There are likely many Port Moody residents who want to see the City of the Arts retain much of its character as it continues to grow.
A proposed city panel would aim to do just that.
City council has taken the first step in reestablishing an advisory design panel.
The design panel would advise council and city staff on matters related to the design, evaluation and construction of buildings and other developments. It would also assist in evaluating development applications and provide suggestions related to site layout, exterior design, landscaping and environmental quality.
Council has asked staff to draft the terms of reference and the details of such a panel. It would likely include members of the community with architect and design experience.
The panel idea was brought forward by Coun. Rick Glumac.
He said the biggest concern expressed to him by residents during the last civic election was preserving the city's small-town charm and character.
"As the Evergreen Line is coming and a lot of new developments are coming forward, I think every effort should be made to make sure these developments are right for Port Moody," Glumac said.
He said the best way to ensure they are right for the municipality is by getting sound advice from a panel made of experts in related fields.
The city previously had an advisory design panel, but it was disbanded in 2000.
The reason given was there was a change in the way the city was processing development applications; specifically, there were issues around the length of time it took to do so.
Much of the advisory work was added into the city's landuse planning committee.
If approved, the land-use planning committee would still continue, but focus solely on land-use issues.
The panel appeared to get support from council.
Coun. Gerry Nuttall said he liked the idea, arguing the land-use committee was acting as an advisory panel, which wasn't its purpose.
Coun. Diana Dilworth supported the motion, but argued there are still questions that need to be answered regarding the mandate of the panel, including how it would be integrated with other committees and how it would fit with the neighbourhood guidelines and the official community plan.
A staff report with details on the panel is expected to be in front of city council by the fall.