But not everybody on the city’s north shore is happy about it.
At Tuesday’s public hearing, a resident who lives across the street from the potential development at 300 Panorama Pl. said it’s not the right location for a daycare, and the residential component, with its rooftop patios, will block his views.
“There’s this feeling that the developer gets what the developer wants in Port Moody,” he said. “Please don’t let the developer come in and change the rules at the expense of this community.”
ParkLane is seeking a zoning bylaw amendment to allow a daycare and live-work spaces on the property that has, until now, been used as a sales centre in front of the Heritage Mountain community centre and next to Aspenwood elementary. The developer is suggesting there would be five two- and three-bedroom live-work units on top of the daycare but a development permit application has yet to be submitted.
Several residents, many of them with children in the Kinder Kampus daycare operating in the community centre, spoke in favour of the zoning amendment.
“Everyone wants to be the last person to move onto this hillside... but there’s a greater good here and I’d like to see council support this,” said Bruce Campeau, noting that area residents would prefer to see a daycare in that location instead of a convenience store, which is currently permitted under the zoning bylaw.
Another woman emphasized the need for childcare in the area. “I moved here four years ago and I was on the waiting list for three years to get into Kinder Kampus,” she said. “I think it’s naive to think a building is not going to be put up there” and that views will change.
Coun. Mike Clay noted residents and councillors were at the hearing to discuss the possible use of the space, not development matters such as building heights, traffic or parking issues. He also said this isn’t a matter of a developer “getting what it wants.”
“This is the developer’s response to what the community said it wanted,” Clay said. “I’ve talked to many people who were horrified at the thought of getting a mini-mall in there with a 7-Eleven and a Starbucks.”
Council passed third reading of the zoning bylaw amendment and will consider adoption at a future meeting.
In other Port Moody news:
Council decided against changing the density measurements for the old Brickyards site.
Staff had recommended that the site, at 2718-2732 St. Johns St. and 2713-2725 Clark St., be changed from units-per-acre to the floor-space ratio (FSR). The 2005 OCP allows a 95 units-per-acre density but staff said that requires a developer to build residential units that are too large to sell under current market conditions.
The FSR measurement would keep the same building footprint and height but allow for more leeway in the size and design of residential units.
Several PoMo residents spoke in favour of the change, saying the decrepit property is badly in need of development.
Council’s take on the issue was mixed.
Coun. Karen Rockwell was initially in favour of the change, noting the site is close to transit and would revitalize the area, but later voted against the official community plan amendment.
Coun. Clay said the change was unnecessary given there’s no developer in line to build on the site, and he couldn’t support increasing density with no Evergreen Line or Murray-Clarke Connector on the horizon.
Mayor Joe Trasolini favoured the possibility for more affordable housing but said he wants to see a debate on the FSR measurement happen on an OCP-wide basis, not just for individual parcels.
In the end, council voted unanimously against the amendment’s third reading (Coun. Meghan Lahti was absent).
BUILD RADIO-FRIENDLY, SAYS E-COMM OFFICIAL
A presentation from the head of E-Comm 911 prompted Port Moody council to reiterate calls for regulations requiring new buildings to have embedded radio technology.
The city wants the province to introduce legislation that would ensure radio and cell phone communication devices are still usable in concrete buildings such as highrises. They are often built with reinforced concrete and reflective materials that block signals from radio and cell phones, creating safety concerns for both emergency personnel and residents. Last month, the Union of BC Municipalities endorsed PoMo’s resolution that the province require building owners to provide, install and maintain in-building radio repeater and amplification systems to ensure uninterrupted service.
Asked if E-Comm can provide the technology to buildings currently without it, president and CEO Ken Shymanski said it comes down to costs — “and it’s millions of dollars.”
Shymanski said E-Comm has asked the Ministry of Housing to include the requirement in the BC Building Code.