Andrés Wines proposal gets early green light at Port Moody committee

Plans for Westport Village — the project proposed for the old Andrés Wines site — cleared an early hurdle after Port Moody’s Community Planning Advisory Committee supported the proposal this week.

That support comes despite staff’s recommendation to send the project back to the drawing board for more detailed studies on geotechnical, traffic, parking and environmental concerns.

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Andrés Wines’ application for official community plan amendments and rezoning would transform the site into a high-density, mixed-use neighbourhood.

The Westport proposal includes 418 residential units, a hotel, commercial and office space, an athletic club and arts centre. But a staff report stated there isn’t enough information to support the project at this time.

“A number of background technical studies need to be completed in sufficient detail to give the city assurance that the proposed plan is viable from a number of perspectives,” the report stated. “Staff…. recommend that the application be reconsidered by [CPAC] at a future meeting once all of the detailed studies requested have been completed and evaluated.”

Staff also highlighted that the current plans would make Westport — which proposes a 32-storey tower (exceeding the 26-storey limit of the Newport, Suter Brook and Klahanie developments), a 21-storey tower and several mid-rise buildings — one of the densest developments in Port Moody. The floor area ratio would be higher than Suter Brook, Klahanie and the proposed Flavelle Oceanfront and Coronation Park developments.

And while the latter two could merit higher density because of their proximity to SkyTrain stations, staff said, the Westport site is 1.3 km away from Moody Centre Station and therefore falls outside the transit-oriented development criteria.

“Staff believe that the proposed development density is very high and should be scaled back,” primarily in the residential component but also possibly in the commercial space.

The committee opted to support the proposal to keep the process moving forward while recognizing that more technical work is required, said James Stiver, PoMo’s general manager of development services.

Staff were directed to work with Andrés to address outstanding technical issues and, if the issues can’t be resolved in the short term, that the OCP amendment move forward while the rezoning application continues to be worked on.

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