Port Moody’s city council endorsed a new strategic plan.
The guiding document was shared with the public for the first time Tuesday, laying out the framework for council’s priorities over the remainder of their term.
“I’m really proud of council for all the work that they put into creating this plan, and I’m looking forward to the next three-and-a-half years and making that plan become a reality,” said Mayor Meghan Lahti.
Local news that matters to you
No one covers the Tri-Cities like we do. But we need your help to keep our community journalism sustainable.
Workshops have been held over the last three months to identify the most important issues, explore new approaches, and decide on goals and objectives.
Coun. Haven Lurbiecki was the only councillor to raise an issue with the new strategic plan, stating she wanted public input before the plan was endorsed.
“I believe the public would expect that this item be treated like we treat other other plans and documents that we have considered,” Lurbiecki said. “We have not had a public endorsement of this plan.”
Lahti said that would not be in order, as council had already endorsed the plan in a closed meeting, and they were simply releasing it.
“There won’t be any room for amendments, but we can certainly put it out to the public for comment,” Lahti said.
City Manager Tim Savoie said council’s strategic plan is the one time during a council’s term where representatives determine the direction of the city outside of public meetings.
He added that every city project that follows the strategic plan will be held in public.
“The public can comment on the individual projects, of course, but just to be clear, (the strategic plan) is a time when council actually has the opportunity to do these types of conversations,” Savoie said.
Four strategic initiatives are listed in the plan: sustainable core services, natural environment, healthy community development, and vibrant and prosperous community
Each initiative is broken down into broad goals with correlated objectives.
Sustainable core services
The objectives identified in the sustainable core service strategy are to prioritize core services, ensure financial sustainability, and good governance.
The plan aims to increase and diversify city revenues, plan for asset lifecycle and renewal costs, plan business continuity, develop a strategy for future uses of city owned land, and align services to financial planning.
Other objectives include improving customer service, efficiency of city processes, public engagement and organizational structure.
Healthy community development
Healthy community development objectives focus on housing, growth, transportation and public amenities.
Council wants transit oriented and equitable housing options, connecting neighbourhoods and catering to their unique needs, such as commercial and retail services.
A strategic plan for Port Moody’s transportation networks is proposed, as well as a multi-modal approach to movement around the city.
Future amenities should include inclusive community programs and long-term planning, and indoor and outdoor recreational services, according to the plan.
Resilient natural environment
The city’s environmental objectives include protecting the city’s natural waterways, foreshore, urban forest, and expanding green infrastructure.
Implementation of the city’s climate action initiatives should be prioritized, and the city needs to collaborate with regional environmental objectives, according to the plan.
Upgrading plans for extreme weather events, coastal flooding and sea-level rise are also proposed.
Other objectives include expanding and upgrading city park space, open space and trails.
Vibrant and prosperous community
Goals for the vibrant and prosperous community strategies focus on improving the local business climate, utilization of public spaces, and the city’s arts, culture, heritage and tourism sectors.
Objectives include prioritizing the implementation of the economic development master plan, growing business areas and supporting businesses in redevelopment areas.
Council wants to upgrade its “City of the Arts” brand, facilitate events and festivals, and strengthen the waterfront and main thoroughfares.
Lahti announced a new Business and Arts Coalition Task Force to “mend the schism” between the community and its Port Moody’s branding as an arts-focused city.
The city also needs to leverage its public land, according to plan, which suggests creating a strategic direction for existing and future civic facilities, city-owned land, and public spaces.
Savoie will lead the city’s administrative heads in operationalizing the plan.
The next step is creating a corporate project plan to align city staff with the council’s priorities, which is expected in April. City committees will also be told to align their work to the new priorities.
“I’m sure that council is looking forward to receiving that document,” Lahti said.
Each priority will be tracked and progress will be reported back to council in quarterly updates.