A proposal to build a small subdivision comprised of seven homes at the end of Foresthill Place off Ioco Road in Port Moody is still alive — nine years after it was first submitted to the city.
Tonight (Dec. 7), council will decide whether to grant a further one-year extension to the project’s proponent to get approval for a development permit, seven years after bylaw amendments required for the project to proceed were given third reading.
In a report to be presented to council, Port Moody development planner Jason Tran said a public hearing was held for the zoning amendments in 2014, and a second public hearing was convened in 2016 in relation to the closure of a road required to consolidate the undeveloped property and allow 4.07 acres of the site be turned over to the city as a passive park.
Since then, Tran said, the developer has been working with city staff on road design, as well as an adjacent driveway, while trying to address various environmental challenges related to creeks that run through the steep site.
In a letter requesting more time, the proponent, James Ling of CP Investment North America, said his company acquired the property in 2015 to continue the development process that first began in 2012 but, he added, it has “not been an easy process” to overcome some of its technical hurdles.
“We have been carrying an extensive amount of cost in professional fees to reach our current agreements with the engineering and environmental departments,” Ling wrote, adding the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic has further complicated matters.
“Now with COVID almost behind us, we are more ready than ever to finish this project through its last mile.”
The project, as it was originally conceived, consists of seven single-family homes on a 5.41-acre L-shaped property that includes two creeks: Wilkes and Bentley.
The site is also steep, with an overall gradient of 18 per cent.
In a 2014 report, city staff said the site’s steepness exceeds its bylaws that require local roads be no steeper than 12 per cent and the applicant is required to provide detailed plans to prove construction of a cul-de-sac at the end of Foresthill Place and site development can be done safely.
The report also said the project would require the setback from the two streams be allowed to be reduced to 15 metres from the 30 metres that was required at the time.
Three of the seven residential lots would also be narrower than the minimum 15 metres that the city mandates for single-family development.
Tran said while the time between third reading of bylaw amendments and adoption is usually limited to three years if an application is inactive, this one has been moving along ever-so-slowly, allowing staff to authorize extensions.
But several challenges remain if the small subdivision is to be realized, added Tran. They include:
- completion of the sale for the closed road
- a possible update to a geotechnical report
- completion of environmental reports
- provincial approval for changes to one of the creeks that would be required for the road to be built, which could take another one to two years