Council items for May 22, incl. significant development procedure changes, zoning applications; in the news
Council meeting May 22 agenda; public hearings
Prior to council meeting, there are two items for public hearing:
- Rezoning application, 2514 St. George Street, small lot subdivision (RS1 to RS1-S)
- Rezoning application, 120 Water Street, small lot subdivision (A1 to RS1)
The public hearing(s) start at 7:00 pm at city hall, with the regular council meeting following the public hearings. Anyone wishing to comment on the public hearing items can do so in-person and/or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org (before 12:00 noon on May 22).
There are public input opportunities near the beginning and at the end of the regular meeting. Written comments can be sent to email@example.com (and firstname.lastname@example.org), but please note written comments will not be captured in official records.
Item 12.3 of the agenda table of contents, not shown above, has an unusual bit released from a March 27, 2018 closed council meeting, which council has decided to publish at this time for reasons unknown. It is about censuring Councillor Vagramov for comments made more than two years ago (Feb. 9, 2016) during a discussion regarding PCT expansion. A few contentious PCT discussions took place in 2015 and 2016 and MCCA reported on one very heated meeting held on December 1, 2015: Burrard Inlet, Port Moody Arm — questions on soil and contaminants, PCT expansion, and also included a brief follow-up on the Feb. 9, 2016 meeting (see MCCA archives).
UPDATE: During council verbal reports near the end of the meeting, Councillor Vagramov responded to the released censure item. It can be viewed on archived video here: http://portmoodybc.swagit.com/play/05222018-1887
Note item 9.4: Amendments to Development Approval Procedures. This is a follow-up to Council’s April 17, 2018 meeting (Committee of the Whole, not a “regular” meeting) which included recommendations to “streamline” development application reviews.
Recommendations included disbanding the Advisory Design Panel (ADP), re-ordering steps in the process, and eliminating the long-standing opportunity for official public input at Community Planning Advisory Committee (CPAC) review meetings. (CPAC was formerly known as the Land Use Committee.) MCCA reported on this in a post (April 20): Cumbersome or valuable? Community volunteers and citizen input, changes to procedures.
The proposed changes are very significant. While there may be opportunities and room for improvement in development approval procedures, it’s an extremely important process that requires very careful consideration. We (MCCA) recommend people have a look at agenda item 9.4 and consider providing comment and/or questions to council. It’s not an easy read, unfortunately, given the major changes proposed.
Below is a small excerpt (page 254 of the agenda package) that may be cause for concern.
“The Public Hearing style public input at CPAC meetings has provided an additional consultation option; however, it also has led to confusion with members of the public who assume that CPAC is making decisions about land use [ed. note: CPAC was formerly known as the Land Use Committee, this is confusing]. Staff have heard concerns and criticism when, after a CPAC meeting, the review process continues despite strong public opposition. The fact that an application still needs to be considered by Council following a CPAC meeting is not always appreciated by the public [ed. note: we’re not sure when this changed, but in the past the committee could reject the proposal and typically it would come back revised to the committee prior to being forwarded to council]. Moreover, some of the public input at CPAC meetings has been extensive and has dominated the meeting, reducing the time for the Committee members to discuss their own considerations about the project. This raises the question whether extensive public input is best considered by CPAC or rather by Council, which is the body that makes the ultimate decisions on land use [ed. note: the majority of individuals on CPAC are members of council (7), currently with 6 community members]. The current Terms of Reference for CPAC do not include the consideration of public input, but rather, “representations for proposed land use designation changes and rezoning applications”.
“Staff recommend that public input be heard at developer information meetings rather than at the CPAC meetings.”
Can public input at developer information meetings be a proper substitute for on the record input at CPAC?
[Ed. note: Both the original and updated CPAC Terms of Reference, approved May 22, 2018 (same date as council meeting), contain this sentence in section 4.2: “Committee meetings will be open to the public, who will be afforded the opportunity to provide comments regarding proposed land use designation changes or rezoning applications.” That suggests status quo; no change in opportunity for public input. PDF copy here: 2018-May-CPAC terms of reference. The original version with “tracked changes” can be found in the agenda package here.]
The above excerpts (in quotes) are a mere snippet excerpted from 50+ pages.
UPDATE: Council voted to approve this proposal (4:2), Councillors Madsen and Vagramov opposed, Councillor Royer absent.
UPDATE: At the last regular council meeting, item 9.5, Managing Port Moody’s Growth as Job #1 – Proposal to Affirm the OCP’s Growth Targets, Initiate Development Horizon Updates, and Conduct Growth Impact Reviews, a proposal by Councillor Madsen (with Councillor Vagramov), was defeated by council (5:2). A PDF link to the 20-page report is included in MCCA’s last post regarding the May 8th meeting (see earlier post below).
REMINDER: Last Saturday, May 12, 2018, the city held a Zoning Bylaw Open House. For more information, we strongly encourage you to visit the city webpage here, which has links to the presentation and an online survey (deadline “before Monday, May 28”). This is a very important bylaw update with major changes — let the city know your thoughts.
A sampling of recent news items relevant to Port Moody
In the news, a sampling, real-estate and housing related:
- Realtors and developers brace for sustained downturn (TCN, May 10, 2018; original source Western Investor)
- Letter: A vote on ERH, too, please? (TCN, May 8, 2018)
- Open house for Ioco Lands connector route (TCN, May 16, 2018
Port Moody’s open house will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday, May 28 at city hall (100 Newport Dr.).
- Port Moody fire department’s report informs strategy for growth (TCN, May 16, 2018)
- Letter: Too much building in Coquitlam (TCN, May 16, 2018); on displacement, land assembly, affordability – responding to Rent costs high and on the rise in the Tri-Cities (TCN, May 11, 2018)
In the news, a sampling, general:
- Groups for Tri-City residents 50+ (TCN, May 9, 2018)
- Spotlight: Hobbis family gives $100k to ERHF (TCN, May 9, 2018)
- PoMo looking to make installation of solar panels easier (TCN, May 10, 2018)
- Province to fund school playgrounds, Port Moody middle school to get $105,000 in funding for an accessible playground (TCN, May 8, 2018)
- Councillors suggest comedy will calm traffic (TCN, May 14, 2018) [ed. note: a majority of council rejected the proposal discussed at Council Committee of the Whole on May 15, 2018]
The Moody Centre Community Association (MCCA) welcomes your comments, via email or as a comment online.