OCP REVIEW - SEPT 19Last night was the cities opening public input meeting for the OCP review.
Click here for OCP review process details.
The meeting was relatively well attended with about 200+ people coming to share their outlook on the cities future. The OCP review is an important process that sets the 'tone' for the city for the coming months, years and even decades.
The session was seperated into three parts, the first being a graffiti session where residents were invited to write their comments on various topics - such as environment, parks, development, economic development, etc - on large sheets of paper hanging on the walls. This stimulated much discussion between those in attendance, and led to the second portion of the evening which was smaller 'focus groups' discussing what they liked, diskliked and wanted to see in the future for Port Moody. It then wrapped up with a spokesperson for each group presenting their focus groups items in the theatre.
The city has taken a 'blank slate' approach to the OCP review, meaning they haven't put any parameters on the discussions - other than trying to organize into some areas of focus. There was no references to the current OCP , or any information presented in terms of preferences or other pre-conceived direction for conversation.
Many common themes emerged in the written comments and the focus groups, most of which were consistent with what has been said many times before.
People like the small town charm of Port Moody, Heritage, Parks and trails, greenspaces, Cultural diversity, and the family environment.
Dislikes included traffic congestion, lack of cycling lanes on roads, crime and the perception of organized crime in the area.
Notably, there were also several comments made that people felt that the cities infrastructure - primarily for transporation - has lagged behind development, and also that the St Johns corridor is becoming less vibrant, or run down. Several people also spoke of concerns around the city communicating with residents in regards to process and development.
For the future, recurring comments included maintaining the diversity of zoning and development in the city (live, work, play), heritage preservation, affordable housing, local employment opportunities, and emphasis on the PORT in Port Moody.
I was pleased to hear many people say they wanted to see the city make better use of the internet for communication - If you are reading this, you know that I have been working very hard to make information available to people online through this blog and my information website at www.mikeclay.ca , including the opportunities for comments and feedback