, and that was negotiated as part of the Suterbrook development. The city has to do that.”

This statement is troubling for a few reasons.

  • This “legal requirement” to Onni was not part of the consultation information provided to the public.
  • The City has been unable to provide documentation to validate the claim, except for a Land Use Committee agenda from July 2, 2008 that does not mention a legal obligation to Onni to move the public works yard. The document does note contributions for relocation of the works yard and Inlet Centre facilities (increase to just over $1.3M, and ~$440K, respectively) “to reflect additional residential units” (page 4 of document, link here).
  • If there is a contractual agreement between the city and Onni to relocate the works yard, it should have been part of the conversation.
  • If there is a contractual agreement, what is the purpose? Is Onni interested in the property?
  • Why would there be an agreement with a developer about public land without public consultation?
  • Or, maybe there is no agreement, in which case the statement made at the meeting was wrong.

Final CPAC vote
In favour (7) — Mayor Clay, Councillors Dilworth, Junker, Lahti; community members Dan Attridge, Wilhelmina Martin, Jeff McLellan
Not in favour (5) — Councillors Madsen, Royer, Vagramov; community members Chris Staddon, Svetlana Evoy

Not wasting any time, and before CPAC minutes are completed, the public lands matter is now on the regular council agenda for Feb. 13, 2018:

“The application was considered by the Community Planning Advisory Committee (CPAC) on February 6, 2018 and the following motion was passed:

CPAC18/007
Moved, seconded, and CARRIED
THAT the Official Community Plan Amendment and rezoning application be supported as recommended in the report dated January 30, 2018 from Planning and Development Department – Planning Division regarding Official Community Plan Amendment and Rezoning Application – Former Fire Hall and Current Works Yard Sites (200 loco Road and 3250 Murray Street).”

Public input is allowed at all regular council meetings.

The Moody Centre Community Association (MCCA) welcomes your comments.

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