Port Moody monster home owners must get neighbours' feedback, rules council
New homes and major renovations will be subject to three-week public commenting period
Port Moody city council decided Tuesday new homes of any size and residences undergoing substantial renovations must get feedback from their neighbours before moving forward with any construction.
Mayor Mike Clay says it is a way to open up communication between residents and help ensure neighbourhoods remain consistent.
"I hate to use the word monster homes, but new bigger homes coming into older established neighbourhoods, where maybe the houses were built smaller and it's just changing the character of the neighbourhood...
"[It's] just a way to start that conversation before a bulldozer is there and all of a sudden everybody says it's too late to change it now," said Clay.
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The new process is part of the city's new Good Neighbour Guidelines and it allows a three-week commenting period for building permit applications for new houses, increases in height of an existing building or any expansion bigger than 50 square metres.
"The primary thing here is to let people know that there is some change coming...and let you get more information about it," said Clay.
"If there is something you see that concerns you, maybe you can start a dialogue with a person who is doing the project and say, 'Hey I've seen your plans and I am a little concerned about this.'"
How it works
Additionally, a sign will be posted on the subject property so that neighbours outside of the 100 metre radius will also be informed of the proposed construction.
"No matter what you are building, we think it is right that the neighbours are made aware of it and given a chance to express their concerns, because I think most people are not out to make enemies of their neighbours," said Clay.
At the end of a three-week commenting period, officials will present the feedback to the permit applicant and discuss whether they have addressed any concerns.
Process not binding
However, there is no obligation for the applicant to comply with any of the suggestions or requests made by concerned neighbours.
"The part of the process that causes us concern is that if they are within zoning and within bylaws, we can't stop them from building their house," said Clay.
Despite the limitations, Clay thinks most people are willing to work with their neighbours.
"This doesn't need to be a neighbour-neighbour conflict and that's what we are trying to avoid...
"This is a process that gives them some communication, but it doesn't mean you can say, 'I don't like Larry so I'm not going to vote in favour of his house.'"
To hear the full interview with Port Moody Mayor Mike Clay, listen to the audio labelled Monster home mediation