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Transit-oriented development brings more housing, services to people in Port Moody

November 27, 2023 at 11:33 am  BC, News, Politics, Provincial

People in Port Moody are a step closer to enjoying the benefits of a comprehensive transit-oriented community made possible by legislation passed in 2022 that allows the Province to buy land for housing projects near transit hubs.

“Building neighbourhoods next to transit makes sense,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “That’s why we are focused on creating more communities where people can go to work, school and access the services they need all close to transit. This is the first of many such projects across the province we will be supporting as part of our transit-oriented development initiative.”

As part of the master-development plan for the area around the Moody Centre SkyTrain station, the Province is proposing a two-acre parcel of government-owned property be redeveloped to provide hundreds of rental units, child care spaces, health-care services, educational opportunities and retail space.

“Port Moody council welcomes development applications within the Moody Centre transit-oriented development area,” said Meghan Lahti, mayor of Port Moody. “The Province’s proposal, although it has not been submitted to the city yet for review, appears to be consistent with council’s strategic plan and would move the city toward the housing targets established by the Province. Development in proximity to the Moody Centre SkyTrain Station is in keeping with council’s goals of encouraging greater use of public transit, climate resilience, increasing access to jobs and services, and more affordable housing options. We believe that this type of initiative would provide much-needed new housing and commercial development opportunities to serve the needs of existing and future residents.”

In 2022, the Transportation Act was amended to enable the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure to purchase land in areas near transit stations for the purpose of transit-oriented development. Previously, the ministry was only able to purchase land that was directly related to transit projects.

These amendments allowed the province to buy a small parcel of land next to its existing holdings and increase the scope of the Moody Centre proposal. Funding for this purchase came from a $394-million allocation in the 2023-24 fiscal plan, earmarked for transit-oriented property purchase over the next three years.

The Moody Centre project will contribute to the ministry’s commitment to deliver 10,000 housing units on provincially owned lands near transit hubs over the next decade as part of the Province’s Homes for People action plan.

The Province is now working to complete further engagement with the community and local First Nations, and continuing with site studies and design at Moody Centre. Detailed design work is expected to take at least one year.

Earlier this month, the Ministry of Housing introduced legislation focused on building transit-oriented communities, centred around creating ways to deliver more homes and services near transit hubs.

The legislation complements the changes government made to the Transportation Act. Both are expected to play a significant role in transit-oriented development as the Province moves forward with this initiative.

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