Learn about a proposed update to our Environmentally Sensitive Areas Strategy

The City of Port Moody is proposing an update to its 20-year-old Environmentally Sensitive Areas (ESA) Management Strategy so we’re better equipped to protect the natural areas that are so vital to the well-being of our community. We invite you to visit engage.portmoody.ca/esa to learn about the update and how the proposed changes may affect some property owners. You’ll also find a feedback form so you can share your thoughts as well as details on upcoming information sessions. 

What is our ESA Management Strategy? 

Our ESA Management Strategy helps us balance urban development with the protection of Port Moody’s natural areas: our forests, streams, wetlands, and marine shoreline. The Strategy outlines specific things the City and private property owners can do to protect and manage sensitive natural areas during the development process. We put this Strategy into practice through the designation of a development permit area (DPA) for environmentally sensitive areas and associated DPA guidelines, in place since 2010. For property owners, this means you may need an environmental development permit if you are planning to develop within the designated area. 

Why do we need to update the Strategy? 

The initial Strategy, which involved mapping and creating an inventory of watercourses, wetlands, forests, and marine areas, was adopted by City Council in 2001. Since then, mapping technology has improved tremendously and so has our knowledge of how to protect, restore, and connect our natural areas during the development process. An update is also needed to ensure that all development in Port Moody adheres to current federal, provincial, and municipal regulations such as the federal Fisheries Act, provincial Riparian Areas Protection Regulation, and Port Moody’s Zoning Bylaw

What’s changing? 

The proposed update includes:

  • accurate mapping, including improved mapping of watercourses (including ditches), forest areas, and marine high water;
  • a revised development permit area, with a name change from “DPA 4: Environmentally Sensitive Areas” to “Environmental Development Permit Area”;
  • the addition of assessment areas, which are portions of land around ESAs (15 metres around forest ESAs and 30 metres upland from the marine high water mark) where the potential impact of development on nearby natural areas would need to be considered – this change would bring these areas in line with other parts of the city where development activities are already reviewed to determine if environmental development permits are required; and
  • updated development permit area guidelines that incorporate best practices for the protection and restoration of ESAs, reduce negative impacts related to nearby urban development, and ensure requirements of senior governments are met. 

Get involved 

Engage Port Moody, our online engagement hub, is your source for information on the ESA Management Strategy update. Register with Engage Port Moody today so you can fill out a feedback form, ask a question, and more. On our project page you can:

  • learn more about the proposed changes and how they may affect some property owners;
  • take a look at our resources including maps and timelines;
  • read answers to frequently asked questions or ask a new question;
  • register for a general information session on January 28, 2021;
  • find information about a targeted workshop on February 4, 2021 for residents and property owners along the marine shoreline; and
  • share your thoughts with us by completing a feedback form (until February 21, 2021). 

The information session and workshop will be held online via Zoom. You’ll need to register in advance to participate; visit engage.portmoody.ca/esa for more information. Please review the purpose of each session below and register for the one that’s right for you. 

General Information Session

Purpose: We will provide a general overview of the current ESA Management Strategy, the development permit process, and the proposed update to the Strategy. This session is open to anyone who would like to learn more about this topic and participants will be able to ask questions and share their thoughts.

Date: Thursday, January 28, 2021
Time: 7-8:30pm
Registration information is available at engage.portmoody.ca/esa

Targeted Workshop for residents and property owners along the marine shoreline
Purpose: We will provide specific information about the proposed marine assessment area and how it may affect property owners along the marine shoreline. Participants will be able to ask questions and share their thoughts.
Date: Thursday, February 4, 2021
Time: 6:30-8:30pm
Please email us at esa@portmoody.ca if you are interested in participating in this workshop.

Next steps 

Once our public engagement process is complete, City Council will consider the proposed ESA Management Strategy updates at a regular Council Meeting in spring 2021. If approved, an Official Community Plan amendment would be required to implement some of the recommendations included in the Strategy update – this would involve a public hearing which would be advertised in the local newspaper and on the City’s website

If you have any questions about our public engagement process for the ESA Management Strategy update, please email esa@portmoody.ca

Engage Port Moody is our public engagement hub where you can learn about current plans and projects, share your ideas, and provide your feedback. We encourage you to register as a user of the site. It only takes a minute, and once you’re registered you’ll be able to engage with us on topics that are open for input. You can also choose to receive updates about the projects you have given feedback on and notifications about new projects. Help shape your city by sharing your perspective on Port Moody matters that matter to you.