Port Moody’s OCP is still evolving – December 18, 2013

Port Moody’s OCP is still evolving
Mayor says document is a vision, rather than a done deal
http://www.thenownews.com/news/port-moody-s-ocp-is-still-evolving-1.762792
Jeremy Deutsch / Tri-Cities Now
December 18, 2013

Nearly 1,000 people have weighed in on Port Moody’s draft official community plan, but it’s still nowhere close to being a done deal.

On Dec. 10, city council voted unanimously to send the document back to committee in January for more tweaking and discussion.

Several councillors appeared to suggest the plan still needs plenty of work before being complete.”

There’s still a lot of dissent and different opinions,” Coun. Diana Dilworth said.

She argued the document should go back to committee-of-the-whole so council members can speak in much greater detail of the potential changes they want to see.

Dilworth also agreed with a recommendation from the public that staff be asked for their perspective on the plan.

Earlier this month, the city held a special town hall meeting to get feedback from residents on its draft OCP and, like at similar meetings, the views on the future of the city were varied.

Some 300 people packed the Inlet Theatre at City Hall to listen, while another 80 speakers expressed their views about the proposed OCP. There were residents both for the plan, or at least parts of the plan, while others spoke against the current document.

The 261-page 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.

The city and council have been working on the document for more than a year. All of the changes being proposed in the new OCP are within areas where the new SkyTrain line will run once it’s complete in 2016.

Coun. Rick Glumac suggested he could see a growing amount of concern over the OCP and urged council to take a closer look at the document. He also argued the city needs to consider lowering its population targets.

“How are we going to preserve our small-town feel and how are we going to grow our green space and be confident with our answers we’re getting through the document?” Glumac said.

After suggestions the plan was already a done deal by a few members of the audience at the last council meeting, Mayor Mike Clay defended the process so far.

He said the city wants engagement from the public, and the interest at events like the OCP town hall shows the message is getting out.

“If we have a plan that people think is a bad plan, then come and tell us,” he said, adding he’s been waiting years for that kind of feedback. But the mayor also cautioned the OCP doesn’t guarantee or enable anything to be built, instead calling it a vision document.

“There’s a lot of truth stretching going on and it’s scaring people, and it shouldn’t be,” Clay said.

Council sits down again to work on the OCP at a committee of the whole meeting scheduled for Jan. 7.

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