July 15,2010 Tri City News

By Sarah Payne - The Tri-City News
Published: July 15, 2010 5:00 PM

Port Moody council is officially backing a request for an additional station on the Evergreen Line in the western part of downtown.

The resolution came after a lengthy discussion on station locations that arose while council was considering third reading of the draft official community plan, which passed with relatively little fanfare.

Robert Simons and John Grasty of the Western Station Committee both spoke in favour of an Evergreen Station west of Elgin Street as well as an OCP that envisions transit-oriented development in that area.

“The city’s official community plan is intended to reflect the vision and aspirations of the citizens of Port Moody, and how we see the community evolving in the context of an environmental, economic and socially sustainable city over the medium and long term,” Simons said. “Today’s council... ignores the development opportunities that can be realized even in the absence of rapid transportation.”

Council didn’t stray from its policy of allowing no new residential growth but it did reaffirm its support for a western station.

In its list of 32 requirements to accept the Evergreen Line, submitted in 2008, Port Moody demanded a station within one block of Queen Street and another near Moray Street to integrate with the West Coast Express.

Instead, Evergreen planners have opted for stations at the WCE station and at St. Johns Street and Ioco Road.

“If there’s going to be two stations... the second should be a western station,” Mayor Joe Trasolini said, noting most commuters using the WCE and Evergreen Line will transfer between the two at Coquitlam.

“The priority is wrongly placed as to the location of the second station. There’s more potential on the west,” he said, “and if we don’t do that it leaves a long gap of no service from William Street up to the top of Snake Hill.

“Frankly, one could say a station at the West Coast Express may not be needed.”

Coun. Diana Dilworth cautioned that TransLink has made clear it expects transit-oriented development around stations and residents should be prepared for neighbourhoods similar to Newport Village, Suter Brook and Burnaby’s Metrotown to emerge in Port Moody.

Council voted to inform Evergreen planners of its wish for a station at Elgin Street and St. Johns/Ioco — a decision the Western Station Committee calls a “milestone.”

“Council has listened to the people,” Grasty said in a release. “Our representatives have recognized that the distance between the Burquitlam station and a station near the Williams Street West Coast Express station in Port Moody is too great for the new SkyTrain to be useful to one-third of our community.”

Council passed third reading of the OCP. It will now be sent to Metro Vancouver, neighbouring municipalities, several First Nations bands and various government agencies for review. Metro Van has 120 days to consider the OCP as part of the regional context statement before returning it to PoMo for adoption.