As Port Moody politicians continue to work through a new official community plan for the city, one landowner is questioning just how fair the process has been in building the document.
A representative for the owner of the Heritage Mountain Plaza, located at 221 Ioco Rd., was in front of council Tuesday asking the city to consider a new plan for the land before finalizing the OCP.
Arnold McLaughlin, a realtor representing owner K. Choi, told council his client is resigned to the fact that he won't get the same opportunities to build on his site as are proposed for other property owners under the OCP.
McLaughlin noted in the draft OCP, some developers asked for zoning for 30-storey buildings, and suggested the wishes of other developers made it into that version.
Right now, the OCP has proposed just four storeys for the land where the plaza is.
So instead, McLaughlin suggested the owner, who has owned the property for 23 years, would be bringing a new plan forward to council in the coming weeks, in hopes of getting the zoning into the OCP before it becomes official.
"It's incumbent that while he won't get the 30-storey privilege that other sites are going to enjoy, whether those developments go ahead or not, and whether his [Choi's] site is developed at that level, we know it still has to go through an application, it has to be publicly heard," McLaughlin told council.
The plan, according to McLaughlin, is to ask for OCP zoning that would allow for a mixed-use project, including an eight-to 12-storey building adjacent to the Newport Village office tower and another four-to sixstorey low-rise building.
A few years back, the owner of the property had planned for two towers, 31 and 18 storeys in height.
McLaughlin said Choi would also like to meet with council at some point on the site of the property to give members a better idea of what he has planned.
Afterward, Mayor Mike Clay acknowledged the land has been singled out, but noted there were some historical reasons.
He explained the owner over the years chose not to apply for rezoning at different times, while the rest of the area was being built out.
Clay said by the time the last OCP was being discussed in the late 2000s, residents in Newport Village didn't want any more development.
"It got singled out as a property that was different than any one around them," he said, noting no actual development plan has ever come before council.
Clay suggested the input from residents in Newport is still that the village has reached its saturation point. However, he also pointed out the OCP process is not finished and the owner is always allowed to apply for an OCP variance in the future.
As for the OCP, the city will be holding committee of the whole meeting on Monday, Sept. 9 to get an update on the plan, while public town hall is scheduled for Sept. 30.
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