Planning for the new development at the old Ioco townsite may be hitting a road block in the form of the David Avenue extension.
Port Moody resident Hunter Madsen is spearheading efforts to prevent the planned extension through Bert Flinn Park, saying the "high-traffic corridor" would destroy the park's tranquil setting, with a website (www.savebertflinnpark.ca) and a rally outside city hall on Tuesday before a planned council meeting.
But without the extension any plans for developing the Ioco lands fizzle out, since PoMo requires a new access point to any new development in the area to relieve congestion on Ioco Road.
Architect James Cheng, who represents property owners Brilliant Circle Group, said the issue is more complex than a road dividing the park and he hopes the public will keep an open mind.
"Bert Flinn Park was never a single contiguous park, it was always bisected by this road," he said.
The David Avenue extension, most of which is a dotted line through the middle of Bert Flinn Park, has been on the map since 1984. A short, cleared section from the Heritage Mountain Boulevard roundabout to a trailhead is a popular off-leash dog area.
Cheng is proposing building the road north of the right-of-way, where there is a swath of alder trees between the cleared road and the park, to provide a noise barrier for the nearby Hett Creek residents, maintain space for the dog walkers and provide a safer parking area than the side of Heritage Mountain Boulevard.
"We figured that would be a benefit to the community and maintain the status quo for dog walkers," Cheng said.
And while he acknowledges that park users are concerned about building the road, it will also come with benefits including enhanced wildlife crossings, water servicing for Anmore, extending Bert Flinn into the Ioco lands and easing the traffic burden on Ioco.
But Madsen isn't swayed, saying the park is heavily used by people walking to the area and parking hasn't been a concern. And if the property owners develop within the current zoning in both municipalities, an extension wouldn't be necessary.
Anmore Mayor John McEwen said the extension will require a bridge over Mossom Creek, a delicate watershed and a tricky place to build given the steep grade, and the costs could put the property owners in a position to need higher density development in a village rarely keen to stray from its single-family acreage zoning.
"Nothing can happen until the whole David connector gets resolved," McEwen said, adding a suggestion from Madsen's group to build a connector between Sunnyside and Strong roads would be strongly opposed.
Cheng said they are hoping to present a comprehensive plan for the David connector to councils in Port Moody and Anmore later this month but if there is little appetite for the road any further planning would "be for naught."
"There is a way to accommodate growth and development but at the same time enhance public enjoyment of Bert Flinn Park and the waterfront," Cheng said. "We just need a chance to show people what a sensitive comprehensive development can be."