The redevelopment of Port Moody's Coronation Park neighbourhood is taking another step forward but its residents remain split between those who are keen to see the area change and those who want to stay in their homes.
At Tuesday's meeting, council's committee of the whole endorsed the recommended land use concept plan that features a series of highrise residential and mixed-use towers along Barnet Highway, Ioco Road and Guildford Way, with a mix of townhomes and apartments up to the Coquitlam boundary on Balmoral.
A new park (0.4 hectares, or one acre) and a pedestrian overpass to the Inlet Centre Evergreen Line station are also on the books, as is new vehicle access to Coronation Park.
The plan envisions a community built on transit-oriented design (TOD) principles, given its proximity to SkyTrain, a prospect many supported.
"It would provide house options within a vibrant community environment," said one Balmoral Drive resident. "The world is changing and so should Coronation Park."
Others spoke about their adult children who need more affordable housing in the city where they grew up or seniors who would like to downsize, the benefits of having a more densified neighbourhood near SkyTrain, and the need to revitalize the aging area.
Sharon Barons said she just wants council to "get on with it," because she is effectively trapped in a home that needs significant repairs.
But not all are keen to see Coronation Park become the next Suterbrook.
"I am in total opposition," said Tyler Brown. "Alternatively, I would support sensitive infill — duplexes, triplexes, townhomes — that would keep it sustainable while maintaining the livability and character" of Coronation Park.
Another resident said she and her family moved from Vancouver five years ago and want to raise their young children in their home and enjoy the accessibility to nearby amenities.
Most council members expressed support for the proposal, acknowledging that the two-year process to date has left homeowners in a difficult limbo.
"The general feeling is we need to move something forward, and this is a good starting point," said Mayor Mike Clay.
Coun. Meghan Lahti stressed the proposal is a beginning concept that will change many times over the years to come. "What it's indicating is the level of density that's being proposed," which would boost Coronation Park's population from about 500 today to nearly 4,500, or double the number of Suterbrook residents.
City staff will also be bringing forward reports on proposed density bonus and community amenity contribution programs, as well as a new development cost charge bylaw that would assist in financing amenities in Coronation Park and across the city as development pressures increase.