Big changes coming for Moody Centre

Moody Centre residents who want to know more about the potential changes to their neighbourhood can attend a meeting Thursday on the city's draft official community plan update.

Port Moody council members and city staff will attend to discuss the draft OCP and answer questions at the meeting, which is being organized by the Moody Centre Community Association (MCCA).

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The group distributed a flyer to area residents that includes an overview of some of the possible changes, as well as a survey asking residents for feedback and concerns about the OCP.

"We want it to reach every Moody Centre resident because most of the densification is designated for Moody Centre," said Wendy Swalwell, president of the MCCA. "But when you actually speak to residents they're shocked at the amount of density."

Some of the proposed changes in the OCP include: a western gateway near Barnet Highway that could include commercial space and buildings of six to 12 storeys; increased commercial and residential density (up to six storeys) between Queens and Moody streets; a mixed-use Waterfront Village concept for the Mill and Timber site with buildings up to 12 storeys; and high-density residential and commercial spaces around the Moody Centre Evergreen Line station, with buildings up to 20 storeys.

Swalwell said if the plan's vision materializes, it could easily double the city's population and could put the few remaining heritage areas at risk.

City staff have been working on the OCP draft since the Evergreen Line was approved, drawing on results from a public survey, input session and design charette.

But Swalwell said Moody Centre residents haven't had much of a voice in those proceedings and she worries that developers have had too much influence.

"The process puts out a product that's very different than what residents would come up with as far as land designations and the amount of density," she said.

Another group of PoMo residents has a different take on the OCP draft.

Earlier this month, Jillian Hull of the West Port Moody Property Owners Group put a call out to Moody Centre residents, business and property owners as well as residents in Seaview, College Park and East Hill. About 40 attended a meeting, with many calling for the kind of density that would support a grocery store, services and amenities on the far western end of Port Moody, Hull said.

The group is now working on a survey based on information collected at that meeting, which will be distributed to residents and property owners from Moody Centre and west of that area.

Hull said the OCP draft is a step in the right direction.

"Without question, we need density to support services in the west," she said. "People are crying for it in College Park and Seaview but also to support the Moody Centre merchants."

Moody Centre residents can attend the OCP meeting tomorrow (Jan. 17) at 7 p.m. at the Port Moody Legion (2513 Clarke St.). Email for more information.

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