Links: What is a “Good Neighbour”?

Big Houses

Bring on the links!

Rotating strikes will hit our school district again this Thursday, June 5th. Parents aren’t the only ones who are scrambling to make other plans. Daycare operators are also trying to figure out how to juggle all the extra kids.

One of the premier cultural events in Coquitlam is heading for greener pastures on the other side of North Road. Coquitlam is losing the Korean Heritage Day Festival to Swangard Stadium in Burnaby.

Here’s a story that got my radar tingling a little. In Port Moody there is a group trying to get something they call a “good neighbour” by-law going. Essentially, they want to restrict the size of new houses being built near older properties. I can understand trying to keep heritage neighbourhoods looking heritage. Not that I’m sure Port Moody’s North Shore would qualify as being historically significant. Seems to be a retread of the old “monster houses” arguments. As I’ve said here in the past, I’m not a fan of NIMBYism. You have by-laws about setback and what you can build, and a permitting and inspection process. After that who really wants to get approval from all their neighbours before making improvements to their home? The group says they’re protecting their “values”, but I’m not sure that house size is about morals, which makes me wonder what they’re implying. If you’d like to get in on the action, check out the Good Neighbour By-Law Port Moody Facebook Page.

Just like the second Death Star, the New Port Moody fire hall is now fully operational.

MLA Selina Robinson talks Agricultural Land Reserve in her May update.

June is my favourite month. School is winding down, and the days are still getting longer. Miss604 has many ways you can enjoy yourself this month in Metro Vancouver.

Back in 1955, a small plane went down in the Coquitlam Watershed, Coquitlam History gives us the story of how this sad event was connected to a certain New York institution.

Speaking of New York, I’m looking through YouTube for videos from the Tri-Cities. I come across some student films from Heritage Woods Secondary School in Port Moody. Turns out, the kids in Port Moody cleaned up in the Rod Serling Film Festival in Binghamton, New York.

The overall winner of the festival is a little film called, “Catch the Girl”. Check it out.

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  1. In June 2007 at the Port Moody OCP Design Charrette, I asked the city planner how a large home being built on St. George St was allowed. The issue being that small character homes on large lots were being replaced with large, taller homes that covered much of the lot and blocked the sight lines of neighbours.

    We were told that the bylaws permitted it, and would therefore need to be changed if residents were opposed. Since then there have been 20 more built in Moody Centre alone, and there has been no review of the bylaws.

  2. David Ritcey says:

    Jon, why do you say this seems to be a “retread”of the “monster houses” issue? And why do you say that like its a bad thing? Was there a debate or public discussion on this topic sometime in the past that I missed? I’m happy that this issue is finally getting on the agenda after too many years of neglect.

    • That monster house argument in Surrey had an ugly subtext to it that was about a lot more than house size. The reason I don’t live in a strata is to avoid this kind of fuzzy back and forth. Let’s have by-laws by all means, but make the rules absolutely clear and black and white. Not a system where my neighbours can chime in with design opinions that may have more to do with who I am than the house I want to build. And I realize I sound like a “My Land, My Rules, Get of my Lawn” compound owner.

  3. Christopher Staddon says:

    I don’t think anyone is disagreeing with the building of larger houses on existing lots, this is a given when the decision is made to tear down and rebuild, and the natural process of renewal. The issue is to what extent do you impede your neighbours right to continue to live in comfort; views, sunlight, privacy. Heritage, although it should be a factor in the decision making is only one consideration, character of the neighborhood should be maintained especially setbacks. We are not talking about building a 3500 square foot house next to 1200 square foot house, it is ramping it up to 6500 square foot houses in areas of medium size dwellings with no regard to impact on neighbours. Not everyone is sitting on a property waiting to sell and move on, some people actually want to stay in a house for years.