2015-01-24: OCP lawsuit, Arts Centre project costs, Ioco lands, environmental standards

Port Moody’s OCP amendments part of next week’s council agenda
by Sarah Payne – The Tri-City News
posted Jan 22, 2015 at 5:00 PM

Port Moody council will be considering a timeline to amend the city’s official community plan in the wake of a Metro Vancouver lawsuit filed last November.

The regional government filed a petition in B.C. Supreme Court on Nov. 13 to quash PoMo’s OCP, stating two land use designation amendments did not comply the Metro’s Regional Growth Strategy (RGS).

The board rejected changes to the Mill and Timber and former Andrés Wines sites from industrial to general urban as being premature given there were no accompanying comprehensive development plans for those areas.

The agenda for next Tuesday’s council meeting includes a staff report on a proposed plan for amending the OCP’s Regional Context Statement to bring it in line with Metro’s RGS.

If the plan is approved, council would consider first and second readings of the OCP amendments at its Feb. 10 meeting, followed by a 30-day consultation period with neighbouring municipalities and First Nations, a public hearing on March 24 and subsequent referral of the revised context statement to Metro Vancouver.

The timeline would allow PoMo to have its revisions in to Metro Vancouver before the March 31 court deadline.

Staff noted in the report that if council proceeds with changing the land use designations for the Andrés and Mill and Timber sites back to general industrial the Special Study Area overlay could still apply.

“The SSA overlay simply indicates that prior to consideration of any future land-use change for these sites, comprehensive development plans must be completed,” the report states, adding the designation changes and further detail on the intention behind the SSA overlay “would achieve the consistency with the RGS that the Metro Board is seeking and address the expressed concerns.”



Costs rise for Port Moody Arts Centre addition
by Staff Writer – The Tri-City News
posted Jan 22, 2015 at 2:00 PM

Costs for the Port Moody Arts Centre’s Appleyard Centennial House addition have gone up again to pay for unexpected and last-minute works that had to be completed before the September grand opening.

A report considered at Tuesday’s finance committee meeting in the City of the Arts detailed the unforeseen work that arose in the last two months of construction, which required immediate action to ensure building code and other requirements were met before the Sept. 6 opening.

The $31,000 in costs included about $14,500 for HVAC work, $2,700 for boiler replacement, $35,00 for modifications to the sprinkler system and almost $10,400 for landscaping.

Some of the costs were absorbed by the contingency budget but the report indicates $13,000 remained outstanding.

The report also details additional costs being borne by the Port Moody Arts Centre Society (PMACS), including $87,500 for the glass atrium connecting the Appleyard Centennial House with the existing arts centre. Those funds were borrowed from the city and will be repaid by the end of 2015.

Additional works being funded by PMACS include $41,000 to reconfigure the existing arts centre space as well as upgrades to the telephone and IT systems, painting and other minor projects. PMACS is also paying for a main-floor beam to open up the main floor ($12,000), an exterior deck and atrium area ($28,000) and revitalizing the main floor ($1,777), for a total of $82,777.

In 2012, PMACS was awarded a federal grant of $480,785 for the project, with a minimum matching amount to come from the city. The finance report states the city contribution now stands at just over $650,000.

“There’s been an ongoing concern with the three bump-ups in the costs,” said Mayor Mike Clay, but the city is working with PMACS on fundraising and grant applications to recoup as much of that as possible.

“Like any project, we had out-of-scope projects, some new ideas that were brought into the conversation” that were valid and approved, Clay said, noting the expanded and revamped facility will provide good value to the city.

“It’s a fabulous facility, they’re ramping up their programming to take advantage of it now,” Clay said. “And when you go and see the shows there now, you see what a great space it is and how much it contributes.”



Ioco lands an opportunity for Anmore, Port Moody to work together — Geller
by Diane Strandberg – The Tri-City News
posted Jan 23, 2015 at 10:00 AM

A Vancouver architect who advised Imperial Oil for nearly a decade on its Ioco land holdings expects no sod to be turned on recently sold land in Anmore and Port Moody until a lengthy community planning process is undertaken.

And Michael Geller would like to see the two municipalities work together with architect James Cheng on a comprehensive plan for the 232 acres now owned by Brilliant Circle Group Investments Ltd. so the community is designed as a whole rather than piecemeal.

“I think one can anticipate an extensive community consultative process and one of the things I was hoping to see was a more joint planning process, given that the lands fall within both Anmore and Port Moody,” Geller said.

While comments from both Port Moody Mayor Mike Clay and Anmore Mayor John McEwen on the sale have been cautious, Geller said, the two appear to be on the same page when it comes to co-operation.

“I think that’s much more feasible today with Mike Clay and Mayor John McEwen, who seem to appreciate the need for more joint planning and collaboration, not just on the Ioco lands but on a broader range of issues of interest,” he said.

Geller also said Cheng is the right man for the job of planning for the future for the area because he has experience working with multiple stakeholders on projects that include heritage and environmental components.

Cheng previously told The Tri-City News that while he is noted for designing towers such as the Palisades and the Shangri-La, his work on designing the new Nordstrom building, Port Moody city hall and turning the former Vancouver Public Library building into a mixed-use development while maintaining its mid-century modern details are lesser known but still evidence of his experience in designing “intimate, human-scale developments.”

“To us, this is more satisfying,” Cheng said.


New environmental standards sought for development in Port Moody
by Diane Strandberg – The Tri-City News
posted Jan 23, 2015 at 9:00 AM— updated Jan 23, 2015 at 10:23 AM

Port Moody’s Mossom Creek — alive with salmon thanks to the work of volunteers — should serve as an inspiration for state-of-the-art sustainable development of the former Ioco lands, say members of the group that looks after the Mossom watershed and hatchery.

Ruth Foster and Rod MacVicar, who founded the hatchery, which is now run by the Burrard Inlet Marine Enhancement Society (BIMES), said the creek is home to several species of salmon and the forests are full of wildlife, and neither should be displaced by development in any plans for development of 232 acres bought by Brilliant Circle Group Investments Ltd.

“We need an environment-first philosophy established at the onset of planning,” said MacVicar in a prepared statement. “We need a Brilliant commitment to stewardship of this land.”

Both Foster and MacVicar, who have been working on the creek and running education programs since 1976, are pleased from the outset that the developer’s architect, James Cheng, is reaching out to the group.

Cheng has already announced his intention to plan a community that respects the environment and he told The Tri-City News that his first order of business is to do an assessment of creeks in the area and talk with stream stewards.

“We have some experts, environment assessment people, we would like to commission a study — what are the native inhabitants, what should we do,” said Cheng, noting that Village Creek, which runs through the Ioco townsite, is choked with invasive blackberry.

He also said that Imperial Oil is digging out oil tanks next to houses on the now Brilliant-owned half of the townsite, which will prevent any oil leakage into the soil, which could eventually leach into the creek.

“Imperial Oil has to deliver a clean site to us,” Cheng said.

Aside from the short-term environmental considerations, the purchase by the Brilliant Circle Group of 232 acres in Port Moody and Anmore means David Avenue will have to be extended to accommodate additional traffic from new homes in the area.

But the right-of-way for that road is only 300 m upstream from Mossom Creek, and would require a bridge. Foster said protecting the watershed is critical in any future development and will present challenges.

BIMES has an agreement to use the road to the hatchery, which is located on what is now Brilliant property, but Foster said the forest on both sides of the road and the creek is owned by the company and could potentially be developed.

“Where the housing can start has to be determined by a qualified environmental professional,” she said.

Foster also expressed concern about nearby North Schoolhouse Creek, saying work is needed to protect environmental values of the area, she said.

MacVicar agreed and called on the city of Port Moody to set new landmark standards for green development in the city, which would address the region’s specific “geophysical and biotic communities.”

BIMES also plans to develop a vision and best practices for the watershed, and will seek city and community endorsement.

Said MacVicar: “We look forward to working with the new owners.”

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