April 1,2014 Land Use
Land Use Committee
Report: Land Use Committee, dated March 25, 2014 / File: 01-0360-20-01
The Manager of Planning provided an overview of the 2013 Land Use Committee Annual Report.
Moved, seconded and CARRIED
THAT the 2013 Land Use Committee Annual Report be received.
Report: Development Services – Planning Division, dated March 25, 2014 / File: 13-6430-08
The Manager of Planning provided an overview of the Official Community Plan update process, including recent changes, timelines and processes. The floor was opened for public input and the following comments were received.
Cathy Cena, Port Moody, congratulated Council on the current draft of the Official Community Plan, noting that the vision encompasses growth, new amenities, and investment in the community. Ms. Cena noted that having a business district accessible by transit and on foot will benefit local businesses, and that she looks forward to a vibrant, revitalized Port Moody.
Reiner Specht, Port Moody, expressed his opposition to the Official Community Plan, stating that Council has failed to determine the vision for the city of small town versus high-rises. Mr. Specht noted that Council has failed to provide specific information such as units per acre, floor space ratio, lot coverage, heights, and setbacks. Mr. Specht noted that his surveys indicate that residents do not want more high-rises, and want building heights limited to 3 or 4 storeys. Mr. Specht also noted his opposition to the population growth estimate.
Sheila Alwell, Port Moody, noted that she is proud of being part of the community, and is looking forward to the changes. Ms. Alwell noted that access to local dining and businesses will bring more people into the City of the Arts. Ms. Alwell expressed her support for community revitalization, and the development of a vibrant arts community and thriving heritage district. Ms. Alwell also stated her support for the performance arts centre, noting that the development will bring tourism to Port Moody. Ms. Alwell thanked Council for the work they have put into the Official Community Plan.
Deb Nijdam, Port Moody, noted that there have been significant changes to the City of Port Moody, and that Council should move ahead with the Official Community Plan. Ms. Nijdam noted that it is not practical to try to achieve consensus, and that Council should proceed with the Official Community Plan as is.
Elaine Golds, Port Moody, asked for information on the next steps in the process of the Official Community Plan, and noted that approximate density must be included. Dr. Golds also expressed concerns over the weakening of environmental protection provisions in the latest draft, and requested that the policies regarding the protection of trees and nesting birds be reverted to the wording in previous drafts that required rather than encouraged protection.
The General Manager of Development Services provided information on the Official Community Planning process, noting that the draft will be forwarded for Council consideration on April 8, 2014, and that public input will be received up to the close of the Public Hearing, which has yet to be scheduled. At the request of the Chair, the General Manager of Development Services also provided further information on what happens after the public hearing, and on the requirements to include density in the Official Community Plan.
Hazel Mason, Port Moody, noted that she is not in favour of the Official Community Plan as drafted and suggested that Council does not have the mandate to move forward with the plan. Ms. Mason noted that all zoning bylaws will have to be amended to comply with the new Official Community Plan, and indicated that the Kyle Centre, Moody Elementary School, and other public places should not be rezoned without going to a city-wide referendum. Ms. Mason also commented on the importance of industrial land, rail corridors, tourism, park land, etc.
At the request of the Chair, the General Manager of Development Services provided information on the purpose of the Official Community Plan, noting that it neither authorizes any development nor grants any additional development rights to property owners, and that there are no requirements to change any zoning bylaws upon adoption. The General Manager of Development Services noted that cities are legislatively required to adopt an Official Community Plan, and that the City is currently behind schedule as the Regional Context Statement was to be submitted by July of 2013.
Bruce Gibson, representative of Mill and Timber, spoke about his organization’s participation in the Official Community Planning process, and their willingness to receive feedback from the community. Mr. Gibson noted that while the company has chosen to participate in the visioning process, it continues to operate as a sawmill, and has no current plans to cease operating as such. Mr. Gibson noted that an additional shift has been added to the sawmill operations, and more additional shifts are expected to be added, with operations eventually expanding to 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Dennis Cole, Port Moody, spoke about growing up in Port Moody. He said that everyone he has talked to about the Official Community Plan is supportive of the process and of what is being proposed.
Helen Daniels, local business owner, said that she supports growth and revitalization of the Moody Centre area. She noted that more development leads to more services and a better quality of life. Ms. Daniels expressed hope that Port Moody can build on the City of the Arts theme and become recognized as a destination for the arts. She asked that parking be restored in the Queen Street Plaza area.
At the request of the Chair, the General Manager of Development Services reported that the Engineering Department is looking into the parking issue and will provide follow-up information.
Janet Yu, Port Moody, said that she is in favour of the Official Community Plan. She noted that there is increased demand for housing and is in support of higher buildings in west Port Moody. Ms. Yu requested that Council consider the request from the south side of the 2200 block of Clarke Street to increase the maximum height of that block to 6 storeys to match the maximum height on the other side of the street.
John Grasty, Port Moody, expressed concern that some of the discussion seems to be a repetition of early stage discussions. Mr. Grasty noted that everyone has had ample opportunity to provide input, and that leadership and decisiveness is now required.
Phil Boname noted that he was speaking on behalf of Andrew Peller, who is in favour of the Official Community Plan. Mr. Boname said that Peller Estates supports high quality mixed-use development that takes environmental, social and economic sustainability into consideration.
Reiner Specht, Port Moody, said he appreciates the work that has gone into the Official Community Planning process, but feels there are still many deficiencies in the plan. Mr. Specht explained that, given the population increase, Council has failed to identify sufficient park space and amenities within walking distance of residential development areas. He noted that a transportation master plan has not been provided and there is no financial plan to support growth. Mr. Specht said he does not want a plan that supports the development industry, but rather a plan that is supported by the majority of residents in the community.
At the request of the Chair, the General Manager of Development Services explained that there are a number of studies currently under way, including a Parks and Recreation Master Plan and Master Transportation Plan. He noted that the Official Community Plan will inform these plans in terms of proposed density, but as real changes to density require actual development, it would be difficult to predict where parks and amenities should be located until applications are received.
Councillor Glumac asked whether the Parks and Recreation Master Plan process would look at expanding existing park spaces.
At the request of the Chair, the Manager of Planning noted that all options are being considered.
Sharon Dias, Port Moody, said that she is excited about the Official Community Plan, and requested information on the expected timeline for its implementation upon approval.
At the request of the Chair, the General Manager of Development clarified that the Official Community Plan only serves as a long-term vision for the City, and is not a development plan that the City plans to carry out. The speed and type of development will be controlled by property owners.
Jacquie Boyer, Port Moody, said she is concerned about park space, environmental issues, and height restrictions. She commented that it is important for Port Moody to be unique in order to bring more people to the city.
Elaine Golds, Port Moody, expressed concern about the weakening of protection for trees and birds in the Official Community Plan. Dr. Golds noted that she would like to see more discussion on creating public open spaces in the city, and adding more playing fields for children and families without sacrificing trees in the area. Ms. Golds noted that the stream map included in the Official Community Plan is missing several tributaries that should be included.
At the request of the Chair, the Manager of Planning explained that the stream map is based on an Environmentally Sensitive Areas (ESA) map, but it will be updated to include more details following an update to the City’s Environmentally Sensitive Areas Management Strategy
Hazel Mason, Port Moody, suggested that all zoning bylaws will have to be amended to match the new Official Community Plan. Ms. Mason requested that members of Council and the Land Use Committee ensure that they have no direct or indirect conflicts of interest.
Bob McCarthey, Port Moody, expressed concern that the entire population growth plan appears to be focused around the Moody Centre area, and noted that parks and transportation issues should be considered before the population grows rather than after.
Cori Caulfield, Port Moody, said that she is excited for the growth in Port Moody and feels that the Official Community Plan would bring about positive change. Ms. Caulfield supports the development of a performing arts centre in the city and urged the Committee to support the Official Community Plan.
Deb Nijdam, Port Moody, expressed concern about the lack of amenities in her neighbourhood. Ms. Nijdam noted that enough discussion has taken place, and that it is time to move forward with the Official Community Plan.
Chair Royer opened the floor to comments from Land Use Committee members.
Robert Starcevich noted his support for the Official Community Plan, noting that it provides a vision for the community. Mr. Starcevich noted that every development application will go through a rigorous process, and encouraged people to continue participating in those public processes.
Natalie Pullman expressed support for increasing park space and community amenities, especially in the Westport area.
Hylkije Gollopeni expressed support for the Official Community Plan, but noted her concerned about population growth, park space and community needs. She expressed hope that compromise can be reached between the residents and developers in the future.
Glen MacRae expressed support for the Official Community Plan as it has been presented, and noted that he sees ample opportunity to further develop the vision over time.
Bob Charbonneau noted that all of the input to the Official Community Plan has been well balanced, and that it is impossible to please everyone. Mr. Charbonneau noted that this document should provide direction for development of the community over the next 30 years.
Chris Carter noted that the Official Community Plan encompasses balanced growth and mixed density, and will ensure a balanced community for years to come. Mr. Carter also agreed that there is a need for more parks and green spaces.
Councillor Gerry Nuttall thanked everyone for their comments and noted that the Official Community Planning process has been thorough, and that he feels that the document is now ready to go to Council.
Councillor Diana Dilworth noted her support for the Official Community Plan from a land use perspective.
Councillor Rick Glumac expressed concerns regarding density, and noted that he believes density figures should be included in the Official Community Plan.
Councillor Rosemary Small thanked the public for their participation and noted that they will have an opportunity to discuss specific concerns each time a development is proposed. Councillor Small noted the importance of moving forward with the vision document.
Councillor Bob Elliott noted his support for the Official Community Plan and noted that it is document that sets out the vision for the community, and not a development plan.
Mayor Mike Clay thanked the committee members for their time and dedication.
Councillor Zoe Royer, Chair, thanked the public for their participation, and noted that she has concerns with the language in the Official Community Plan.
Moved, seconded and CARRIED
THAT the proposed Official Community Plan Bylaw, 2014, No. 2955 be supported.
(Voting against: Councillors Glumac and Royer)