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Changes in store for Moody's core

An artist
An artist's rendering of the potential changes for Moody Centre, under the draft official community plan that was presented to PoMo's committee of the whole Tuesday.
— image credit: SUBMITTED GRAPHIC

Port Moody's vision for a post-Evergreen Line community includes new mixed-use neighbourhoods, walkable neighbourhoods and even high-density towers in Moody Centre.

The draft of the official community plan update, which has been in the works since shovels went in the ground for Evergreen, was presented to council's committee of the whole on Tuesday. It pulls together information a public survey, public input session and a design charette and offers the following changes:

• Western end of Moody Centre, next to Barnet Highway: Pictured as PoMo's western gateway, the proposed changes will bring in more commercial space to serve local residents. Increased density comes with buildings ranging from six to 12 storeys, with multi-family residential development encouraged.

• Queens Street to Moody Street: This area will serve as a transition between residential areas to the west and higher density mixed uses to the east. Substantial residential and commercial density is permitted in buildings up to six storeys.

• Mill and Timber sawmill site: Should it one day be up for redevelopment the so-called Waterfront Village allows for residential, commercial, marina, light industrial, institutional and public open space uses in buildings of up to 12 storeys. The area has been designated a Special Study Area, requiring a local area development plan be offered with any redevelopment proposal. There is an emphasis on public access to the waterfront, view preservation and siting that minimizes conflict with neighbouring industrial uses.

• Central Moody Centre: The area surrounding the Moody Centre Evergreen Station will offer a high concentration of commercial and residential uses guided by transit-oriented development principles. The pedestrian-friendly area will offer a mix of low, mid and high rise forms with a number of shops and services. Building heights proposed are up to 20 storeys.

• Inlet Centre/Ioco Station Area: Similar to the Moody Centre Station area, the Inlet Centre stop will also become a walkable neighbourhood, with proposed building heights up to 30 storeys. The Heritage Mountain Shoppers Mall, located about 800 metres from the station, will also offer mixed uses but with a maximum height of six storeys.

Coun. Rick Glumac said the draft OCP offers a "clear vision of what the community would like to see 10 to 15 years down the road," but added there may be some disagreement on some of the higher densities being proposed for Moody Centre.

"I know from a lot of the comments from the public there are concerns it's going too high and it's going too Metrotown...and we have to preserve our community feel," Glumac said. "It's definitely acknowledging that the Evergreen Line is on its way. The most important thing from my perspective is whether we are articulating a vision for a future that is clear and that the community can look at and understand where we're going."

Wendy Swalwell, president of the Moody Centre Community Association, took issue with zoning that seems to be "split" within the same block and how that would affect neighbours, and that there is too much density being proposed.

"The density is way more than what any resident I've ever talked to has wanted or mentioned," she said. Swalwell suspects the number of towers comes from the June design charette, where she believes developers and architects far outnumbered residents.

She's planning to organize some Q&A sessions with city council and staff, where Moody Centre residents can find out more about the plan.

Coun. Diana Dilworth noted the draft OCP puts the city in the right direction after years of uncertainty.

"We have one chance to get this right and this is the time," Dilworth said, but they need plenty of public input to ensure the OCP that's eventually approved is the community's vision.

"I'm really excited about it," Dilworth added. "It's not just any OCP that is going to be the framework for the next five to seven years. We're really making decisions that are going to affect the next 20, 30, 40 years in Port Moody, and that's why it's so important."

The draft OCP, which included a number of amendments added by council at the committee-of-the-whole meeting, will be endorsed at next Tuesday's special council meeting. A public input session is planned for Jan. 13, after which it will go back to staff for further review.

AFFORDABLE HOUSING

Sandy Burpee, chair of the Tri-Cities Homelessness Task Group, appeared as a delegation at Tuesday's meeting to encourage council to incorporate affordable housing strategies into the official community plan update.

He warned that Evergreen Line redevelopment will likely put rental housing at risk, something that he's already seeing in Burquitlam.

"We have an opportunity to create affordable housing stock, both rental and ownership, particularly close to transit stations that support households dependent on transit," Burpee said.

Burpee suggested the city partner with developers to facilitate affordable housing for low to moderate-income households, and develop a rental replacement policy that will mitigate losses due to stratification or redevelopment of rental properties.

 

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