Rocky Point is busy – what should Port Moody do?

Port Moody staff is recommending the city tighten its application process for events to be held at the park

Rocky Point park is becoming so popular, a staff report to Port Moody council is recommending the city tighten its application process for events to be held there.

Council could also consider improvements to Pioneer Memorial Park, across from the Port Moody recreation complex, so some special events can be hosted there instead.

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In his report, the city's manager of cultural services, Devin Jain, said the increasing demand to hold community events at Rocky Point creates wear and tear on the grass, puts pressure on staff time and resources to support those events, and affects passive or quiet time at the park.

He suggests the city implement a scorecard to evaluate the type and frequency of events and the impact each could potentially have on the park to help determine whether an event should be permitted or continue to take place.

Jain is also recommending in his report commercially-presented events not be permitted at Rocky Point but, rather, be directed to other city parks. He said without any firm criteria to determine what kinds of commercially-presented events can be held at the park, it’s difficult to allow some, but not others.

“Commercially-presented special events have a direct benefit to the presenter,” Jain said. “Many businesses would surely like to have the ability to access the park in that manner.”

The only commercially-presented event at Rocky Point the past two years has been a summertime outdoor movie series put on by a developer.

Jain concedes the movies have been popular but he’s recommending the city consider taking over the event in 2021 and offer sponsorship opportunities to local businesses. He said that would allow the city to plan and lead the event in its own way, provide an equal opportunity to all businesses to get involved and give greater certainty that it will continue.

Jain said the city should also consider upgrades to Pioneer Memorial Park so it can become a venue for special events. He said the park’s location in a dense residential area and its proximity to transit make it worthy of upgrades such as power supply and water facilities that would be needed to accommodate events.

Meanwhile, council will also vote Tuesday whether to accept a recommendation from its finance committee to defer a master plan for Rocky Point Park to 2021 so staff can dedicate time and resources to creating an urban forest management strategy this year as part of the city’s response to climate change.

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