‘Small-town,’ really?

The Tri-City News, December 5, 2013

‘Small-town,’ really?

The Editor,

Re. “Mixed reactions on OCP” (The Tri-City News, Nov. 29).

For the many people attending the Port Moody town hall meeting on Nov. 27, it became evident the official community plan is perhaps the most difficult task our city must undertake.

Many speakers pleaded that the “small-town character” of Port Moody, as contained in the city’s own mission statement, should be maintained, but to no avail. This begs the question: What part of “small-town character” does council not understand?

Most upsetting is that this draft OCP appears to be a developer-driven plan. At the outset, the plan should have addressed the most fundamental issue: What is the vision of the people? Do we want to grow? And if so, how much growth are we willing to accept? What is the sustainable maximum capacity of Port Moody? Answers to these questions should have been the starting point of this OCP process.

While I am not opposed to some kind of planned growth, I am opposed to unsustainable growth as advocated in this draft OCP. There is no need or desire to have a Metrotown-type of development anywhere in the city.

Council has repeatedly used transit-oriented development principles and Metro Vancouver requirements as justification for densification and population growth. But population targets are a guideline, not a legislative requirement.

This draft OCP needs a major revision. It has raised so many issues that need to be addressed by council. I urge people to attend future meetings and make their voices heard. It should be our vision and our OCP.

Reiner Specht,
Port Moody

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