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Curious or concerned about new B.C. housing regulations? Port Moody wants to help bring you up to speed

The new legislation, which was enacted last year, mandates new density requirements near mass transit, among other things.
Port Moody is holding a public information session about new housing regulations on June 5.

Port Moody is hoping to lift some of the mystery and uncertainty about new provincial housing regulations.

The city is hosting a special public information session on June 5, from 5 to 7 p.m., at city hall (100 Newport Dr.).

There will be information boards in the galleria and city staff will be present to answer questions. A formal presentation will be held in the Inlet Theatre at 5:30 p.m.

Among the topics to be discussed will be zoning regulations to allow the construction of small-scale, multi-unit housing on lots near transit currently zoned for single-family homes and duplexes as well as the impacts of new density and height requirements for new developments near rapid transit facilities like SkyTrain.

Other topics to be addressed include:

  • Changes to requirements for parking and traffic management
  • Infrastructure considerations

The city is currently working on updating its zoning bylaws by June 30 to account for the new legislation that was enacted by the provincial government late last year to address the need for more housing.

In March, social planners Liam McLellan and Shareen Chin told Port Moody council the new rules are already having “significant impacts” on staff workplans and have resulted in a pause on work to create a new official community plan to guide the city’s future growth.

Coun. Kyla Knowles said the legislation is “making it more difficult for us to envision the city we want rather than the city city the province wants.”

Mayor Meghan Lahti said there’s no doubt the legislation will transform Port Moody, but the province must also be prepared to step up its role in providing infrastructure support like health care and schools.

“We have these concerns even though they’re not part of our jurisdiction.”

Among the tasks the city has to address to accommodate for the new legislation are:

  • Update the areas of the city that qualify for construction of multi-unit housing
  • Draft a new bylaw to allow for the new Amenity Cost Charge (ACC) the city can levy to developers to help pay for new community facilities
  • Review and update infrastructure categories that can be paid for through Development Cost Charges (DCCs)
  • Complete the city’s new official community plan by Dec. 31, 2025

Last September, the provincial government also mandated targets for the construction of new housing in several communities, including Port Moody.

Earlier this month, a staff report said the city is already well on its way to meeting its target for the first year, but after that the forecast gets more cloudy.

All of the information available at the public session, as well as a video recording of the formal presentation, will be posted to the city’s website after June 5, along with links to further provincial resources.