Letter: Port Moody should 'refuse' changes to ERH land

The Editor, Re. “Housing proposed for ERH land” (The Tri-City News, March 2).

The Editor,

Re. “Housing proposed for ERH land” (The Tri-City News, March 2).

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First, the city of Port Moody should be commended for giving the public many opportunities to comment on land use. It is the latest proposed official community plan revisions that I take issue with.

It’s ludicrous that the city proposes selling public lands — the works yard and former fire hall sites — but now Eagle Ridge Hospital is proposing highrise density.

Once again, we are looking at OCP changes and that plan, which is supposed to be a long-term vision, is regularly being proposed for change in Port Moody.

The vision statement in the OCP is “maintaining the small town character of the city.” This vision has been changed to a city of towers and high-density development that is contrary to the intent of the OCP. This is not what the residents supported.

There does not appear to be any long-range planning to take into account the need for future public uses. The sky-rocketing increase in population requires hospitals, schools, libraries and recreation facilities.

The city should not be selling the fire hall and works yard land. Those sites should be preserved for future generations. Public uses such as seniors’ housing, a seniors’ centre, library and swimming pool are needed but not at the cost of having a concrete jungle of highrises and loss of our last piece of public land in the city centre.

And the city should not approve 34-storey highrises on those sites. Highrises create a sterile city, wind tunnels and towers that block sunlight. As Jane Jacobs, the famous writer and planner, would say, “This is the death of our beautiful city.”

The city should refuse the OCP revision to allow development on the Eagle Ridge Hospital land.

The existing ERH is severely over capacity and to designate any of the lands to high-density residential would be foolish. These lands will be needed for medical services — if not now, then eventually.

I don’t believe the majority of Port Moody residents see their city as a sea of highrises. Keep areas of green spaces because as the city grows, we need quiet areas, peaceful areas with trees and water. That will be a beautiful city.

Yvonne Harris, Port Moody 

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