PORT COQUITLAM MOVES TO UPDATE OFFICIAL COMMUNITY PLAN
PORT COQUITLAM, BC – May 14, 2020… Housing, the downtown, the environment and other key topics will be explored as Port Coquitlam completes the update of its Official Community Plan (OCP) – a blueprint for future growth and development – by the end of 2022.
Based on a report presented to Council in Committee Tuesday, this year’s schedule includes a housing review to support more ground-level options such as townhomes, rental units and affordable housing options. Also on the agenda for this year is streamlining design guidelines for specific types of development permit areas – including the downtown and northside commercial area – as well as setting targets for greenhouse gas emissions reductions and the city’s tree canopy coverage.
“The City’s OCP is an important tool for the city and helps property owners and potential investors know what is being planned for our community in the years to come,” Mayor Brad West said. “Our end goal with this update is to have a clear, user-friendly and pragmatic plan that will guide Port Coquitlam into the future.”
OCPs are long-range planning documents that represent a community’s vision for the future and provide direction about future land use, development, transportation, environmental protection, heritage and other areas that affect quality of life. They work in concert with zoning, which defines the current permitted uses on a property.
The City’s current OCP, dubbed PoCoPlan, was adopted in 2005 and substantially updated in 2013 after Metro Vancouver adopted its Regional Growth Strategy. The City began updating specific sections of the OCP in 2015 with its ‘Let’s Talk’ series and has to date rolled out new guidelines and recommendations for:
- Support of agricultural land and activities,
- Housing alternatives such as coach houses, more duplexes and smaller lots,
- Protecting industrial lands and expanding commercial opportunities,
- Higher-density development along transit corridors,
- A concept for revitalizing the downtown,
- Preserving and promoting trees, and
- Energy conservation in new construction.
Next year’s work will include updating the map of planned future land-use designations and minor policy updates, with 2022 dedicated to incorporating Regional Growth Strategy policies.
“Public engagement is critical for community planning and it’s important that this plan reflects our community’s vision for Port Coquitlam,” Mayor West noted. “While the COVID-19 pandemic will have some impacts, we’ll be finding ways to safely engage with our residents and businesses as we roll out this work over the next two years.”
Community consultation will take place with physical distancing protocols in place, including the use of online surveys, already a popular method for residents to provide input on city initiatives. Other methods may also be explored for a physically distant public hearing and other means for engaging the community.
Information about upcoming OCP projects will be promoted at www.portcoquitlam.ca/ocp, on the City of Port Coquitlam social media channels and through other avenues.
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Manager of Communications & Admin Services
City of Port Coquitlam
Tel 604.927.5335 Cel 604.218.0533