November 12, 2009 Port Moody has given a preliminary green light to an 11-storey residential development that would add more than 150 units up the Chineside slope on Henry Street.
On Tuesday, council granted first two readings on zoning and official community plan amendments for the multi-family development in Moody Centre. Currently a vacant piece of land, the development would be located west of Moody middle school and east of the Terravista building.
An OCP amendment is needed to allow for the 11-storey height but, according to city staff, the building would consist of "ascending green terraces" up the Chineside slope, creating an actual elevation of six storeys. Allowances are also needed to vary parking requirements for the site because the proposal, which calls for three levels of underground parking, would still be short about 17 parking spots.
And while some members of council are supporting the proposal, neighbours have expressed concerns about traffic and the loss of green space.
"I walk through the trails that pass through the proposed site daily, embracing the beauty of the forest that surrounds the area," wrote Jagoda Kozikowska, a Terravista resident, noting bears, migratory birds and other wildlife use the area frequently.
Ronnie Miranda, who lives in the 2900-block of St. Johns Street, said Henry Street can barely accommodate the existing traffic volume, especially on school days, and traffic on St. Johns is "extremely congested," particularly during rush hours. Miranda also questioned the logic of creating a new, medium-density development when units in nearby developments remain vacant.
But at least one Moody Centre resident is welcoming the proposal.
John Grasty, chair of the Port Moody Western Station Committee, wrote in a letter that he's "delighted" with the proposal because it would help create a compact, walkable community.
"Although the 300-plus residents this development will add are just outside the 400-metre radius of the Evergreen Line station, it is critical for this proposal to move forward," he wrote, saying it would demonstrate PoMo's commitment to a third Evergreen station on the city's west side.
Staff say the building would achieve a "high quality development" for that part of Moody Centre.
The developer is proposing to concentrate building on the lower portion of the site to reduce the environmental impact and has agreed to dedicate 1.2 acres at the property's higher elevation for park land.
The building would meet a LEED silver standard and include bike lockers, a car share program, rooftop community garden and composting facilities.
Coun. Bob Elliott reiterated his stance against approving any new development given council's "zero to minimal growth" policy to be included in the new OCP.
"I'm supporting it because I think it's a good plan," countered Coun. Mike Clay, noting the city needs more consistency in handling its development applications.
In addition to Clay, Councillors Meghan Lahti, the acting mayor, and Gerry Nuttall voted in favour of the first two readings; Mayor Joe Trasolini and councillors Diana Dilworth and Karen Rockwell were absent.
A public hearing on the development is scheduled for Dec. 8 at 7 p.m. at Port Moody city hall.
By Sarah Payne - The Tri-City News
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