Fears about added congestion from an additional tower being constructed in Port Moody’s Suter Brook village have already been realized.
The backup of agenda items caused by the protracted public hearing and subsequent council debate March 13 on Onni Group’s application to amend its land-use contract for its last parcel of property in Suter Brook means the public hearing scheduled for next Tuesday on official community plan and zoning amendments to the old firehall and public works yard properties has been postponed.
Those amendments to change the city-owned properties’ from public service use to comprehensive development could pave the way for them to be sold to a developer for redevelopment into a high-density neighbourhood of condo towers, commercial space as well as a possible new library and seniors housing. Council gave its first two readings to the changes at its meeting Feb. 13 and set the public hearing to precede third reading for March 27.
The March 13 public hearing for Onni's application lasted more than four hours, during which opponents to the proposal — they made up half of the speakers, the other half being in favour of the project — expressed concern about traffic congestion that could result from the expanded development. When council finally convened for its regular meeting at around 11:30 p.m., it was decided to move its third reading of that application to near the top of the agenda and defer the rest of the items scheduled for discussion that evening.
One of the agenda items pushed back by the Suter Brook debate was council’s consideration of implications on the city’s financial and waste management plans by the proposed changes to the fire hall and public works yard properties. Such consideration is required by section 477 of the Local Government Act, according to a report being presented to council on Tuesday. Because of that, the report recommends the public hearing be rescheduled to April 10.
The report states the sale of the properties could result in revenue that could be put towards public facilities and services in the city, and their redevelopment “would also increase revenue… through property taxes and user fees.” It also states the sites are already serviced for the disposal of liquid and solid wastes and the costs of any upgrading of water and storm sewer connections would be “minor relative to the overall development cost of the site.”