Port Moody Council approves Coronation Park's 2,700 homes next to SkyTrain

Apr 27 2022, 11:31 pm

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The massive Coronation Park neighbourhood redevelopment achieved a new milestone early Wednesday morning, with a public hearing and debate ending with Port Moody City Council’s vote of support at about 1 am.

City council voted 5-2 in supporting the official community plan (OCP) amendments to support the increased density and uses, with councillors Steve Milani and Hunter Madsen voting in opposition.

To actually proceed with the redevelopment, local developer Wesgroup Properties’s next steps will be to make rezoning and development permit applications, which are subject to further city council review. The OCP certainty also allows the developer to begin the process of fully acquiring all 59 single-family houses that make up the 14.8-acre Coronation Park development site, ending a years-long state of limbo for dozens of individual property owners.

coronation park port moody

Site of Coronation Park in Port Moody. (Ciccozzi Architecture/Wesgroup)

coronation park wesgroup port moody april 2022

April 2022 artistic rendering of the revised design for Coronation Park in Port Moody. (Boniface Oleksiuk Politano Architects/Wesgroup Properties)

This will be a transit-oriented development, given its immediate adjacency to SkyTrain’s Inlet Centre Station.

City council approved a revised OCP application that reduces building heights, density, the number of market homes, and the elimination of below-market rental homes.

Designed by Boniface Oleksiuk Politano Architects, there will be six towers between 26 storeys and 31 storeys, plus various mid-rise buildings, all containing a combined 2,655 new homes — including 2,560 condominium homes and 105 market rental homes, with at least 10% of the rentals dedicated to seniors. Upon full buildout, based on the latest revised design, Coronation Park would be home to between 4,800 and 5,860 residents.

The comprehensive community will also have about 1,000 on-site jobs, generated by 76,760 sq ft of retail and restaurant space, including a major grocery store, 29,500 sq ft of office space, and 9,500 sq ft of childcare space.

The total floor area of the redevelopment is now about 2.2 million sq ft, with a floor area ratio density of 3.48. This accounts for the removal of about 224,000 sq ft of residential floor area from a previous design.

coronation park port moody wesgroup 2022

2022 revised design for the Coronation Park redevelopment in Port Moody. (Ciccozzi Architecture/Wesgroup Properties)

coronation park wesgroup port moody april 2022

April 2022 artistic rendering of the revised design for Coronation Park in Port Moody. (Boniface Oleksiuk Politano Architects/Wesgroup Properties)

Public spaces entail 2.5 acres of new public parks, an additional 1.5 acres of publicly accessible open spaces, a unique elevated pedestrian pathway, community spaces, and a pedestrian overpass above Ioco Road to improve accessibility to the SkyTrain station. The added open spaces were achieved by a combination of removing all interior and through vehicle roads and establishing pedestrian-oriented redevelopment, as well as removing some mid-rise buildings and relocating the density to an additional sixth tower.

The in-kind value of the public benefits and infrastructure upgrades is about $30 million. This is in addition to $12 million in cash community amenity contributions and $25 million in development cost levies directly to the City of Port Moody, and about $6.5 million in additional property taxes annually from the new homes and businesses.

coronation park wesgroup port moody april 2022

April 2022 artistic rendering of the revised design for Coronation Park in Port Moody. (Boniface Oleksiuk Politano Architects/Wesgroup Properties)

coronation park wesgroup port moody april 2022

April 2022 artistic rendering of the revised design for Coronation Park in Port Moody. (Boniface Oleksiuk Politano Architects/Wesgroup Properties)

In a statement today following the decision, Wesgroup confirmed that while it is moving ahead into the rezoning application stage, “the road ahead is not clear” due to council’s approval of Madsen’s amendment on mandating the redevelopment to include the city’s brand new Inclusionary Zoning Policy of 15% below-market rentals. This policy was not intended to apply to projects already mid-stream in the city’s review.

Madsen said the Coronation Park project would “make our affordability crisis worse,” and add to traffic congestion.

“If we move forward with this development, we may be making the most unfortunate urban planning mistake in the history of Port Moody,” continued Madsen.

But councillor Diana Dilworth strongly asserted city council was to blame for the lack of affordable housing.

“It was this council that made the choice to remove the affordable housing component of the application because we chose to want to have lower tower heights and more amenities. Everything is a tradeoff… if we wanted more amenities, we needed to give something up,” said Dilworth, warning city council against “changing the goalposts again” at this stage of the redevelopment’s review, and noting that negotiations for public benefits and precise project details will occur in the forthcoming rezoning stage.

“To get the best results for our community, there has to be a collaborative approach. It’s not us versus them… this is not a game, it is about evolving our community. And the only way we’re going to make that happen is to work with the applicant in good faith through the rezoning and development permit process, and I think we’re going to find a win-win.”

coronation park wesgroup port moody april 2022

April 2022 artistic rendering of the revised design for Coronation Park in Port Moody. (Boniface Oleksiuk Politano Architects/Wesgroup Properties)

coronation park wesgroup port moody april 2022

April 2022 artistic rendering of the revised design for Coronation Park in Port Moody. (Boniface Oleksiuk Politano Architects/Wesgroup Properties)

coronation park wesgroup port moody april 2022

April 2022 artistic rendering of the revised design for Coronation Park in Port Moody. (Boniface Oleksiuk Politano Architects/Wesgroup Properties)

The Inclusionary Zoning Policy requirement comes as an unexpected change in pro forma for the developer, which previously included up to 175 below-market rental homes in an earlier version of the proposal. But this affordable housing component was ultimately removed due to city council’s explicit direction to the developer to prioritize reduced building heights and densities over having affordable housing. Wesgroup has noted that additional market condominium density is needed to subsidize the cost of building below-market rental housing.

Milani commented that the “project does not benefit the community,” and contravenes Port Moody’s character and natural beauty.

In contrast, Dilworth stated the housing density is highly appropriate for the transit-oriented location and lamented city council’s pace in catalyzing new housing.

“It’s a very complex issue, but getting homes built is not very complex. I think despite all of the talk on this council, we haven’t really done very well at advancing housing solutions,” said Dilworth.

“When we got two SkyTrain stations, there was an acknowledgement that we would grow around those stations, but sadly that is not the case to date.”

coronation park wesgroup port moody april 2022

April 2022 artistic rendering of the revised design for Coronation Park in Port Moody. (Boniface Oleksiuk Politano Architects/Wesgroup Properties)

coronation park wesgroup port moody april 2022

April 2022 artistic rendering of the revised design for Coronation Park in Port Moody. (Boniface Oleksiuk Politano Architects/Wesgroup Properties)

coronation park wesgroup port moody april 2022

April 2022 artistic rendering of the revised design for Coronation Park in Port Moody. (Boniface Oleksiuk Politano Architects/Wesgroup Properties)

In his closing remarks before the vote, Mayor Rob Vagramov advised a compromise to allow the OCP to be approved.

Last week, Wesgroup suggested that if the current city council did not approve the OCP before their summer break, it could be forced to completely cancel the proposal due to challenges with holding the complex land assembly without some certainty on their project.

“I’m not categorically opposed to this project as it is an increased density ask, but we do get benefits. As a council, if we’re ready to move forward on this in a fairly united way, I won’t stand in the way, let’s get on with it and let’s do it quickly,” said the Mayor.

Four major neighbourhood-sized redevelopments with towers are eyed for Port Moody. In addition to Coronation Park, the OCP for the 24-acre Woodland Park redevelopment with over 2,000 homes, including a sizeable below-market rental housing component, was approved in late 2021. The city is still considering a joint OCP application from nine different property owners — including private developers, TransLink, and the provincial government — for 3.64 million sq ft of residential and employment uses on the 23 acres that surround SkyTrain Moody Centre Station.

The previous city council in 2018 also approved the OCP for the 34-acre waterfront redevelopment of the Flavelle sawmill into 3.6 million sq ft of residential and employment uses.

But Port Moody is also facing another massive redevelopment right outside of its eastern municipal border. Immediately east of Wesgroup’s Coronation Park site, Polygon Homes is proposing to redevelop the former 10-acre Coronation Heights public school site in Coquitlam into eight towers up to 50 storeys, containing 2.3 million sq ft with 2,600 homes and a minor commercial retail component.

coronation park port moody wesgroup 2022

Previous 2020 design (left) and 2022 revised design (right) for the Coronation Park redevelopment in Port Moody. (Ciccozzi Architecture/Wesgroup Properties)

coronation park port moody wesgroup 2022

Previous 2020 design (left) and 2022 revised design (right) for the Coronation Park redevelopment in Port Moody. (Ciccozzi Architecture/Wesgroup Properties)

coronation park port moody wesgroup 2022

2022 revised design for the Coronation Park redevelopment in Port Moody, depicting the elevated pedestrian walkway next to the public park. (Ciccozzi Architecture/Wesgroup Properties)

coronation park port moody wesgroup 2022

2022 revised design for the Coronation Park redevelopment in Port Moody. (Ciccozzi Architecture/Wesgroup Properties)

coronation park port moody wesgroup 2022

2022 revised design for the Coronation Park redevelopment in Port Moody. (Ciccozzi Architecture/Wesgroup Properties)

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