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May 16,2008 Tri City News

By Sarah Payne - The Tri-City News - May 16, 2008
The former Toyota dealership at St. Johns and Moray streets in Port Moody will soon be converted to a large Shoppers Drug Mart.

A development permit for the 16,650-square foot facility was approved at Tuesday’s meeting; the Onni Group hopes to start construction by the end of June and finish in early 2009.

Entrance to the one-storey drug store will be from St. John, as required by the city to allow for easy pedestrian access. A six-foot wide glass canopy will run the length of the store front and the building will be set as close to St. John’s Street as possible to create a better, more pedestrian-friendly street presence.

Coun. Mike Clay said he isn’t happy with reducing the frontage space but the city’s director of planning, Tim Savoie, said that move was initiated by staff so the building would “frame” the corner.

A total of 45 parking spaces, more than the required 42, will be available on the east side of the building and the lot will feature extensive tree planting and vegetation; decorative paving, benches and landscaping will enhance both the St. John’s and Moray street frontages.

During zoning bylaw amendment discussions in December, council raised concerns about the building’s sustainability. Onni came back with a plan that includes trees and vegetation to address the heat island effect, a recycling area and bear-proof garbage containers, and preferred parking for hybrid vehicles and energy-efficient lighting.

A curved sidewalk on St. Johns Street will accommodate a long bus stop area and bike racks will be provided to encourage them not to drive to the store. Development cost charges to the city would be almost $19,000.

Councillors Clay, Shannon Watkins and Karen Rockwell voted against issuing the development permit.

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