From: MCCA PortMoody
Date: Sun, Oct 6, 2013 at 7:58 PM
Subject: OCP draft review by council completed on Sept. 30; summary and next steps
To: MCCA PortMoody
Council wrapped up its latest review of the draft OCP on Monday, Sept. 30, 2013.
The town hall meeting for the public to respond, originally planned for Sept. 30, has been postponed to a date to be determined.
City staff are updating the draft plan based on city council’s direction.
The revised plan will then go back to council, and eventually to the public for comment.
It is expected that the updates and council review will take at least another two weeks, and then we hope adequate time will be allowed for public review before the town hall meeting.
Over the three meetings council held to discuss the draft plan, some areas were changed to reduce the total building heights, some areas changed to increase total building heights, and one area reverts to status quo (Coronation Park). Overall, it is clear the plan still aims to add major population density to Port Moody. Many related plans (e.g., parks and recreation) have not been completed. The city has not explained why this is a good plan of benefit to the city and residents. The only clear reason given is that “Skytrain is coming.”
There has been no discussion of Port Moody’s unique geography, and the fact that most of lower Port Moody is in a danger zone for soil liquefaction in the event of an earthquake. There has been lip service to air quality concerns but no concrete plans to manage or reduce carbon emissions – which could become a bigger problem with more people and vehicles. Many important issues remain unaddressed.
Most of the discussion on the draft OCP has dealt with how to increase population – and how high and dense buildings should be. Development has dominated the discussions.
At the Sept. 30th meeting, some of the items discussed were:
Heritage Commercial District on Clarke St. – Councillor Nuttall proposed increasing the height limit to 6 storeys on the 2200 block of Clarke (currently a maximum of 3 to protect heritage); motion was defeated.
Oceanfront District (current sawmill site west of Rocky Point Park) – no real changes, still up to 28 storeys on map. [Oceanfront District is not within 400m of a station on the city’s circle map.]
Moody Centre Transit-Oriented Development Area – accounted for about 15 minutes worth of discussion; no significant changes made, so map will show up to 12 storeys. Councillor Glumac questioned the term “transit-oriented development” since council had earlier agreed to remove the term. The area is a “transit node” – not an urban transit centre. Several blocks on St. George St. are still proposed to change from single-family to multi-family, though the neighbourhood was not directly consulted.
Discussion of Coronation Park – council previously agreed to change the draft to the way Coronation Park has been traditionally – mostly single-family. Councillors also agreed, though, that it should still be included within the Inlet Centre Transit-Oriented Development Area, because future “flexibility” may be needed.
Motions to increase height/storey allowances up to 12 storeys – outside of the 400m transit station radius – e.g., buildings east of the pedestrian bridge from St. John’s to Klahanie. The “TOD circles” appear to be very “flexible” in order to allow increased population density in Port Moody.
Council acknowledged that plans related to the OCP such as parks and recreation, transportation, and parking issues still need to be worked on, and their immediate “solution” is to add some bullet points (text) within the draft plan update. [Apparently it is not necessary to complete these plans before development is approved.]
Discussion of population growth projections – how does Port Moody’s plan fit with the regional growth strategy (RGS) and the RGS projected population numbers (which are lower thanPort Moody’s plan). It was noted that the updated draft OCP will need to include some numbers, and projected population growth numbers are necessary before the plan goes back for public input. Motion passed.
If you’d like to know more about any of the three recent OCP discussion meetings, you can view them online. This is the link to the Sept. 30 video:
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)