Determine our future growth needs and identify ideal school sites to best serve our community. With the changes to the Saint Johns St. corridor going from low-rise to multi-story (5, 10 and even 20 story proposals) and the Flavelle sawmill site proposed to be 3,500-5,000 residents, we need to proactively identify the best school locations prior to rezoning. The municipal council can then understand the school needs driven by proposed development to ensure school sites can be acquired. There has not been a recent in-depth analysis of our future school needs by our current Port Moody trustees.
We can all agree that we don't want to see the mistakes with over densification and the lack of services that had occurred on Burke Mountain.
The entire hill side was developed without any additional school sites being identified prior to rezoning. This left families with no schools in the area to take their kids to, infact residents had to drive their kids down the hill to the neighbouring municipality to attend public school.
Eventually school sites were identified and acquired, Although they were not the ideal locations, but rather the available locations. The additional negative was that there were minimal developer contributions for this and the burden was carried mostly by the tax payers.
We need to be proactive and Identify School sites prior to rezoning, this will allow the municipalities to include our school site in any proposed development and will also allow us to select the best locations to serve our community. We do not want to have our kids shipped out to neighbouring communities due to a lack of planning or foresight on behalf of the Trustees.
As a municipal councillor, I understand the relationship between the school board and municipality as well as the importance of budgeting and planning for capital expenditures well into the future. Whether we agree with the proposed density or not, we still need to plan for the future such that our Port Moody families don’t fall victim to the lack of planning or political posturing.