Port Moody City Hall

As part of the review process for development applications submitted to the City of Port Moody, contracted professionals will play a more significant role in reviewing certain applications in place of the City’s Advisory Design Panel (ADP), which was disbanded by Council on March 19, 2024. 

The Advisory Design Panel (ADP) was a Council Committee made up of professionals who advised, on a volunteer basis, the General Manager of Community Development and City Council on certain development applications, as specified in Port Moody’s Development Approval Procedures Bylaw, with regards to aspects of architectural and urban design, fit with location, and site context. 

“Council decided to review the form and function of the ADP due to ongoing challenges such as difficulties recruiting members, the considerable time commitment required of ADP members to review each application, and the recognition of the need to compensate design professionals for their expertise,” said Mayor Meghan Lahti. “We’re also anticipating an increase in the number of development applications coming to the City for review, which would have put more pressure on our ADP volunteers and will require more staff time. 

“After exploring ways to address these challenges, Council ultimately decided to disband the ADP and move forward with a new approach. On behalf of Council, I would like to thank our ADP members past and present for their service and offer our appreciation and gratitude for the valuable advice they have provided to Council.” 

Previously, the City had made use of a hybrid approach that included ADP review as well as third-party professional reviews from architects and landscape architects. For a 12-month trial period, the City will use the single approach of contracting with a broader range of professionals focusing on Port Moody-based expertise whenever possible. 

The City will facilitate the third-party review and recover the fee as a charge to the applicant. Summary comments from reviewers will be included in reports to Council and made available to the public on the applicant’s website. It is anticipated that using the services of contracted professionals will result in a more thorough review and will allow the City to target specialty expertise in areas such as accessibility, inclusivity, and liveability, providing the City and applicants with more detailed comments. At the conclusion of the trial period, staff will report back to Council on the new approach and Council will decide on next steps. 

“We hope the new approach will allow us to get the professional expertise we need to review development applications in a timely and effective manner,” continued Mayor Lahti. “As the City is doing our part in providing more housing in the community, it is more critical than ever that we obtain professional advice on development applications so that design review is consistent and thorough, integration into the surrounding neighbourhood is optimized, and liveability is prioritized. This breadth of input will support Council in making informed decisions focused on creating and maintaining an accessible, inclusive, and liveable community.”