Port Moody planning another public meeting for OCP
by Diane Strandberg – The Tri-City News
Feb 28, 2014
Third time may be a charm but for those concerned with the future of Port Moody, four could be the lucky number.
Port Moody residents will get another chance to comment on the draft official community plan at a town hall meeting in March after council unanimously approved the idea Tuesday.
The town hall meeting would be the fourth for the plan, which has come under heavy scrutiny from businesses, developers, neighbourhood associations and environmental groups on issues ranging from building heights to storm water management plans and availability of park space.
“It would only be fair to go back to our residents and give them one more kick at the can,” Coun. Diana Dilworth said Tuesday after it was suggested a meeting should be held before the April 1 land use meeting.
The lengthy document for guiding future planning and land use management in PoMo has undergone numerous changes since it was first shown to the public last June, prompting calls for yet another opportunity for public input.
MORE COMMENT SOUGHT
Several people spoke before council Tuesday, asking for another chance to comment.
“It’s time to make sure we do this right,” said George Assaf, a resident who is also a member of the Burrard Inlet Marine Enhancement Society.
Some of the changes were only recently incorporated after a series of key votes by council in early January. The town hall meeting would likely raise further issues, such as the call by the Port Moody Heritage Commission to turn the Ioco Townsite into an historic village and museum tourist attraction.
Other groups, meanwhile, are concerned that removing building heights and site coverage on the Oceanfront District near Rocky Point Park could make it easier for developers to build towers in the future.
Many other changes called for by the public have already been included, such as the addition of an institutional/research facility in the Oceanfront District, where Flavelle Sawmill Co. is currently operating, and connecting the waterfront property by trail to Rocky Point Park.
Another key change was a decrease in the city’s projected population to 50,000 from 59,000 in 2041, with a drop in the number of projected dwelling units from 26,800 to 22,727.
With the Evergreen Line on its way, council has tried to balance neighbourhood concerns with density spurred by rapid transit, resulting in changes to building heights and some compromises. For example, in the Moody Centre Station Transit-Oriented Development area, maximums were dropped to 12 from 20 storeys, although additional density and height allowances will be considered in exchange for community open space designations.
Additionally, near the Inlet Centre Station, a neighbourhood plan is proposed for Coronation Park, and building heights were dropped from 30 storeys to 26 in some Mixed Use-Inlet Centre designated areas.
The fourth town hall meeting has been tentatively set for Tuesday, March 18 to give the public an opportunity to discuss the 262-page OCP.
The document will then go to the land use committee before coming back to council for the initial readings of the bylaw. The OCP would then need to be sent to the Metro Vancouver board for comment before going back to public hearing, then to council for final adoption.
More information, including the draft plan, is available online.
Port Moody to host final OCP meeting Town Hall should happen in March
Jeremy Deutsch / Tri-Cities Now / February 28, 2014
Port Moody residents will get one more public kick at the can when it comes to input on the city’s official community plan.
On Tuesday, city council voted to have another town hall meeting to discuss the document before giving it approval sometime this spring.
While the date for the town hall hasn’t been set, the event is expected to be scheduled for late March, before the plan goes to the city’s land use committee.
At Tuesday’s meeting, a handful of residents asked council to consider the town hall in light of new changes to the plan.
Coun. Zoe Royer argued the town hall would give the community an opportunity to digest the changes to the OCP for a fulsome discussion, while Coun. Diana Dilworth suggested it would only be fair to go back to residents for one more meeting.
The last OCP town hall at the Inlet Theatre back in December drew some 300 residents, while more than 1,000 people have weighed in on the plan in various forms over the last year.
For the better part of a year, city council has been working on the OCP in anticipation of the Evergreen Line’s arrival.
The document, which guides land use, servicing and the form and character of any new development, identifies seven distinct Evergreen sub areas, mostly within the city centre area.
But Mayor Mike Clay isn’t sure another town hall is necessary. “I’d be very surprised if we hear something we haven’t already heard,” he told the Tri-Cities NOW.
He argued people have been given the opportunity to be heard, but may not like the outcome.
Clay also suggested “wordsmithing” the document is not serving the community, adding the city needs to move on. “This has got to end at some point,” he said.
Council also decided to defer a recommendation by the city’s heritage commission to modify the OCP to reflect a vision that the Ioco Townsite become a historic village and museum tourist attraction. The recommendation includes refurbishing existing heritage structures on the site.
However, the motion was deferred to give city staff more time to gather information for a report to council.
Staff also updated council on some of the changes to the several-hundred page document at the meeting.
A new institutional/research designation has been added to the possibilities of use for the oceanfront district, along with comments from the Burke Mountain Naturalists regarding environmental changes to the OCP.
The OCP also has a new policy for density bonusing that allows landowners to develop at a higher density in return for provision of community amenities like parks and recreation facilities, arts and cultural facilities and public art.