Re: Letter: We should be welcoming development with open arms in Port Moody (Nov. 29, 2021).
While I realize this has been emotional and difficult for many residents, it's not the city who asked Coronation Park residents to lobby for a high-density OCP change.
London Pacific land assemblers have been involved for years, and provided speaking points to residents for council public input.
London Pacific dangled the prospect of big payouts to property owners to sign-on for land assembly.
Eventually, in 2017, an OCP amendment was approved — though not for the scale of what's now proposed by Wesgroup.
Unfortunately, the OCP change had some unintended consequences such as higher property assessments, though it's important to note that owner-occupiers for 10 or more years qualify for taxation based on "actual" — not "potential" use — so long-timers aren't stuck with highly elevated assessments and tax bills.
Unfortunately, if they want to get out of their land use contracts and sell independently it could be more difficult because new owners would not qualify for the tax relief.
More recently it's been development company Wesgroup providing the talking points.
It's been a very messy saga, and stressful and sad for many good people.
Anyone considering signing on to a land assembly contract should get independent legal advice.
Has past and current council's handling of this been perfect? I don't think so.
But it's disingenuous to point fingers only at city hall.
And let's remember this proposal represents a very big change and projects of this scale need careful planning and scrutiny.
- H. Mason, Port Moody