Some residents frustrated with proposed land use concept
By Aaron Guillen, Staff Reporter
Currently, the Coronation Park neighbourhood, located directly across from Port Moody’s Inlet Centre Station, holds an estimated 500 people with one access road, but no parks on its 22.7 acres—and the City of Port Moody wants to change that.
A recently-proposed land-use concept was presented to Coronation Park residents back in September 2016 for feedback. The concept plan separates the land into four specific sections, which intermingle among each other. Firstly, high-rise residential buildings are proposed, with a wider three-story base and at a maximum of 26 storeys. Secondly, similar high-rise towers are expected for mixed use, with retail and commercial spaces. Both high-rise building types will line the border of the neighbourhood. Thirdly, a low-rise residential area will find itself in the centre of the neighbourhood, with a mix of apartments and townhouses at a maximum of four storeys. Finally, a one-acre park is planned, effectively putting the “park” back into Coronation Park.
The Coronation Park neighbourhood has found itself in the crosshairs of a strenuous process of convincing its residents that redevelopments should be made. According to the Tri-City News, Port Moody’s population is expected to grow from around 33,600 to 50,000 by 2041. With an increase of Vancouverites fleeing their housing market and settling along the newly implemented Evergreen Line, Port Moody neighbourhoods are expected to take expansive redevelopments in stride. Unfortunately, it seems like the current situation is quite the opposite.
“This is the real challenge because there are 180 different units in there,” explained James Stiver, the city’s general manager of development services, to the Tri-City News. “It’s easy when there’s one developer and we come up with a phasing plan that everybody agrees on and we move forward. But when we have people who are ready for change and people who don’t want to leave, it’s really challenging.”
Many residents believe that Coronation Park should move on up, along with similar neighbourhoods, such as Klahanie, Newport Village, and Suter Brook Village. Notably, Coronation Park’s current concept plan envisions almost 4,500 residents in the future. Among those listed, Klahanie ranks highest in population among previously developed neighbourhoods with just under 2,700.
“This is a 30-year plan being presented by the city, it’s not something that’s going to happen overnight,” explained Coquitlam resident David Attridge to the Tri-City News. “If the SkyTrain line wasn’t less than 400 metres from my door and I didn’t see the potential for a development like this, I would love to stay in this area. But it’s for the greater good of the community that change has to happen here rather than in Ioco or other parts of Port Moody.”
On the contrary, many residents are concerned with the dramatic amount of change that will take place in such a small community filled with townhouses and single family homes. In light of transit-oriented development (TOD) around Inlet Centre Station, some believe that TransLink shouldn’t be deciding what is best for Coronation Park’s residents. In addition, residents claim that developments such as these are forcefully making change without consideration for those who want their neighbourhood to remain the same as it was when they settled many years ago.