The City of Port Moody says it is conducting “an immediate in-depth review of our processes and online system requirements” after it was forced to abruptly cancel a public hearing and subsequent special council meeting for a massive redevelopment proposal of the city’s Coronation Park neighbourhood.
The cancellation of the meeting, scheduled for Tuesday evening, was announced late Monday afternoon on the city’s website, citing “an error in the required notifications.”
In an email to the Tri-City News, Port Moody’s general manager of community development, Kate Zanon, said the city received inquiries from the public Monday morning about the notification process that sparked an investigation.
Zanon said it was determined all residents in a new building in Suter Brook Village, just across Ioco Road from Coronation Park, had not received notification of the public hearing.
“This meant that our statutory requirements under the Community Charter had not been met and the public hearing was cancelled,” Zanon said, adding everyone who was scheduled to speak at the hearing was subsequently notified and the cancellation was announced on the city’s website as well as its social media channels.
The public hearing has been rescheduled for April 26.
It’s the second time this year a public hearing into a redevelopment project has been cancelled at the last minute.
In January the plug was pulled just hours before a proposal by local developer Bill Laidler for an 88-unit condo building on James Road, just across from Moody Middle School. The hearing was ultimately held March 8 and then passed by council later that evening.
According to British Columbia’s Local Government Act, public hearings must be held after first reading of bylaws related to a municipality’s official community plan, zoning, phased development agreements and termination of land use contracts and again before third reading.
Public hearings provide an opportunity for anyone who believes their interest in property affected by the proposed bylaw to state their concerns or thoughts to elected officials through a speech, presentation or written submission.
Notices of those hearings must state:
- the time and date of the hearing
- the location for the hearing and whether it will be conducted electronically or in person
- the purpose of the bylaw
- the land or lands that are the subject of the bylaw
- where and when copies of the bylaw can be inspected
If the bylaw being considered will alter the permitted use or density of any area, the notice also must include a sketch of the area that is the subject of the bylaw alteration as well as the names of adjoining roads. It also has to be mailed or otherwise delivered to owners of the affected properties, as well as property owners and residents within a radius specified by the municipality of the affected properties, at least 10 days before the scheduled hearing.
Further rules in the Community Charter require notices to be published for at least two consecutive weeks in a newspaper that is published at least weekly in the area that’s affected by the subject matter of the notice.
The proposal by Vancouver-based developer Wesgroup Properties could see the 14.8-acre Coronation Park neighbourhood across from the Inlet SkyTrain station become home to 5,000 new residents in six residential towers up to 31 storeys as well as a rental building. The project would also include a four-storey office building, a community amenity building, retail space, a daycare facility and more than 2.5 acres of public park space.
Currently the neighbourhood is comprised of 59 single-family homes.