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PoMo seeks to protect and boost rental properties

The city of Port Moody is looking at rezoning four multi-residential rental developments for rental only as well as zoning specific areas of the city for rental only development.
3370 Dewdney Trunk Rd.
The city of Port Moody will consult with the owners of a planned rental project at 3370 Dewdney Trunk Rd., as well as three other rental projects in the city, before proceeding with plans to zone those properties for rental only to protect their status as rental accommodation.

The city of Port Moody is looking at rezoning four multi-residential rental developments for rental only as well as zoning specific areas of the city for rental only development.

But it won’t happen until there’s consultation with the owners of the four properties as well as stakeholders like Landlord BC, Share Community Services, Catalyst and the B.C. Non-Profit Housing Association.

Two of the four properties — 3370 Dewdney Trunk Rd. and 3131-3137 St. Johns St. — are new rental projects that were just approved by council last September. The others are existing projects: 125 Moray St. is non-market rental townhouse complex owned by Metro Vancouver Housing Corporation and 1020 Cecile is a 200-unit market rental townhouse development.

In his report to council, Port Moody’s social planner, Liam McLellan, said the latter could be particularly susceptible to redevelopment because of its age and the size of the property.

But rezoning the properties for rental only would ensure they remain as rental, McLellan said. Provincial legislation passed last May now gives municipalities the power to do just that, he explained.

Coun. Diana Dilworth said since the projects at Dewdney Trunk Road and St. Johns Street were just approved with land use agreements negotiated by the city to include affordable rental units and determine their tenure, “it behooves us to have some consultation with property owners.”

Coun. Zoe Royer cautioned dictating rental units to existing property owners or to areas of the city could result in stagnating any possible growth in the number of rental units being built.

“We have to remember that new purpose-built rental is often extremely lean,” she said. “It will be easier for land owners to sit on the land and keep it vacant.”

Port Moody’s general manager of planning and development, André Boel, told council while consulting the owners of the four properties that would be effected by rental-only zoning could be done fairly quickly, the process to develop an inclusionary bylaw program to zone areas of the city for rental only would take several months.

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