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Options altered in plans for Moody's Inlet Park

Port Moody staff will go back to the drawing board on plans for Inlet Park's redevelopment.

Port Moody staff will go back to the drawing board on plans for Inlet Park's redevelopment.

Following public input open houses in 2010 and 2011, as well as trips through the parks and recreation, environmental protection and community care committees, three options were up for council consideration at Tuesday's meeting. None garnered a clear majority of support, other than a heavily modified Option C.

Plans for Option C meet more of the Port Moody Soccer Club (PMSC) and Port Moody Amateur Softball Association's (PMASA) requirements: a softball field, two soccer fields, a field house, batting cage, 104 parking stalls and better site access.

About 74% of 216 commenters at a September 2011 open house favoured this option, the most expensive of the three at $5.7 million, though some have suggested most of those respondents were part of the Inlet Park user groups.

The larger footprint of Option C means a significant encroachment into surrounding natural areas, according to the consultant's report. Mayor Mike Clay suggested the north-south field alignment means cutting down trees identified as "less significant" than if the redevelopment were further east.

Option A ($3.7 million) features a single softball diamond and overlapping soccer field with 41 parking stalls, with site access next to the neighbouring industrial property. Only 10% (29 respondents) supported Option A at the September 2011 open house, although it offers the most environmentally sensitive approach, with minimal tree removal and encroachment into neighbouring natural areas.

Option B ($3.8 million), also with a ball diamond and overlapping soccer field, has 81 parking stalls and requires significant clearing on the east side of the site. About 22% (64 respondents) supported it at the open house.

At Tuesday's council meeting, Coun. Rosemary Small said getting corporate sponsorship for the field would be the most financially prudent approach, adding 261 respondents may not offer a true picture of residents' thoughts on the park's redevelopment.

"I don't know that people understood the financial implications with each option" at the open house, said Coun. Diana Dilworth, noting she is against Option C. "I don't think the status quo is the responsible place to be... and I hope we can move forward in baby steps."

Mayor Mike Clay agreed with Coun. Gerry Nuttall's motion to modify Option C to have one field in a north-south alignment.

Dilworth said she would support a revised Option C going back to staff for a detailed update on costs, followed by another opportunity for public input with more information on the financial implications.

Council approved the motion, with staff to report back on a single-field version of Option C with a north-south alignment on the western edge, with no encroachment to the east of the site.

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