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June 13,2008 - Tri City News

By Sarah Payne - The Tri-City News - June 13, 2008
Onni, the company responsible for the Suter Brook development at Ioco Road and Murray Street in Port Moody, wants to add more housing units and storeys.
Onni wants to pack an extra 455 residential units into its Suter Brook development in Port Moody and raise the towers from 26 to 32 storeys.

An open house has been scheduled for June 19 to gauge public opinion on the matter and a group of Inlet Centre residents is already planning to voice its concerns.

“The bottom line is it’s going to increase traffic in Port Moody and in particular in Inlet Centre,” said Eric Stansfield, the resident behind the Newport Village Voice website (

Traffic at the St. Johns Street and Ioco Road intersection is already problematic and won’t be helped by the addition of hundreds more cars, he said.

Adding 455 units would likely mean there would be almost 1,000 more people at Suter Brook than previously planned.

Combining Onni’s latest proposal with the 26-storey tower being proposed for the former Irly Bird lumber yard site, as well as the two highrises of 19 and 31 storeys being suggested for the Heritage Mountain Shopping Village, is a recipe for traffic disaster, Stansfield said.

And given the number of units for sale in the nearby Crescendo development, he doubted whether there would be enough demand to warrant such an increase in tower heights.

“They should try to keep a look in Inlet Centre that’s the same,” and keep the towers at 26 storeys. “I don’t want this place to end up looking like downtown Vancouver or Yaletown.”

Onni wants to change the existing layout of parcels B and D, at the southern edge of the 22-acre property, from two highrises and two low-rises to three highrise towers and some townhouses. The changes would bring the number of residential units on the site from the permitted 1,250 up to 1,705.

Tim Savoie, Port Moody’s director of planning, said the development company is asking for the increased density to support construction of the 100-room boutique hotel, which Onni will be operating.

Official community plan amendments will be needed to raise the towers from 26 to 32 storeys — there are currently no towers that high in Port Moody — as will changes to the site’s land use contract.

The proposal still needs to go through the city’s land use committee before going to council consideration and a public hearing.

• Onni’s open house is scheduled for June 19 from 7 to 9 p.m. in the social room at the PoMo recreation centre, 300 Ioco Rd.

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