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May 14,2009 Tri City News

For the past year and a half, Port Moody staff have been hammering out a new official community plan that will guide the city's development over the next five years.

Now, it's council's turn to have a crack at it.

At Tuesday's meeting, council agreed to receive the OCP draft and schedule a day-long committee of the whole meeting to discuss it and make recommendations for changes. Council hasn't been involved in the OCP update process so the meeting, which will be open to the public, will be the first time councillors may make substantive comments on the plan.

And there's bound to be plenty of Moody residents keeping a close watch. Russell Bond was on hand Tuesday night to offer his feedback, saying council was doing the community a "great disservice" by proceeding with the OCP draft without more concrete information on the Evergreen Line and Murray-Clarke Connector.

One woman who lives at the western end of Moody Centre also expressed her neighbourhood's frustration with the lack of high-density development and accompanying amenities in that area.

But earlier versions of the OCP update have also riled residents who don't want to see any new high-density buildings, especially in Moody Centre and at Inlet Centre.

Another PoMo resident urged council to consider whether the OCP policies are effective in creating beneficial changes and to ensure the policies are equitable from one neighbourhood to another.

"After a year and a half of consultations, we take the process very seriously," Mayor Joe Trasolini responded. "At the end of the day, council must weigh all the input and know where the city needs to go, and try to get everyone on the same page."

The current draft OCP developed after a process that included a blank slate session, neighbourhood workshops, civic committee and youth consultation, a Moody Centre design session, community working group meetings and more neighbourhood workshops shows the most land use changes planned for west of Ioco Road.

The plan calls for changes in Glenayre from commercial mixed use to multi-family residential, from single-family low-density to multi-family in Seaview, and the creation of a Waterfront Village, with buildings up to 12 storeys high. The Heritage Mountain shopping village is slated to change from commercial mixed use to mixed use-Inlet Centre, with buildings up to four storeys high (a shift from an earlier proposal for high-density towers up to 26 storeys).

City planner Mary de Paoli said once council feedback is received, the plan will be tweaked over the summer and could be ready for community review in the fall. Adoption of the OCP should take place in early 2010.

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