The Development Process
The OCP Amendment is the first step in a comprehensive planning process for community development of the Anmore South lands. The figure below illustrates the planning process for the Anmore South lands that will be triggered with the OCP Amendment, including opportunities for public engagement at the OCP Amendment, Neighbourhood Plan, and Rezoning stages.
The timeframe for a development like we envision will occur on an incremental basis and unfold over a 25-year period. Infrastructure to support the enhancements being proposed would occur at the outset, including the construction of a modern wastewater conveyance system and creating a direct connection to the regional water supply. We anticipate it would be at least five years before the first homes would be constructed.
This master-planned community will follow nature-based design principles that are guided by the existing natural environment and focused on minimizing ecological impact and retaining and reinvigorating forested areas. The homes and commercial and recreational structures will showcase global best practices in sustainable home and community design. Building innovation, quality materials and technology are key aspects of icona’s vision and company design commitments. Generous setbacks and offsets will protect natural areas. Green buffers will separate the community from adjacent roadways and a strong network of preserved forests, wildlife corridors and water courses will support increased biodiversity over time. We also envision generous outdoor spaces—terraces, gardens, patios and rooftop gardens to support healthy outdoor lifestyles and surround each residence with green space.
As the long-term owner of the village’s commercial spaces, icona is committed to ensuring excellence, from design to construction to management, protecting the natural surroundings that represent the community’s greatest asset, and curating an exceptional experience for residents and business owners at every touchpoint.
For the past several months, icona Properties has been actively meeting with residents of Anmore to collaborate, seek input and shape ideas that align with the community’s needs and desires for Anmore South – to enhance this community in a manner we can all be proud of.
We have engaged 700+ residents through neighbourhood Q&A meetings, one-on-one discussions, focus groups, a series of co-design workshops and a community showcase event that invited additional community input.
Our experts are now developing a detailed plan for Anmore South which we look forward to sharing along with a detailed visual design plan later this year. Further community consultation is being planned, including community open houses.
We are proposing as part of our initial vision, a community that preserves the tranquillity of a semi-rural way of life while bringing daily pleasures and conveniences closer to home. This means the potential for a restaurant, farmers’ market, local grocery, dental office and medical clinic – and recreational spaces that will offer an opportunity for Anmore residents to come together and socialize in a natural setting.
To understand the meaning and importance of Special Study Areas, it is helpful to understand the origins of the Regional Growth Strategy and how this Strategy has shaped decisions on land use in Metro Vancouver and the Village of Anmore.
In 1996, the Metro Vancouver Board of Directors, which included Anmore Mayor Weinberg, adopted the Livable Region Strategic Plan (LRSP), one of the first regional growth strategies in the Province adopted under new provincial legislation that was created to guide cooperative land use planning at the regional level and integrate it with local planning at the municipal level. During the years that the LRSP was in effect, from 1996 to 2011, the Plan did not include a Rural designation, every municipality including the Village of Anmore, had its own Urban or Growth Concentration Area overlay. Only Green Zone Areas, Agricultural Lands in Green Zones, and Areas under Municipal Consideration were identified separately in the LRSP. For the Village of Anmore, this meant that the current Rural designation, which includes the Anmore South lands, was identified as Urban in the LRSP, not Rural.
Under the LRSP, the Green Zone protected 72% of the Metro Vancouver region. The Green Zone comprised watersheds, wetlands, recreation and agricultural/forestry areas. Urban Areas within the Growth Concentration Area comprised the remaining 28% of the Metro Vancouver region. The Rural land within the Village was included in the Growth Concentration Area and was intended to accommodate growth at medium and higher residential density, to reduce pressure on the Green Zone and to provide a better balance of jobs and housing close together, and a more concentrated settlement pattern to support expanded transit service.
In 2010, work was well underway to replace the LRSP with a new regional growth strategy – Metro 2040. Metro Vancouver planning staff were working closely with municipal staff to create a new ‘Rural’ designation for the regional plan. Only five municipalities in Metro Vancouver agreed to include this new designation for specific lands within their municipalities – Maple Ridge, Township of Langley, Pitt Meadows, Surrey and Anmore.
While four of these municipalities chose to have most of their residential lands included within the Urban Containment Boundary, the Village of Anmore selected to identify all of its developed and its undeveloped residential land (including the Anmore South lands) as Rural in Metro 2040. The Village of Anmore accepted changing the regional designation from a Growth Concentration Area (now referred to as an Urban Containment Boundary) to a Rural Area for the residential lands in Anmore on the understanding that it intended to re-visit the Rural designation of the Anmore South lands in the future. As a result, the Village of Anmore and Metro Vancouver agreed to identify the Anmore South lands as a “Special Study Area” acknowledging Anmore’s history and declared interest in changing the Rural designation in the future once a comprehensive land use plan was accepted by the Village.
The Special Study Area is an opportunity identified by both Metro Vancouver and the Village’s OCP to accommodate change in a way that meets regional growth objectives – ensuring we all do our part; and protect semi-rural character – by focusing future growth within the Special Study Area.
Community Amenity Credits (CAC’s) and Land Lift are two forms of community contributions and are a standard part of the community development process.
CAC’s is a concept whereby public benefits are negotiated in the form of infrastructure or funding to accommodate development. Likewise, the concept of land lift is standard, and involves a community being guaranteed a portion of the financial benefits associated with an increase in land values that come with development. For further details, following is a link to the Provincial Government CAC discussion paper: community_amenity_contributions_guide.pdf (gov.bc.ca)
We are hearing from residents that they want options that support downsizing and ageing in place, that enable younger generations to find suitable housing options and that cater to every lifestyle and life stage—from young families to seniors. With a mix of well-designed multi-family homes, spacious townhomes and accessible, single-floor residences, icona’s vision ensures that everyone can stay in the community they know and love, even as their housing and lifestyle continue to evolve.
icona’s plans for Anmore South will breathe new vitality into the Village by creating appropriate housing for people of all lifestyles and life stages. A mix of townhomes and apartments will be available to own or rent at both market and non-market rates, providing affordable options for all—from young people just starting out in life to older community members who want options for aging in place. icona will also establish an Affordable Home Ownership program that gives priority to homes for essential community members and enables fire department staff and schoolteachers to live and work conveniently within the community.
About icona Properties
Yes. icona is a British Columbia company with an office in Vancouver. Importantly, the majority of our leadership team and many of our staff live right here in the Tri-City area. This is our backyard, and we all take deep personal pride in the future of the Anmore South lands.
As the landowner of the Anmore South lands, we have developed an initial vision to generate some ideas about what the future may hold for this parcel of land. We are sharing our thoughts with residents of Anmore and asking for input to help shape a plan that enhances the community in a manner we can all be proud of.
The 150 acres of land known as Anmore South takes its fundamental inspiration from nature. Following the principles of nature-based design, it will preserve and accentuate the unique qualities of this extraordinary site to create a biodiverse and resilient habitat where nature, people and the built environment harmoniously co-exist.
Our vision of a complete community is based first and foremost on creating broad community benefits in the form of permanent parklands and a network of cycling, hiking and walking trails to draw people of all abilities closer to nature. It is reflected in our commitment to preserving the tranquility of a semi-rural way of life while bringing daily pleasures and conveniences closer to home. And it is also demonstrated by creating housing diversity that provides options that support downsizing or aging in place while also enabling younger generations to find suitable housing options – and in doing so, creating a more stable and diversified tax base.
It is worth noting that our vision is also a means of fulfilling a number of objectives identified in Village Council’s 2019-2022 Strategic Plan, including creating opportunities to live, work, shop and play in Anmore, creating housing opportunities for aging in place and for young families, and providing alternative options for sewer collection and treatment, and connection to the Metro Vancouver water system – to name just a few examples.
Absolutely not. In fact, a “General Urban” designation provides flexibility to create a substantial amount of parkland. icona’s initial vision includes the creation of one of the largest protected parklands in the Tri-City area, six times the size of Rocky Mountain Park – and with it, a network of cycling, hiking and walking trails to draw people of all abilities closer to nature.
The present “Rural” designation only allows for one acre family size lots, through which the majority of trees can be removed and only 5% parkland dedication is required.
The Village of Anmore recently released a financial analysis of potential scenarios, two of which involve retaining the current “Rural” land use designation – and development being comprised of single-family, 1 acre and ¼ acre lots.
The 1-acre lot scenario would involve 143 acres of developed land and only 8 acres designated for a parkland. The ¼-acre lot scenario would involve 106 acres of developed area and 45 acres of dedicated parkland. The financial report concluded this scenario would cost the Village money and would require tax increases upward of $405 per household, annually.
In contrast, a “General Urban” designation would include 76 acres of developed area and 75 acres dedicated to park space. This scenario has similar financial implications to the Village.
We are committing to, as part of our initial vision, the creation of one of the largest protected parklands in the Tri-City area — at least six times the size of Rocky Point Park, a place where residents can live, work, play and connect in nature. With a significant portion of the existing forests preserved and managed as permanent parklands, we also envision a network of cycling, hiking and walking trails to draw people of all abilities closer to nature.
In our early conversations with the people of Anmore, there is one point on which the community appears unanimous: preserving the natural environment is a top priority. In addition to the gift of one of the largest protected parklands in the region and a network of trails, our initial vison also minimizes the human footprint through thoughtful nature-based design so that we can protect as much of the natural land as possible, strengthen existing natural streams and waterways, and protect and enhance existing wildlife corridors. Among icona’s team of experts is renowned landscape architecture firm SLA.
During initial discussions with Anmore residents, we have heard a desire for housing diversity that provides options supporting downsizing or aging in place while also enabling younger generations to find suitable housing options – and in doing so, create a more stable and diversified tax base.
Accessibility & Infrastructure
Anmore South will be created incrementally over an approximately a 20-year period and will not welcoming its first residents for at least five years. Changes to traffic will be gradual. The community itself will be connected by natural pedestrian trails and multi-use pathways that enable residents of all abilities to walk, cycle and stroll between the several neighbourhood hearts and the different amenities each offers, including the school, Community Centre, library, local shops and services. We envision options that include a network of charging stations that will fuel electric rideshare vehicles and bike sharing program, – and because of the close proximity to Skytrain, icona will establish a partnership with Translink, and subsidize the costs of bringing a local shuttle service and transit options to Anmore. This will ensure that residents benefit from local mobility and access to rapid transit immediately.
Studies related to traffic challenges and potential solutions will be required as part of the process, well before any changes occur – and we will share and seek input from residents about potential options. Among our team of experts is Western Canada’s largest specialist transportation planning and engineering firm, Bunt and Associates.
We are proposing an investment in excess of $100 million to construct modern wastewater conveyance infrastructure to the area that will directly connect to Metro Vancouver’s regional sewer system. We also envision a direct connection to the regional water supply, that will ensure ample resourcing for the whole of Anmore, including homeowners, business owners and local firefighters—for many decades to come.
It should be noted, even under a “General Urban” designation for Anmore South, only those lands in that specific 150-acre parcel would be connected to sewer. Certainly, proximity to access would be an opportunity and financial benefit for property owners in Anmore in the long term, however access to the regional sewer system would require Metro Vancouver to work with the Village to facilitate such a change. We also believe a direct connection to the regional water supply will ensure ample resourcing for homeowners, business owners and local firefighters.
The History of Anmore South
We acknowledge Anmore South is seated on the shared traditional territories of the səlil̓wətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), S’ólh Téméxw (Stó:lō) and qiqéyt (Qayqayt) First Nations who have occupied and cared for these lands since time immemorial.
No. Logging activities cleared extensive portions of the land in present-day Anmore in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Early development in the form of homesteading, began with the provincial government selling the land in 1914. Three land title sections were subdivided into approximately 30 lots and offered for sale at the Port Moody auction with an average selling price of $5/acre. A second auction in New Westminster saw prices increase to between $8 to $14 per acre. At the end of the two auctions, 33 individuals had purchased land in the Village of Anmore.
Anmore South consists of 150 acres of land previously owned by the Imperial Oil Company. In the late 19th and early 20th century, settlers logged this site to build the Imperial Oil refinery. In 1987, Mayor Hal Weinberg (a Greater Vancouver Regional District board member) proposed a vote to incorporate Anmore, which passed, but with a condition that Anmore lose an important source of tax revenue: the Imperial Oil Corporation (“Ioco”) Refinery lands.
In March 2011, the Village of Anmore identified Anmore South as an area for future consideration and requested the Metro Vancouver Board designate the site as a “Special Study Area”. The designation was granted in July of that same year. Prior to these regulatory activities, the lands were used for forestry, industrial, and settlement purposes as far back as the early 1900s.
Envision a New Future with Us
In collaboration with residents and a multidisciplinary team of planners, innovators, visionaries and environmental experts, icona is pioneering a new approach to placemaking—one that touches the earth lightly and enlivens place, planet and people.The Proposal