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From: MCCA PortMoody
Date: Sat, Sep 28, 2013 at 5:02 PM
Subject: OCP back to council September 30; town hall postponed – date to be announced
To: MCCA PortMoody


Some of you may already know this, but the town hall to discuss the OCP scheduled originally for Monday, September 30, 2013 has been postponed to a date to be determined. This is because council is still working through its review of the draft OCP, and then staff will need to update the plan, and residents will need adequate time to review the updates before a town hall.

To recap:

  • On Sept. 10 council spent 4 hours discussing the draft.
  • On Sept. 23 council spent 5 hours discussing the draft.
  • They still hadn’t gotten through the Moody Centre part, which will continue on Sept. 30 as a committee of the whole instead of the town hall.

The five hour discussion is available to watch on the city website.  It’s broken into chapters.

The video link can be found here:  http://www.portmoody.ca/index.aspx?page=744.  You need to click on the tab marked “specialty” and pick the Sept. 23 Committee of the Whole recording.

Some highlights of the meeting

  • Tim Savoie, General Manager of Development Services for Port Moody, confirmed the draft OCP was designed to encourage additional density and population because of Skytrain, and that “densities will be enhanced” in the Moody Centre and Inlet Centre areas.  He made reference to development proposals that have been brought forward to the city’s planning department, though specifics were not discussed.
  •  [Note:  Port Moody is already ahead of its population commitments to Metro Vancouver’s Regional Growth Strategy (RGS).  The go-ahead for the two Skytrain stations now under construction was not based on any requirement for Port Moody to further increase our population in the two areas.]
  • Councillor Nuttall asked why the city is suggesting population numbers higher than those in Metro Vancouver’s RGS.  Councillor Glumac again asked about densities and floor-space ratios (FSR) that may help the plan to be more specific in terms of what the city’s vision is.
  • There was considerable discussion about cultural areas and amenities, and what should be required contributions from developers in return for increased density.  Tim Savoie confirmed that developer contributions are typically voluntary, and specifics are not set out in the way they are in the city of Vancouver’s charter.
  • In council’s discussion of heritage areas, most of the time was spent on the Ioco heritage area.
  • Councillor Royer asked about the city’s emergency preparedness in the event of a disaster event.  There was some discussion about goods carried by rail, and that the city can’t possibly know what every rail car carries.  [This is a topic being discussed across the country, with some jurisdictions asking for better documentation on what is being transported within population centres, in part to help with decisions on where it is appropriate to build or expand communities.]
  • There was discussion about supplementary plans to help guide the OCP – such as the master transportation plan (will not be ready for about one year, estimated).  Other plans not completed are the parks plan, heritage plan, parking plan, although it was noted that the Chines integrated stormwater management plan is close to completion (it looks at the Chines hillside, management of water and drainage, creeks, etc.).
  • Regarding the Ioco area on the north shore, there appeared to be consensus that the existing infrastructure cannot accommodate additional growth until David Avenue is completed, and that full environmental assessments are necessary prior to development.  [Should this discussion extend to other neighbourhoods?]
  • Regarding the Ioco (IGA) plaza, councillors stated they “heard loud and clear” that any redevelopment should be restricted to four storeys.
  • Eventually the discussion turned to Moody Centre and Seaview (just west of Moody Centre).  There was some confusion as to where Schoolhouse Creek ran through the area.  [It runs south-north from the western Chines past Port Moody Secondary School, by Albert and Barnet streets, through the property at the westernmost part of MoodyCentre (Barnet/St.John’s/Clarke), and continues through the Andres wine property.]  Stream setbacks were discussed, but there did not seem to be definite across-the-board standards.
  • In the updated draft, look for additional towers up to 26 storeys added to the Andres site, and the old Barnet hotel site.  Most of council seemed to be on board (the meeting minutes are not yet available).  This was not previously included in the draft OCP.
  • Also proposed:  in the Seaview area (Charles Street mentioned specifically), allow for buildings up to 6 storeys.  There was some discussion that the area residents are not all in agreement, and that it might be good to have a policy to give specific neighbourhoods a way in which they can contribute to planning for their individual smaller areas.
  • After 5 hours of discussion, it was clear that another review meeting would be required, and that the town hall would need to be postponed to a later date.  A large part of Moody Centre has not yet been discussed.

You can send council your comments by email (council@portmoody.ca; and ocp@portmoody.ca; and info@portmoody.ca).

We will advise of updates.

In the news recently:

Momentum to build upwards has become a skyscraping race across Metro Vancouver [mentions Port Moody]
The Province, Sept. 28, 2013

Zoning proposals in Vancouver spark city hall protest
Globe and Mail, Sept. 26, 2013

City delays rezoning plans in Vancouver neighbourhoods
City pledges more time, consultation, and new forms of engagement
CBC news, Sept. 27, 2013

Council hears objections to community plans
Vancouver Sun, Sept. 26, 2013

PoMo council thanked for listening
Tri-City News, Sept. 26, 2013

Relations with Vancouver City Hall sour in four communities angered by planning process
Vancouver Sun, Sept. 23, 2013

Community concerned about 400% population increase in Port Moody Official Community Plan (OCP)
September 22, 2013

So, what is the plan?
The Province, Sept. 25, 2013

Please feel free to forward this email.

As always, we welcome your comments and input to MCCA.

Hazel Mason, President
Moody Centre Community Association (MCCA)
Respond:  mcca.pm@gmail.com

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