Public Hearing on Moody Centre Transit Station area Development
We hosted a public hearing tonight on the OCP amendments for the Moody Centre Transit Station area, laying the ground work for what form of development we wish to see around the station in the future.
This area is an area that has been waiting a LONG time for development and there have been many speculators buying land around the station in anticipation of the Skytrain arrival since the original "RTP 2000" project in the late 1990's , and early 2000's. Unfortunately this has led to many properties having temporary use as the landlords keep their options open for future redevelopment, and tenants looking for long term certainty have stayed away.
The plan describes in substantial detail the goals for redevelopment in this area - including, but not limited to, residential and employment spaces, green space and creek daylighting, affordable and inclusive housing.
Directly from the OCP text, chapter 4:
“4.1.5 MOODY CENTRE STATION TRANSIT-ORIENTED DEVELOPMENT The Moody Centre Station Transit-Oriented Development designation applies to the development of mixed use, pedestrian friendly development around Moody Centre Station. Building forms will be diverse (ranging from low- to high-rise); uses will be a mix of residential, retail, office, employment, service, civic, institutional, recreational, and cultural uses; and building heights will not exceed 26 storeys. Redevelopment is encouraged as part of a comprehensive plan, and must follow other area-specific policies.”, the description in Building forms will be diverse (ranging from low- to high-rise); uses will be a mix of residential, retail, office, employment, service, civic, institutional, recreational, and cultural uses; and building heights will not exceed 26 storeys. Redevelopment is encouraged as part of a comprehensive plan, and must follow other area-specific policies.”
There is addtional details in Chapter 15, a partial excerpt of which is :
The vision for this area includes:
- Creating flexible outdoor spaces that can accommodate a variety of uses;
- The creation of urban plazas and the careful orientation of uses around this public space;
- Integration of public art into public spaces;
- Providing mid-block pedestrian/cyclist links along longer blocks to break down the scale of the block and create additional links to provide access from existing streets to existing and planned amenities;
- Encouraging opportunities to integrate mini parks as part of larger developments;
- Encouraging a range of housing options – housing that is accessible, affordable, and suitable for all income levels, seniors, families, and those with mobility challenges;
- Encouraging upper floors to be set back from St. Johns Street;
- Providing weather protection and pedestrian scaled amenities to facilitate walking;
- Providing at-grade shops and services creating active edges;
- Encouraging a significant amount of employment related uses;
- Incorporating landmark features as part of larger scale developments;
- Careful attention to incorporating landscaping to create a softer, green edge to the built environment;
- View corridors shall be encouraged as part of any new development application for this area;
- In addition to including parking to support their own building, new developments will consider including commuter parking and visitor parking for Rocky Point Park;
You can read the entire details of the public hearing and the OCP amendments here: http://council.mikeclay.ca/default2.asp?active_page_id=2500#
What does this mean for Moody Centre ?
Is this the 'wall of highrises' some have been claiming is coming to the neighbourhood ?
NO, it isnt, and this isn't going to happen. You can read in the plan about the view corridors, varied heights, distance between buildings, etc.
Quoting from the OCP:
All new buildings shall be of high-quality urban design, sited to maximize sunlight and views, be set back from surrounding lower-scale areas, and transition to surrounding neighbourhoods, from a maximum height of 26 storeys around the station, to six storeys at the edge. New buildings shall capitalize on opportunities for ‘placemaking’ around this transit destination, including an enhanced pedestrian realm and strong visual links between St. Johns Street and the station.
High-rise towers should be slender and include a three-storey podium. For new high-rise buildings (above the podium), a minimum distance separation of 60 metres between adjacent towers and floor plates in the range of 700m2 are encouraged.
Unfortunately, a 'sketch' of the area showing a cluster of towers, meant purely to demonstrate the overall possible density of the site, has been taken by some to be an architectural drawing of future development.
Nothing could be further from the truth !
Details of the future development can now move ahead, and building scope, scale, design, etc. is determined at the rezoning and development permit phase of redevelopment. In this case the City is encouraging the multiple land owners to work together on a comprehensive neighourhood plan that ensures it all works together and doesnt become an collection of independent ideas that might not work well together.
Click on the image below to read the Moody Centre TOD info page from the City, including the market study on the workable options for the site.
I wish we had architect drawings that show what this area COULD look like... commercial facades onto St Johns street with parking 'buried' behind and below a podium open space/courtyard servicing a plaza around the business/commercial spaces. Restaurants and pedestrian spaces linking across the tracks into Rocky Point, and opportunities for high density housing scaling to ground oriented to the east around a daylighted creek and newly created green space.
This area can provide an exciting future for the City and for the neighbourhood, and open up opportunities for new and existing residents to live a transit oriented life style and even go 'car free'.
This won't happen if we consume the conversation with parking and traffic congestion concerns. This is an area that needs to be developed AROUND and INCLUDING the multi modal transit opportunities - we have heavy rail (WCE), light rail (Evergreen) and bus hubs here and with walking distance to Rocky Point Park maybe even future water taxi service.
This area NEEDS to be developed to a high density to support the Skytrain but also to bring a population to the neighbourhood that will attract new businesses residents are looking for - grocery, restaurant, retail - not to mention the opportunity for significant commercial/employment/office space.
It's time to make the Moody Centre area once again the commercial hub of the City and to make our existing businesses successful and attract new businesses.
The Federal and Provincial Governments have invested heavily, along with the regional Municipal Governments , through Translink, in the Skytrain line and we need to put that investment to work to make Port Moody and even better place to live and provide a range of housing for all.