June 8,2013 OCP Town Hall
Committee of the Whole
2.1 Town Hall Meeting - 2013 OCP Presentation and Public Consultation
PowerPoint Presentation followed by Public Input / File: 1700-01
Mayor Clay provided opening remarks and confirmed that there would be further meetings on the subject prior to any decisions being made by Council. He noted the process has been underway for a number of years and the document under review has yet to be finalized. Mayor Clay confirmed that members of Council were here today to listen and gather input from the community and that there would be another Town Hall meeting on Tuesday, June 18th commencing at 7:00 pm at which time further representations from the public will be heard.
The Manager of Planning then spoke to the map circulated entitled "Proposed Evergreen Line Sub-Areas May 22, 2013" which incorporated some of the changes identified at the Committee of the Whole meeting held on May 21, 2013. She confirmed that the Areas under discussion were as follows:
• A Gateway
• B Spring Street
• C Heritage Commercial District
• D Murray Street Boulevard
• E Oceanfront District
• F Moody Centre Transit Oriented Development
• G Inlet Centre Station Transit Oriented Development
She then commented briefly on the overall proposals for each of the areas and provided artistic renditions of the various streetscapes.
The following speakers offered comments and asked questions:
Kirk Seggie – representing Andrés Wines/ Peller Estates,
read from prepared remarks and commented on the historical highlights of the property. The 2005 relocation of the company resulted in consultations and discussions regarding an appropriate legacy which could include development of artists live/work studios; public arts presentation space; seniors accommodation; assisted living accommodation and day lodge for the Trans Canada Trail.
He expressed disappointment that the Andrés property is still showing as industrial when there is no port or rail access and is small for an industrial site.
He suggested that within the 400m radius there should be retail with some higher-density residential and suggested that a ‘mixed use’ community would provide an increased tax base. Long term plans would include ground floor retail stores, variety of accommodation and access to the Trans Canada Trail. He noted that there are no development plans for the property for the next few years but wants it to be what the community wants and needs
Ann Kitching – Port Moody Arts Centre Society – agrees that the Andrés site should be encouraged for arts oriented development to make a stunning entrance to the community. She acknowledged that there must be high rises but it is necessary to ensure that they have different, exciting and interesting designs that keep as much green space as possible
Jill McIntosh – Coronation Park – started a petition on Sunday which will be submitted in due course. She requested that the new OCP be such that their area is slated for gradual, modest changes as they want to continue to live in the area and have made improvements based on their understanding that the area was to remain as is for short to medium term. They want to be able to sell their property as a "home" - not a tear-down, particularly as the area is not and has not been zoned for multi-family. They acknowledge the need for higher density to support transit but suggested there is already a lot in the area that has already impacted their views and access to sunlight. She requested a maximum of three storeys be proposed for the neighbourhood.
Arnold McLaughlin, speaking on behalf of K. Choi – (the owner of the Heritage Mountain Village Shopping Centre). He requested that although the density for the site is currently 4 storeys, consideration be given to allowing the privilege of a higher density – similar to the 30 storeys near the station - given the proximity of the station to his property. Reference was made to the earlier request in a letter submitted to the May 21st meeting regarding the OCP
Jean Donaldson, Port Moody, suggested there needs to be diversity in the housing provided to enable seniors to age in place. Although the plan shows density increasing, there is no provision for senior’s retirement residences in Port Moody resulting in people having to leave the community they have lived in for many years. We have a hospital, hospice and chronic care facility – but nothing for independent or assisted living. She requested that planners move to designate two specific lands that could be used for multi-storey senior’s residences – perhaps one at each end of the community. She also requests that retention of green space be a priority
Marcello Trasolini, Port Moody, suggested that the plan shows no station for the Gateway area – but does show 12 storey developments. He suggested that there is unequal treatment for properties in the area – with a variation from 6 to 12 to 30 storeys – but the tax rate will be the same for 30 storey properties. He questioned why the Gateway and Oceanside areas are being allowed higher densities? He expressed concern that undesirable smaller developments will have limited green space provided and will be of a nondescript design. He suggested that Moody Centre should be mid to high rise so that there is a commitment to larger green space and public space for the people to enjoy. He also requested that this plan not be rushed through.
Fred Soofi – Port Moody/Anmore, invested in Port Moody because there is a lot of potential as a waterfront city. He suggested there is a need to encourage visual art in Port Moody and expressed concern that the circles drawn around the stations don’t reflect what some of the area residents want – e.g. the 30 storeys around the Inlet Centre – perhaps more acceptable in the Gateway area but only 6 storeys are proposed there – and no station at this time. Seniors could be in the west area but there is no zoning proposed for that and there is grocery/doctors offices etc being proposed but suggests there could be better use of density in the area. He advised that he does not support industrial use because of pollution but high-tech industry could create more jobs and office buildings to help keep the people close to their homes. There is a great potential if time can be spent on better planning
Ruth Foster – Belcarra resident, as an environmental steward of the area for many years, expressed concern with the loss of industrial lands in favour of residential development as it puts added pressure on the shrinking amount of agricultural land in the lower mainland. She suggested it was important to try to retain industry and blend it with other uses such as a Granville Island style of mixed use expansion of Rocky Point. Reference was made to the 1998 Plan which suggested mixed light industrial/high tech development which if paired with green space would be highly sustainable. It is important to set aside green space now
Marj Trott - Port Moody, questioned what young families are to do – where are the children who live in high rises to play? He suggested that 30 storeys are too much – 12 storeys would be enough. He expressed concerned about the proposal for the Flavelle site – suggesting that 3 big high rises would block the mountains and questioned what would happen to all of the Flavelle employees. He suggested that there are not enough roads to support the increased traffic
David Ritcey – Port Moody, expressed concern about park space and amenities and quoted from Policy 11 on page 40 relative to Moody Centre and the statement "where feasible". He suggested Port Moody can’t handle any significant residential growth now let alone what is projected so suggested the policy should be amended to read "necessary". He also expressed concern that there needs to be special circumstances where more is given back to the community – developer sees numbers on the map as the height minimum. He agreed with the speaker from Andrés- if not industrial should be mixed employment area – if it is just residential and retail it becomes just another ‘suburb’. Wants to see people on the streets during the day
Deb Nijdam – Port Moody, suggested that although she has spoken many times over the years, her concerns have not been addressed. She suggested there should be no more than 3 storey designs and objected to the fact that the creeks, views and naturescape are being impacted by the construction of the tunnel – need to design and build something that allows for nature to be maintained. She advised that she wants to be able to walk to shopping and amenities and is concerned that the proposal for 6 storeys will not support retail development or a station. She expressed concern that high rises will further increase the congestion in the area.
Gregory Elgstrand – Port Moody, acknowledged that towers and density are inevitable but there is an opportunity to make choices now. He expressed concern about the lack of communication regarding this meeting. He advised that he returned to BC and established a cultural enterprise in Port Moody based on information in the 2001 Plan that showed the city as an arts and creative enterprise centre and despite meetings with council, staff and leaders from the arts community he was not aware that radical changes were being proposed. He suggested that in a natural setting like Port Moody, arts and creative enterprise should be at the centre of development and questioned what a City of the Arts should look like and suggested that the OCP does not address this and it should be at the core of all decisions. He suggested that the city must demonstrate to developers and speculators that they need to bring their best design, materials and construction so that development does reflect the arts. He queried what can be done to make it affordable for artisans to live and work in the community. He suggested that development prevents attractive local retail outlets and attracts more major chain retailers/big box outlets. He suggested restricting the size of storefronts to encourage smaller independent businesses. Referring to Chapter 10 of the Plan regarding Arts and Culture and queried why, if this is the 3rd version, has 3.2.9 remained unchanged. He questioned the use of the ‘transit-oriented’ approach as it tends to make Port Moody a dormitory community with ‘work nodes’ on a transit line. He questioned why the city continues to use "incentives" and "bonusing" and suggested a flat development fee would be more appropriate.
Mayor Clay noted that it was 10:50 am and the meeting was scheduled to close at 11:00 am
Barry Tyldesley - Port Moody, as a long time resident sees changes for the better but doesn’t want the city to become a dormitory. He suggested that we need research/development jobs so that people are in the city during the day. He expressed the hope that designs and colours of development will be attractive and was supportive of the Granville Island concept and encouragement of R&D type jobs
Sean - Suterbrook Port Moody, suggested that more planning has been done for area D than area G – with 30 storeys all around the station which will only attract residential rather than a mix of residential, commercial and industry. He suggested that traffic is going to increase as not everyone will use the skytrain. He quested that symmetry of design be encouraged – not "sectors" – and suggested a real mix of low rise, mid rise and high rise is needed for area G
Glen – lives in area G – advised that for 30 years he has enjoyed the mountain views although some trees now block it – but they also help block out the apartments that have been built. City of the Arts should have buildings that are visually pleasing – concerned that most of the higher buildings used to be on the South side of St. Johns Street but now apartments are being built up to 6 and 20 storeys – how are people going to be able to see the views and what is being done to make sure new structures are earthquake safe?
Debbie Johnson – Port Moody, indicated that she has lived in a duplex in a single family area but the street seems to becoming an arterial even without further development. Thought the OCP was originally based on some form of rapid transit she doesn’t understand why it seems to be so dependent on increased development. She expressed concern that the increased heights and higher density and traffic on the north side of the street will seriously impact the value of her property and suggests that the current proposals are diametrically opposed to the original plan.
Reinhold Specht – Port Moody - expressed concern about the loss of green space as development increases and was shocked to hear that Port Moody has the highest growth factor in the area. He suggested that if money is the priority the city will become just another ‘Metrotown’ or ‘Yaletown’ which is not what he wants to see. He suggested that we must keep in mind that with development, taxes go up and that we need to pull in the reins.
Tyler Brown – Port Moody, indicated that he chose the Tri-City area because of its affordability, the mountains and green space, proximity to lakes and the fact that Port Moody is the City of the Arts with mixed housing styles – not just all high rises. He advised that he bought a single family house in Coronation Park and rents part of it as a mortgage helper with ‘family’ renters that wanted to get out of apartments. He advised that his property is next to the gas station and he does not want to see any of the high density proposed for the area and he doesn’t want to live in another ‘Metrotown’ or ‘Yaletown’ as he chose a low density, arts focused community (without big box stores) where he could raise a family, have a house and a yard.
Ilse Leis– expressed concern regarding the late notice of the meeting and suggested the construction and design of high rises has got to change and there are examples of lovely buildings all over the world. She suggested that we need to promote the arts – not just painting – but as a more cultural place. She suggested that we are losing sight of what Port Moody stands for – a green community with parks – where can we have another Rocky Point Park if there is such an increase in density. She inquired whether there is a plan for another big shoreline park as the existing one is overcrowded and the plans don’t seem to show any new parks. She expressed concern about the lack of shopping available in the community but more concerned about park land and how aggressive the developers can be in building large, high, close together buildings. She indicated that she thought the intent of the Evergreen Line was to reduce traffic.
Damir - owner of Jakes Crossing/Burrard Public House and the vacant parking lot to the north suggested that he looked forward to being able to have a 6 storey building on his property.
David MacRitchie – advised that has an automobile repair business and was concerned that development plans don’t address how traffic will be moved. As a resident of Coronation Park, he indicated he doesn’t want to move and likes the idea of walking to the skytrain but is not ready for high density development. He queried shy so much growth is required to support the Evergreen Line.
Cecilia Trasolini – Port Moody, expressed concern regarding the proposals for area G as there are many young people in Coronation Park that would be impacted and suggested more information is needed before a reasonable decision can be made. She referenced the Area D proposals for 4 and 6 storeys and requested clarification. As a realtor, she suggested that if the circle in area C is correct, property values will go down if higher buildings are built in front of existing properties. She indicated she would like to see flexibility/variety of floors and if properties are being assembled there should be an allowance for green space
Pat Merrett – Port Moody - indicated she has seen the city grow from a population of 10,000 and knew there would be change and acknowledges that Council has tried to do the best for the community but now sees the pressure to develop higher density. She advised that she doesn’t want to see the Flavelle site converted to housing as we need more park land and a creative way to hold on to the foreshore for the future. She noted that the San Remo development is a good example of how a referendum and land swap can result in park area and trails being preserved. She requested that Council not let high rises block the views of the North Shore.
Patricia Comer – Port Moody – indicated she is involved in arts as a choreographer for Stage 43 and suggested that art can be expressed in many different ways and now, as a writer she uses the parks and surrounding areas in her writings. She expressed concerned about density and densification and the potential harm of car exhaust on natural areas like Noons Creek. She noted that animals and their habitat are being destroyed and requested that the Police Department do more to protect people’s gardens. She noted that the area has really changed and she rarely walks the streets anymore because of the ‘river of steel’ (cars from one end of the city to the other).
Marion Lalonde – Coronation Park – suggested it is a beautiful area that should be left as a single family area like the area south of St. Johns Street. As an artist, she indicated she would like to see a larger venue made available for their monthly meetings.
Gary McGowan – Port Moody – indicated he has seen development increase all over the lower mainland, but is concerned about the accessibility to the shoreline and suggests that the nicest areas to live are those near parks and greenways. He noted that there is a greenway along the skytrain line from Metrotown to Joyce and Edmonds that connects all the parks and lots of bike paths that are used by walkers (including those with strollers). He expressed concern that bike paths on the street are unsafe and will not be well used, whereas if a linear park could be established through Port Moody – perhaps along the bottom of the Chines – it would be well used. He indicated he appreciated that Council’s efforts are impacted by the decisions of senior levels of government.
Greg Cossey – Carleton Place – indicated he agreed with many of the earlier comments – particularly with respect to area A and development of 6 storeys and green space. He noted that Coronation Park is a great area and queried the future of the school site that has been closed for several years and, further, what is the future of the single access road (Balmoral).
Mayor Clay thanked everyone for attending and invited members of Council to make closing remarks.
Mayor Clay then confirmed that there would be another Town Hall meeting on Tuesday, June 18th at 7:00 pm in the Council Chambers and encouraged everyone to attend but made the request that "new" speakers be afforded the opportunity to speak first. He noted that it is important that everyone be heard and indicated that no one should be afraid to speak to Council at these meetings.
The Mayor adjourned the meeting at 11:55am