Skip to content

New housing legislation will be 'transformative' for Port Moody: mayor

New rules mandate increased density near transit, streamlined approvals of development applications and changes to the financial contributions cities can achieve from developers.
1210-PoMoEconomicDevelopment 2w
Port Moody Mayor Meghan Lahti says she's concerned about the impacts new provincial housing legislation could have on the city, particularly its light industrial areas.

New provincial housing legislation will transform Port Moody, says the city’s mayor.

But just how the rules mandating increased density near transit and streamline consideration of development applications, as well as change the financial contributions cities can achieve from developers, will impact Port Moody is still to be determined, said Meghan Lahti.

“I’ve never seen any provincial statutes that have been so transformative,” she said Tuesday, March 12, following a presentation to council about the new legislation by social planners Liam McLellan and Shareen Chin.

They told councillors the legislation, which received royal assent last November, will require updates to the city’s zoning bylaws as well as a new housing needs report before work can continue on Port Moody’s new official community plan that serves as a blueprint for growth over the next 25 years. That plan was expected to be ready for council’s consideration by this summer, but has now been put on pause until the beginning of 2025.

McLellan said the provincial legislation is having “significant impacts” on staff workplans and the city has received $320,000 from the province to complete the work that is required.

Coun. Kyla Knowles said the new rules will have a “disproportionate effect on little Port Moody,” adding, “it is making it more difficult for us to envision the city we want rather than the city the province wants.”

Knowles said it’s imperative council keep its eyes on the prize.

“If we want to achieve affordable housing, we can’t continue to delay,” she said. “I hope all members of our council will fight for our city when the time comes.”

Coun. Haven Lurbiecki agreed.

“If this legislation won’t create the housing we need, it will be up to us to do it,” she said. “We need to stand up for the needs of the community and we have the power to do it.”

Lurbiecki said a major challenge facing Port Moody will be how to conform the new rules to the city’s unique circumstances.

“One size fits all will not work,” she said. “We’re small, we’re sandwiched by an inlet and mountains.”

Lahti said consideration also has to be given to the legislation’s unintended consequences, like the pressures increased density will inflict upon parks, health care and schools.

“We have these concerns even though they’re not part of our jurisdiction,” she said. “This is very concerning and disconcerting.”

The city's plan

Here’s what Port Moody is doing to implement the new housing regulations, according a news release from the city:

  • Update which areas of the city qualify for construction of multi-unit housing. Currently, every property in the city zoned for a single detached home, as well as some specific properties in multi-residential zones, qualify for at least three units of housing
  • The city will hold an information session to bring residents up to date and allow them to ask questions about the new regulations and their impacts
  • The city’s zoning bylaw will need to be updated, but without a public hearing
  • A bylaw will have to be drafted to accommodate the new Amenity Cost Charge (ACC) the city can require from developers to help pay for increased demands on community amenities
  • Infrastructure categories for which Development Cost Charges (DCCs) can be collected will also have to be reviewed and updated
  • Zoning bylaw to reflect changes to transit-oriented development areas will also have to be updated by June 30, 2024
  • Port Moody’s new official community plan will also be updated by Dec. 31, 2025, to reflect the new housing regulations