West Port Moody – Westport Promises
My last post noted how West Port Moody and Moody Centre have been left behind in terms of amenities and sustainable lifestyle. At the same time, it’s fair to add that the stage has been set in the last couple of years for this picture to change significantly.
While the Murray Clarke Connector seems to have been permanently shelved, and a campaign for a well justified western Evergreen station fell on the deaf ears of the province, the new rapid transit line will greatly improve the transportation options for many in this part of town. A train every 10 minutes throughout the day with stops everywhere between Burquitlam and downtown Vancouver is a vastly different value proposition than the West Coast commuter express.
Prompted by the Evergreen Line’s evident reality, the City’s new Official Community Plan (OCP) finally envisions real change for the western gateway. According to this plan, the area around the Barnet Highway and St Johns allows for new western retail anchors like a supermarket, bank and convenience store. These will not only serve local residents but also provide new reasons for through traffic to stop in the area and help revitalize the heritage district in Moody Centre.
Most important, amenities in this neighbourhood will not be limited to commercial bricks and mortar. Rezoning and redevelopment permit the community to gain non-commercial amenities like new public open space, recreation facilities and non-profit meeting rooms. Here, close by the Port Moody Arts Centre, it would make sense for these to include performance space and artist live-work residences. The plan actually lists the following: artist live-work space, presentation space, seniors’ accommodation, assisted living accommodation, high-tech mixed employment space, enhanced green space, new parks, commercial/retail service space, and a pedestrian trail connecting Seaview, Glenayre, and College Park to the area.
None of this will happen of course without major investments, but the City’s OCP has now finally created the artist live-work space, public arts opportunity and challenged the landowners, builders and architects to bring forward their ideas. In my next post I will hypothesize what future plans could mean to the taxpayer as well as the local community.