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Nov 27,2013 Committee of the Whole - OCP Town Hall

Committee of the Whole
Agenda                    Minutes
2.1 Town Hall Meeting - 2013 OCP Presentation and Public Consultation
PowerPoint Presentation followed by Public Input / File: 6430-08

Mayor Clay welcomed everyone in the audience and outlined the process to be followed for the meeting.

The City Clerk provided an overview of guidelines that had been put into place for the evening’s proceedings including the two minute time allotment for each speaker.

The Manager of Planning provided a summary of the most recent draft of the Official Community Plan (OCP).

Public comments:
Reiner Specht, Port Moody, expressed his opposition to the draft OCP. He stated that the community will lose what they value most, namely the small town feel, charm and ambiance.

Elaine Golds, Port Moody, expressed her concern that the City has not done enough to advertise these events. She noted that the new OCP has too much growth in too short of time, there is not enough responsible language or safeguards within the OCP regarding floor space ratios given for the high rise towers as well as no specifications given for percent of site coverage or units per hectare. She is concerned about the Charles Street area which is proposed for 6 storey buildings on land that is subject to landslides. She is also concerned about the protection of creeks and there not being adequate setbacks.

Ruth Foster, Belcarra, expressed concern regarding lack of green spaces and the need for useable, nearby and accessable parkland. She is concerned about the Mill and Timber property proposed designation with its high density and restriction to the waterfront. Would like the City to increase shoreline access and a significant expansion of Shoreline Park. She further noted that the land could be used for a signature Marine Science Centre.

Hazel Mason, Port Moody, President of the Moody Centre Community Association, expressed concern that the new draft did not seem to reflect the information that was provided at the previous Town Hall meetings. She expressed concern with the lack of opportunity for people to provide comment. She feels that the community does not support massive densification as was noted in the City Report summary.

Bob McCarthy, Port Moody, expressed the importance of consultation and engagement with citizens. He expressed concern with the population growth numbers and questioned why Port Moody should go from 30,000 to 50,000 to 60,000? Concerned about the lack of green space and access to recreation.

Adrianne Fitzhenry, Port Moody, expressed her opposition to the OCP Plan for the Oceanfront District Flavelle Cedar Mill Site E. She would like to see the land remediated, converted to a more natural habitat and incorporated into Rocky Point Park without medium and high rise forms up to 28 stories. She would like the creeks to be further daylighted to aid the wildlife.

Ron Simpson, Port Moody, noted that he lives on Newport Drive, and expressed his concern with the amount of skyscrapers being built and that the Evergreen Line is being built to serve an established ridership. He further noted that proposed densities don’t fit with the OCP vision stated of a small town feel. He wants future growth of a human scale.

George Assaf, Port Moody, expressed concern with the proposed OCP draft and referred to it as a developer’s dream. He feels the vision being presented in the OCP is wrong. He feels there is room for additional population growth. He is concerned with the 28 storey high rises being considered for the Flavelle Cedar Mill Area E site. Would like to see a world class institution for research into marine habitats developed there.

Bijan Roghani, Port Moody, asked what the difference is between False Creek, downtown and our inlet. He noted that the OCP will bring more life into our community and more opportunity to our environment. He thinks it is better to change the waterfront from industrial to other uses. He expressed his support for the OCP.

Rod MacVicar, Port Moody, Heritage Mountain resident of 27 years – is also the 2012 Environment Award winner. He does not see enough information contained in the OCP regarding our greatest asset which is the harbour, and access to the ocean. He noted that you can build high rises anywhere but there is only one waterfront. He encouraged the City to purchase the Flavelle Cedar Mill site.

Jim Millar, Port Moody, expressed concern about the four pillars and noted that he does not believe this OCP addresses them. Did Port Moody meet the carbon neutral target in 2012? Greenhouse gas emission targets need to be included in OCP? What milestones from the partners for climate protection program have been attained and what milestones are planned to be attained in this OCP?

Jamie Howard, Port Moody – Rocky Point Centre, noted that the biggest challenge to the OCP process is that the public have to make decisions on building forms while not having all the information in front of them. The OCP should not restrict development proposals from going forward and have reasonable flexibility built in.

Jacquie Boyer, Port Moody, expressed concern regarding the impact of OCP on the library. She noted that the library needs to be expanded at this time even without the anticipated population increase. She noted that other amenities such as the fields and the recreation centre will also have the same issues.

Wendy Swalwell, Port Moody, Chair of Legion Redevelopment Committee, expressed concern with the redevelopment of Spring Street and the proposal to change it to pedestrian or bicycle access only. There are businesses in the area that need to have vehicular access to their properties. She asked that the City request the Evergreen Line developers to fund a bike lane down Clarke Street. She expressed concern regarding upzoning to the Andres property when it backs onto a chemical plant and is located beside a creek

Linda Jackson, Port Moody – Coronation Park, referred to page 90 of the OCP and requested that density be put back into that area and that all removed lines on page 90 be put back into the OCP including the Esso and Honda. She further asked that the multi-family designation be put back.

Elaine Willis, Port Moody, expressed concern regarding the environment. She feels that the economic component in the OCP is being placed at a higher level over other more important issues.

Taryn Tilgner, Port Moody – Coronation Park, stated she would like to see the OCP reflect the Coronation Park area as a multi family designation.

Geoffrey Deacon, Port Moody – Coronation Park, stated he was in support of having Coronation Park designated multi-family.

Dean Ponto, Port Moody, expressed concern regarding development and that he also lives in Coronation Park and would like to see the area designated multi-family.

Gerry Moss, Port Moody, noted that he was grateful to see something in Chapter 15 regarding a future development of a cultural facility. He noted that he feels the plan is well laid out in that Council will ensure that proper design is in place so that the community will not be overburdened.

Rob Shoucair, Port Moody, noted that he was a 30 year Port Moody resident, living in the Coronation Park area and would like to see multi-family designation in the area.

Joyce Cole, Port Moody, noted that she has lived in Port Moody since 1947 and that she supports the OCP.

Cindy Gibbons, Port Moody, expressed her support for the multi-family designation in the West Port Moody area. She also expressed her concern with the height of towers in the area and that they not be built too quickly in order to see what their impact on the City would be before moving forward.

David Ritcey, Port Moody, noted that he was a resident of Port Moody for almost 10 years and that environmental issues were of concern to him. He also expressed concern that the OCP might not be economically sustainable. He expressed concern with the vision that the population might double in 30 years and that Council had not deliberated on whether this was a good idea. He expressed concern that there was no evidence or measurement given on how much commercial, retail or job related space was going to be built and no policies developed to address this. He expressed concern about the heritage district area being neglected as the other developments build up around it.

Rose McFarlane, Port Moody, noted that she had been a 30 year resident of Port Moody and that she lives in Coronation Park and supports the higher densification of the area.

Gordon Grant, Port Moody, noted that he is a resident of the Coronation Park area and supports the multi family designation of the area.

Jillian Hull, Belcarra, noted that she supports the OCP draft as it is now. She noted that even with development, the community can still retain its small time charm.

Helen Daniels, Port Moody, noted that she has been a 30 year resident and supports what has been noted in the OCP particularly in West Port Moody and would like to see some development take place in the area. She noted that Queens Street Plaza is under utilized, and that parking should be restored on Queens Street.

Kirk Seggie, Vancouver, representing Andres Wines, noted that he agrees with the proposed development framework in the OCP, for the West Port Moody Study Area as it will provide a wide range of benefits for all property owners in the area. He noted that there would be more employment opportunities, shopping opportunities and the revitalization of the Heritage District.

William Dahl, Port Moody, noted that they had moved to Port Moody because of the density and the walkability. He noted that most of the traffic is coming from single family areas. There is not the need to use vehicles in a high density area.

Bob Darnell, Port Moody, noted that he lives in the Coronation Park area and supports the multi family designation for the area.

Deb Nijdam, Port Moody, noted that she agrees with the six storey designation for the Charles Street Area rather than three storeys in order to retain some green space on the hillside. Ms. Nijdam noted that there is a need for amenities at West Port Moody so that residents may become less reliant on cars.

Anita Ericksen, Port Moody, also noted that as a resident of West Port Moody, she would like to have amenities within walking distance, and thanked Council for the improvement to the OCP.

Ilsa Leis, Port Moody, noted the importance of having more parks and public spaces. Ms. Leis is against the development of towers on the waterfront, and would like to see more green spaces.

Gerrit DeWaal, Port Moody, noted that she is pleased to see the care and attention Council has given to developing this plan, and welcomes amenities in the Seaview area.

Jessica Sargeant, Port Moody – Coronation Park, spoke in favour of increasing density in the Coronation Park area, noting that its proximity to public transportation makes it an ideal area for high-density development.

Jane Jeng, Port Moody – Coronation Park, spoke in favour of increasing density in Coronation Park, noting that its proximity to the new skytrain station makes it the best location for high-quality multi-family residential and amenities.

Cori Caulfield, Port Moody, would like to see real civic support for art spaces. Ms. Caufield proposes that dance space be identified as a community amenity that developers are required to support.

John Grasty, Port Moody, congratulated Council on engaging the entire community and doing a great job on adapting to the various changes throughout the process. Mr. Grasty congratulated Council on balancing competing priorities in this OCP.

Stirling Ward, Port Moody, noted that the community has been well-informed, and despite the intermittent disputes, the process has been successful. Mr. Ward thanked Council and staff for their work on the plan and for giving the public opportunities to provide input.

Claire Cummings, Port Moody, noted that there have been many opportunities to provide input over the last five years, and thanked Council and staff for their work on the OCP. Ms. Cummings noted that her only concern is that Port Moody should grow in a small and sensible way rather than become a sea of highrises.

Charlene Elliott, Port Moody – Coronation Park, thanked Council for keeping the Coronation Park area single family. Ms. Elliott noted the importance of keeping a wide range of housing stock available.

Darren Guy, Port Moody – Coronation Park, noted that sustainable and green development means going up rather than going out. Mr. Guy noted that Coronation Park is old and should be redeveloped. Mr. Guy noted that the single family homes of the 1950s are coming to an end and he is glad to see them go.

Janet Yu, Port Moody, noted that she fully supports this OCP. Ms. Yu noted that the south side of the 2200 block of Clarke Street should also be zoned six storeys to match the north side of the same block.

Ken Tough, Port Moody, expressed concerns about pedestrian access across St. Johns, Murray, and Columbia and asked whether it would be possible to trade density among lots. Mr. Tough is most concerned with the development of the Oceanfront area, and urged Council to take the opportunity to preserve the Oceanfront area

Chris Rowe, Port Moody, acknowledged the hard work that Council has done on the OCP and expressed frustration with the assumption that increasing density is not an option but a necessity. Mr. Rowe urged Council to consider preserving the waterfront as a legacy for future generations.

Willy Martin, Port Moody, requested that serious consideration be given to providing infrastructure for those with impaired mobility. Ms. Martin urged the City to include handicapped parking on public property so that their use can be enforced by the City. Ms. Martin also urged the City to ensure that single family homes continue to be developed.

Frederico de Giuli, Port Moody, noted that increases in density are unavoidable and must be planned for. Mr. de Giuli requested clarification on the proposed density and forms in particular areas, and suggested that emergency planning information be included regarding the CP right-of-way.

Roxanne Reis, Port Moody – Coronation Park, noted that she is in favour of re-designating Coronation Park as a multi-family zone. Ms. Reis would like to see strong work, live, and grow communities, with developments ranging between three and twenty floors, with the first few floors for various institutional uses. Ms. Reis supports preserving Area E for a marine research facility.

David Lank, Port Moody, noted that development will happen, and urged Council to be more aggressive with pursuing handicap parking and facilities for seniors to age in place. Mr. Lank noted that he would be happy to help pay for maintaining Area E as a public space.

Tyler Brown, Port Moody, thanked Council for visiting Coronation Park in the summer and noted that many residents of Coronation Park are proud of their neighbourhood and happy with the OCP in its current form.

Valentin Constatinescu, Port Moody, suggested having a referendum on the OCP.

Victoria Long, Port Moody, thanked Council for their responsiveness and openness. Ms. Long noted that she is not at all against development, but is concerned with traffic issues.

Mike Botic, Port Moody, noted that many valid points have been raised, but that the OCP is a 30 year vision for the future of Port Moody. Mr. Botic agreed that area E has a potential to be something natural, and that both its economic and environmental value should be taken into consideration. Mr. Botic also raised concerns about transportation.

Jason McLachlan, Port Moody, noted that he is a resident of Coronation Park and is proud of his home and his neighbourhood. Mr. McLachlan does not support increasing the height allowance in Coronation Park, and proposes subdivision as a means of increasing density.

Colin Godwin, Port Moody, supports the idea of having an ecological reserve in Area E, and noted that with his experience as a geological engineer, he can confirm that large buildings cannot be built on landfills.

Eric Kalnins, Port Moody, questions whether densification makes sense and whether developments pay for themselves or not. Mr. Kalnins noted that as the City has grown, his taxes have steadily increased.

Kirsten Gerllays, Port Moody, noted that she has a heritage home in the Heritage Conservation Area, and that there would be insufficient transition between that and a high-rise tower at the old Barnet Hotel site.

David Querbach, Port Moody, noted that he is against having tall buildings across the street from his split-level single family home. Mr. Querbach noted that if height is required to financially justify building a bridge to access the waterfront area, it may be that the area should not be developed. Mr. Querbach noted that owning a large lot should not entitle a landowner to build a large development that could be sold in a single transaction.

Melissa Chaun, Port Moody, noted that Area E should be reserved for an International Centre for Marine Science Research, modelled after the Scripps Institute of Oceanography at La Jolla, California. Ms. Chaun noted that Port Moody has the largest wet berth in Canada and is well placed for marine research and conservation.

Lindsay MacDonald, Port Moody, noted that she abhors the proposed Official Community Plan in its current format, noting that there is a need for childcare, transportation for childcare, recreational facilities, libraries, health care, and traffic circles. Ms. MacDonald encouraged Council to make changes incrementally and review those changes regularly rather than propose drastic changes all at once.

David Gray, Port Moody, wished the record to indicate that building on fill is viable, and that towers at the end of False Creek are built on fill. Mr. Gray noted that industries pay high taxes that make it possible for the City to defray various civic expenses, and that park land, green spaces and public institutions must be paid for.

Melissa Chaun, Port Moody, spoke once again and noted that citizens of the modern world struggle with increasing dissociation from their environment, and that their vision has been affected by their language. Ms. Chaun noted that architectural renderings and artist’s drawings can create false optimism.

Lindsay MacDonald, Port Moody, spoke once again and thanked Council for being open and consultative. Ms. MacDonald noted that developers will build to the maximum allowable density in any zone, and that she hopes Council will make the changes to the OCP requested by the community.

Two petitions were received:

• 3001 Terravista Place residents, and,

• Coronation Park residents.

Members of Council then provided closing comments.

Councillor Elliott thanked the public for their participation in the OCP process, and noted that issues of transportation will have to be addressed, especially as three quarters of the traffic through the City originates east of Port Moody, where development continues. Councillor Elliott voiced his support for the whole of Port Moody.

Councillor Small noted that the level of community engagement and participation is encouraging, and will help ensure that the new Official Community Plan is the residents’ vision for Port Moody. Councillor Small noted that the goal of this OCP is to make Port Moody a liveable community for everyone.

Councillor Glumac expressed his support for re-examining the waterfront district and considering leaving a legacy of green spaces for future generations. Councillor Glumac also noted his support for reducing population estimates and density, increasing recreational and artistic spaces, daylighting creeks, pedestrian overpasses on St Johns Street, and a regional transportation plan.

Councillor Dilworth spoke on the importance of hearing from all sides, and recalled the vigorous debates that took place in the past about areas three and four, and Newport Village, and how those discussions contributed to community dialogue and progress. Councillor Dilworth noted that she looks forward to further discussions and collaboration.

Councillor Royer noted that she is an advocate for protecting the environment and wildlife, and will be ensuring that amenities are made available in West Port Moody. Councillor Royer shared her vision for the City of Port Moody.

Councillor Nuttall noted that coming up with a vision for the future of Port Moody is Council’s number one priority, and assured residents that he will take all their input into consideration when debating the Official Community Plan at a future meeting of Council.

Mayor Clay spoke about the difficulty of balancing the competing views of community members and thanked residents for attending the meeting to provide their input. Mayor Clay noted that the evening’s input will be forwarded to the Council meeting on December 10, 2013, and further debates and public consultations will be take place in the new year

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