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Letter: Inclusionary Zoning Policy in Port Moody will have devastating impacts on homeowners, city hall

On April 19, Port Moody city council approved an Inclusionary Zoning Policy requiring 15 per cent of new building floor area to be below-market rental, the letter writer states.

The Editor,

Did Port Moody council policy reduce property values by upwards of 20 per cent?

On April 19, Port Moody city council approved an Inclusionary Zoning Policy requiring 15 per cent of new building floor area to be below-market rental.

This policy could reduce property values in Port Moody by between 18 and 47 per cent and have a staggering impact on municipal finances. There was zero consultation done with affected property owners in Port Moody.

It is definitely important to have below-market housing in our community and many cities in the Lower Mainland are achieving this without crippling property values.

Did the leadership at city hall and our council not care about the impact of this on residents and property owners in the city?

Prior to this going forward, the city engaged a third-party expert consultant to prepare an incredibly detailed analysis and presentation to council on the financial performance of multi-family residential development in Port Moody and the potential impact of the policy on land values in the city and on the financial viability of a below-market unit requirement.

The city was informed that this could reduce land values by between 18 and 47 per cent, in addition to diminishing the number of viable development sites by 50 to 65 per cent.

Even further, the city should expect a 40–100 per cent reduction in density bonus contributions.

What is the collective impact on the city of Port Moody as a result of this policy?

How many property owners in the city are now underwater on their mortgages because of this policy?

Will property taxes be increased yet again as a result of a reduction in property values?

In 2021, Port Moody collected more than $8 million in development density bonus contributions. If that dries up, is it coming out of taxpayers pockets?

Port Moody is already behind. We did not grow in population between 2016 and 2021 and somehow Inlet Centre SkyTrain was the only stop along the Evergreen Line to experience a loss of residents.

What did the members of council who are now running for mayor have to say about this policy?

Coun. Meghan Lahti supported the policy going forward with a 15 per cent requirement, but noted that it is important to understand the impact on viability and revisit the policy within a short period of time.

Coun. Steve Milani supported the policy moving forward, but also supported a motion by Coun. Madsen proposing to increase the requirement further.

This was also supported by Cou. Lubik but failed to get support of council.

—Mike Clark, Port Moody

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