Metro Vancouver 2014 election
Port Moody – where should it grow?
By Michael Mui, 24 Hours Vancouver
Friday, October 31, 2014 10:13:46 PDT AM
The contention is over the official community plan. It’s a plan that lays out the future direction of Port Moody and was just drastically amended in mid-October to, among other things, consider how the Evergreen Line would impact the city’s development.
Density, said former Mayor Joe Trasolini, was expected by the community to occur in areas around Moody Centre Station and Inlet Centre Station – in those areas, existing corridors that are familiar with buildings that only reach about five storeys will likely see new structures reach considerably higher. But now, he said, the city has set its eyes on a prime piece of landfill generated real estate currently known as the Flavelle Cedar mill and timber site – located directly on the city’s waterfront and far enough west of the planned Evergreen transit hubs to be considered out of reach for pedestrians.
A new section in the amended OCP says specifically that the “site shall be considered for redevelopment uses other than general industry if it ceases to be used for its current purpose.”
The city, according to the new OCP, is expected to use the space for retail, commercial, residential, entertainment – some in the community have suggested it could become a “mini West End,” pointing to the Vancouver neighbourhood adjacent to downtown.
A map from the OCP provides some insight – the city has eyes on a “future potential station” located near Clark and Elgin, just next door to the mill and timber site. But Trasolini said the region’s history has shown new stations along existing lines are unlikely to materialize.
“The concern is this: the residents of this city have never – as long as I’ve been involved – they’ve always had their objection to having high rises on the waterfront of Port Moody,” Trasolini said. “This one site, a private site, is the last operating salt water mill in the province. And to say all of a sudden that the OCP calls for high rises … to me, it’s conflicting.”
He said the timing of the new OCP’s approval is giving voters a clear choice: do they agree with potential increased development outside designated rapid-transit zones, or disagree?