Plans for a new waterfront community in Port Moody could bring 7,000 people and more than 1,000 jobs to a scallop of land that for more than a century has been home to the Flavelle sawmill.
Gone will be the piles of cedar logs, the clatter of machinery and the sawdust mountains; in their place, a bustling neighbourhood of residents, workers, shoppers and park visitors is envisioned for sometime around 2040.
The Flavelle Oceanfront Development proposal features a mix of residential and office towers, shops and light industry. Of the nearly 3,400 residential units, 96% are expected to be in 11 towers ranging from 16 to 38 storeys, plus one eight-storey mid-rise building. The remainder would come with 75 live-work units and 62 units in a low-rise rental building.
Artist renderings show a neighbourhood where towers are interspersed with wide expanses of green space — 24% of the 3.1-hectare (7.5-acre) Flavelle property is dedicated to parks and open space — and framed by a seawall. A boardwalk links the eastern edge of the property over a finger of Burrard Inlet to Rocky Point Park.
Wide plazas and walkways are shown near a new dock space, similar to Vancouver's shoreline neighbourhoods like Granville Island, Yaletown and the Olympic Village.
"I look at the Flavelle site daily, I hear it nightly and I'm here to throw my support behind the redevelopment of the site," said an Alderside Road resident at Tuesday's council meeting, adding she had already "chosen" a spot for a future home in the new neighbourhood.
The proposal also includes plans for a new overpass connecting the site to Clarke Street at Mary Street in Moody Centre, to alleviate traffic concerns (the location could move as plans progress).
But the shovels in the ground are likely to be a long way off yet.
This week, council received a report that summarized the public consultation Flavelle has done to date as well as discussions with stakeholders, including Metro Vancouver, Port Metro Vancouver, area First Nations, Pacific Coast Terminals and TransLink.
Feedback received from those groups last summer included concerns about the loss of industrial land and Flavelle's proximity to a working industrial property; both PCT and the port suggest significant setback and noise mitigation measures, as well as disclosure statements on residential title alerting future residents they are moving next to a heavy industry site.
TransLink supports density near the Mood Centre Evergreen Extension station but notes any crossing of a SkyTrain line will require its approval.
In the meantime, Flavelle needs to cross several more hurdles.
The public can get a detailed look at the proposal at an open house on Jan. 26, after which it goes to the Community Planning Advisory Committee (formerly the Land Use Committee) on Feb. 7.
That feedback will then be reported back to council in late February, at which point councillors will determine whether the application should go to an OCP amendment bylaw process or if further work is needed.
Once the OCP amendment bylaw's first three readings are approved, it goes to Metro Vancouver, where it needs the board's 50% plus one support to change the property's designation from industrial to mixed-use in the Regional Growth Strategy. (In 2014, the Metro board rejected the city's application to redesignate the site as it was unwilling to give up industrial land without a compelling development plan in place).