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Apr 28,2010 Tri City news



Port Moody residents had another crack at the official community plan at a town hall meeting Monday evening.

The meeting came after a series of workshops, feedback sessions and council reviews stretching back five years. City staff will be taking the comments heard Monday and compiling them for council review, after which staff may be directed to implement further OCP changes.

The first question put to council and staff was about the fate of the Heritage Mountain shopping village. An earlier version of the OCP suggested allowing high-density towers of up to 26 storeys on the site.

The city’s director of planning, Tim Savoie, said that area will keep the same designation as the 2000 OCP, which allows a building height of up to four storeys.

In fact, much of the city will remain the same because of council’s new policy of zero to minimal residential growth.

When asked whether Metro Vancouver was aware of PoMo’s plans, Mayor Joe Trasolini said he is keeping the planning committee informed.

“There is a lot of respect and understanding, they know our troubles,” Trasolini said. “There will be something to be said for deviating from the Liveable Region Strategic Plan but Metro Vancouver is also not happy with transportation planning.”

PoMo’s no-growth policy was adopted after progress on both the Murray-Clarke Connector and the Evergreen Line stalled. The current OCP maintains the 2000 growth number of 44,000 residents.

That policy does not apply, however, to applications that had already been approved, including two new towers at Suter Brook, the Appia development next door and other smaller properties throughout the city.

Questions regarding the Ioco lands were answered by Devon Estates and Imperial Oil representative Michael Geller, who said the company is taking steps to prevent further deterioration of the existing heritage buildings.

“Imperial Oil is interested in starting a discussion on what happens on that property,” he said, noting studies on extending David Avenue and how to provide water and sewer services are underway.

Barry Sharbo, a Murray Street property owner who has approached council with a proposal to turn the stretch of light industrial property across from Rocky Point Park into a mixed-use area, accused the city of discriminating against him by not including his suggestions into the OCP draft.

Savoie said one of the main OCP policies centres on maintaining and creating jobs in the city, and transforming Murray’s unique light industrial area doesn’t fit with that policy.

Coun. Mike Clay added that nowhere in the OCP has a land designation changed and council had previously decided not to change industrial land or increase density, making Sharbo’s claims of discrimination ill-conceived.

Robert Simons asked whether the OCP will change should TransLink come through on its transportation promises.

“If the Murray-Clarke Connector is delivered and the Evergreen Line is built, then the process calls for a review of the OCP,” said Trasolini. “It would be initiated immediately.”

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