Letter: PoMo 'Metrotownification' complete BS at crucial moment

The Editor,

From interest I received from a comment I made on a Facebook group post a few weeks ago about the actual number of building permits issued during former Port Moody mayor Mike Clay's seven-year tenure, I decided to dig a bit deeper.

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I shared the total number of permits issued by Port Moody between 2012 and 2018, which was 692, or fewer than 100 per year, when our Metro Vancouver Regional Growth Strategy (RGS) target is about 500 per year.

More than eight to 10 years ago, the Pitt River Bridge, the David Avenue connector, East Road in Anmore and the Coast Meridian Overpass in Port Coquitlam were all built to support regional demand, and all of these infrastructure projects have caused increased traffic volumes through the Tri-Cities.

Most of the added traffic over the last decade is coming to Port Moody from elsewhere, and here are some numbers just from Coquitlam that may help shed some light. The actual number of building permits issued in Coquitlam:

• 2012 — 951;

• 2013 — 868;

• 2014 — 881;

• 2015 — 900;

• 2016 — 1041;

• 2017 — 928;

• and, in 2018 — 864.

That totals 6,433 building permits versus, over the same period, Port Moody's total of 692 and an average of more than 900 permits per year just for Coquitlam compared to Port Moody’s average of fewer than 100. 

We know the resulting added Coquitlam traffic moves throughout the Tri-Cities, so it doesn’t all come through Port Moody but the big chunk of building activity on the north side of Coquitlam alone — City Centre and Burke Mountain — has had a major traffic impact here.

Amongst the myths being spread door-to-door during last fall's election campaign that scared so many residents was that growth in Port Moody was happening too fast. Remember claims of "tsunamis of towers" and the “metrotownification” of our city? Many residents were led to believe that we must slow down our measly 100 permits per year to minimize Port Moody traffic and voted accordingly. It was complete BS.

In Port Moody, we committed to our Metro partners (through the RGS) to have a population of more than 39,000 by 2021 but, as a result of the lack of growth, our population is at about 33,500.

This shortfall in growth is a lost opportunity at a crucial time when the city is looking for much needed revenue, and now Council has charged the city's Citizen Advisory Group to look at revenue diversification at an upcoming June 12 meeting.

John Grasty, Port Moody

Correction: This letter has been changed from the original version, which incorrectly referred to units rather than building permits in two instances.

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