Sep 2,2014 Land Use Committee
Report: Development Services - Planning, dated August 26, 2014 / File: 6700-20-125
The Manager of Planning provided an overview of the purpose of the application.
There were no comments from the public.
Moved, seconded and CARRIED
THAT the application for an Official Community Plan Amendment and Rezoning, to allow for the dedication of Lots 67-69 Mercier Road as parkland, be supported as presented.
Report: Development Services - Planning, dated August 26, 2014 / File: 6700-20-122
Planner Kevin Jones provided an overview of the application, noting that it includes a Greater Vancouver Regional District (GVRD) zoning amendment and a City of Port Moody zoning amendment.
Ilse Leis, Port Moody, expressed concern and surprise about the large size of the area being proposed for the rezoning, noting that she feels it is premature to make this change now.
The Planner explained that the proposal would mean simply that commercial medical marihuana production would be a permitted use in the zone, noting that there are no definite plans or applications on file to actually set up such a facility.
Yuko Suda, Port Moody, expressed agreement that medical marihuana should be available for those who need it and that it should be produced in commercial rather than residential areas. Ms. Suda commented that this rezoning may be premature, however, as the federal regulations are still new and nobody really knows what is going to happen with it
Trisha Begg, Port Moody, expressed concern that the City is being premature with this rezoning application. She commented that commercial medical marihuana production should be done in the valley rather than in an urban community such as Port Moody. Ms. Begg agreed that industrial development is important for Port Moody, but disagreed with medical marihuana production, noting that she is concerned about odours impacting surrounding areas.
Myra Duggan, Port Moody, expressed concern about medical marihuana production being permitted on private property.
The Planner reiterated that there are currently no actual applications for such a facility to be built, but rather this application simply aims to make a zoning text change to allow it as a permitted use.
Todd Ono, Port Moody, expressed concern about related crime, noting that he would like to see more studies done before the land use is changed. Mr. Ono also expressed concern about property values going down in surrounding areas.
The Planner explained that there are strict Health Canada regulations surrounding the production of medical marihuana in order to ensure the security of such sites.
Jeff Wu, Port Moody, expressed concern about the size of the area being proposed, noting that he is worried about the negative impact it may have on the image of Port Moody.
Brent Hilpert, Port Moody, asked why some other GVRD areas have not been included in the proposal.
The Planner responded that those areas do not fall under the A1* or A2* zone, so those zones would not allow such a use anyway.
Wayne Byre, Port Moody, commented that he was simply looking for confirmation that medical marihuana production would not be permitted in his neighbourhood.
Rob Davidson, Port Moody, read aloud a letter that he had submitted in writing as part of the on-table package provided to the committee. The letter expressed opposition to the proposal.
Councillor Bob Elliott commented that this issue would come back to Council no matter what decision is made by the Land Use Committee at this meeting. He noted that it would be helpful to know more about the experience of two US states that have legalized marihuana.
Councillor Diana Dilworth commented that it is ridiculous for Port Moody to consider permitting commercial medical marihuana production, noting that Health Canada has already given out 13 licences, 5 of which are in BC, so there is no need for Port Moody to do this.
Robert Charbonneau asked whether the City would be able to put restrictions on the size and type of facility if this rezoning were to go through.
The Planner explained that no restrictions were being proposed as part of the text amendment.
The Manager of Planning explained that a Development Permit would be required if changes were proposed to existing buildings.
Councillor Rick Glumac noted that the federal government put this program in place, so it is out of municipal control and debating the morality of marijuana at this level is a moot point.
Robert Starcevich commented that even if this rezoning gets approved, federal government approval would still be required to set up a production facility. He explained that he can see the benefits of such a program, but he feels that it would be virtually impossible to build the necessary facilities, asking why the City wants to move this rezoning forward on a hypothetical idea.
Glen MacRae commented that the Local Government Act requires the municipality to consider this kind of issue, noting that he has concerns about the way it has been proposed – giving private owners of a large piece of land the right to sell off their land to people interested in building a grow operation. Mr. MacRae commented that if the city is required to set aside an area in which this would be permitted, it should be done in a very constrained manner.
Chris Carter suggested that there would be value to engaging in public consultation before Council votes on this issue, noting that it would be useful to have information on what other municipalities have done.
The Manager of Planning explained that if the proposal were to be forwarded to Council, then there would be opportunity for public input during the public hearing
Mayor Mike Clay explained that under previous federal regulations, nobody knew where the licensed grow operations were located. He noted that the idea behind this rezoning application is to limit where grow operation facilities can be located. Public needs to be able to give input. If something is legal in Canada, we have to allow it somewhere. No choice.
Councillor Glumac suggested that the Suncor lands be removed from the proposed zone due to the difficulty of access for emergency services.
Councillor Dilworth asked whether the City is required to have a zone designated with commercial medical marihuana production listed as a permitted land use.
The Manager of Planning explained that it is not clear whether the City is required to designate a location for this activity.
Glen MacRae suggested that the issue be given back to staff to find the smallest possible area in which to allow it.
THAT the application to amend GVRD Zoning Bylaw (No. 511) in order to prohibit medical marihuana production uses in the Small Holding Rural Zone (A-1*) and the Extensive Rural and Recreational Zone (A-2*) lands be supported as presented.
THAT the application to amend the City of Port Moody Zoning Bylaw (No. 1890) in order to permit medical marihuana production uses in the Light Industrial (M1) and the General Industrial (M3) lands be supported as presented.
Moved, seconded and CARRIED
THAT the foregoing motion be amended to exclude the Suncor properties.
(Voting against: Councillor Small, Robert Starcevich, and Chris Carter)
Separation of the motion was requested.
The question on the first part of the motion was put and CARRIED.
The question on the second part of the motion, as amended to exclude the Suncor properties, was put and CARRIED.(Voting against: Glen MacRae, Councillors Dilworth and Royer)
Report: Development Services - Planning, dated August 26, 2014 / Public Input: Dated August 23, 2014 / File: 6700-20-119
Planner Kevin Jones provided an overview of the application.
Applicant, Duane Siegrist, provided an overview of the proposed development and the planning approach taken on the project, noting that the heritage of the overall area was taken into account.
Hazel Mason, Port Moody, commented on behalf of the Moody Centre Community Association, noting that the community would prefer to see modest infill in Moody Centre. She explained that the Association is concerned about traffic and parking in the area, and access to and from the site, as well as green space dedication. Ms. Mason noted that she would like to see the complex scaled down to house nine or ten units rather than the proposed 17 units, and would like to see it include more green space.
Saeed Eshbal, Port Moody, explained that he is the owner of a heritage home in the area and expressed concern about the lack of off-street parking in the area.
Peter Dasnieres, Port Moody, expressed concern about the retaining walls and the proposed height of the buildings, earthquake safety, and access for emergency vehicles.
The applicant explained that geotechnical studies have yet to be fully completed, and that the retaining wall along St. Johns Street belongs to the City, so it would be the City’s decision as to what should be done with that structure.
The Planner explained that the retaining wall will likely need to be replaced and that there will likely be an encroachment agreement signed between the City and the developer.
Courtney Brown, Port Moody, explained that he likes the site plan, but is concerned about traffic and parking on St. Andrews Street.
He asked for clarification on the height of the proposed buildings.
The Manager of Planning explained that staff in the Planning Department are available to answer questions and concerns about the various issues that have been identified in the area.
The applicant explained that the buildings would be a total of 20 feet high to the main roof and 30 feet to the pop-up deck roofs.
Taryn Brown, Port Moody, asked about the height of the proposed buildings in comparison to adjacent buildings and about other potential multi-dwelling proposals in the area. She expressed concern about traffic and parking on St. Andrews Street.
The Planner explained that St. Johns Street is generally zoned for multi-family.
The Manager of Planning explained that the current Official Community Plan designates multi-family and commercial / residential along St. Johns Street, noting that the designation is single family residential in the area from St. Andrews Street and back.
The applicant explained that the height of the proposed buildings would be 20 feet to the roof and 30 feet to the roof deck when viewed from St. Andrews Street.
Ali Pahlavanlu, Port Moody, expressed concern about blocked views, as well as about traffic and parking on St. Andrews Street.
Kasim Beer, Port Moody, expressed concern about traffic and parking in the area, as well as noise, noting that he doesn’t want to see the trees cut down.
James Wiseman, Port Moody, expressed concern about parking and traffic, as well as the proposed number of units. He explained that he likes the overall look of the proposal, but feels that there are too many units proposed to fit in with the neighbourhood at large.
Ilse Leis, Port Moody, expressed concern about the lack of parking for visitors to the site and noted that the proposed green space is too small for the number of units.
Saeed Eshbal, Port Moody, asked how many parking spaces are proposed for the development.
The applicant explained that there would be two spots designated per unit, plus three visitor parking spaces.
Taryn Brown, Port Moody, asked what the next step would be in this process.
The Manager of Planning explained that the next step would be First and Second Reading consideration by Council, and that staff would be working with the applicants to address concerns expressed at this meeting prior to the application going to Public Hearing.
Fred Soofi, Port Moody, commented that he feels that the public had many chances to comment on the Official Community Plan, which is the reason behind this kind of density development in the area.
Councillor Diana Dilworth noted that a traffic assessment plan is missing from the proposal.
The Planner explained that staff have not yet asked the applicant for such a plan, but will ensure that one is requested.
Mayor Mike Clay asked the applicant why they did not plan to drop the grade of the site to the same level as St. Johns Street.
The applicant explained that access is not allowed from St. Johns Street, so the slope for access from St. Andrews Street would end up being too steep for safe access to the site.
Councillor Rick Glumac commented that the parking issue needs to be addressed in the area, and suggested that perhaps the proposal is too dense for this particular site.
Councillor Rosemary Small expressed concern about the opportunity for neighbours to get information about the proposal due to the timing of the public information session. She also expressed concern about blocked views and would like to see a traffic assessment done.
Robert Starcevich expressed concern about parking in the area, noting that perhaps the Transportation Committee needs to address parking on St. Andrews Street. He noted that he likes the proposed design, but feels that traffic needs to be dealt with.
Moved, seconded and CARRIED
THAT the meeting be continued past 9:30pm.
Glen MacRae commented that this same debate will continue with many future developments, noting that the City needs to request a traffic assessment. He suggested that the City should develop its own parking regulations that are specific to individual neighbourhoods.
Councillor Glumac asked why this is a Comprehensive Development (CD) Zone rather than multi-family, and whether the CD Zone would allow commercial activity.
The Planner responded that most townhouse developments in Port Moody are in CD zones, and that no commercial activity would be permitted.
Councillor Zoë Royer commented that she is very concerned about the impact on the surrounding neighbourhood. She expressed concern that the OCP doesn’t include enough detail with regard to density, etc. and noted that she would like to see a traffic impact study.
Moved, seconded and CARRIED
THAT the application for an Official Community Plan amendment and Rezoning, to allow for a 17-unit townhouse development at 2313-2315 St. Johns Street, be supported, in principle, and that, prior to the proposal going before council for consideration, a traffic impact study and view impact study be completed.
(Voting against: Councillors Glumac and Royer)