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Port Moody strata council forced to remove sign outside neighbourhood playground restricting public access

A strata council was forced to remove a sign outside a neighbourhood playground in Suter Brook last month, which stated the playground’s use was exclusively for residents of their building.

The city was made aware of the “private property” sign erected outside The Grande building in mid-December, after a local resident sent in a complaint.

“Bylaw Enforcement sent a letter to the strata and the sign has since been taken down,” said Robyn MacLeod, acting general manager of community development. “The playground is located on private property but is intended for use by the public. The strata has been made aware of this condition.”

The Grande, located on 305 Morrissey Rd., is one of two 26-storey towers in Suter Brook which were approved by Port Moody council in 2018.

The developer, Onni Group, sought amendments to the city’s official community plan which would allow a 44 percent increase to its density.

In exchange, Onni offered to build the neighbourhood playground, improve pedestrian access to Inlet Centre SkyTrain station, as well as pay more than $16 million to the city through the density bonus program.

The language in the land use contract states: “that intention of the Play Area is that it serves as a neighbourhood space for the use of the wider Suter Brook community.”

While Onni owns the parcel where the playground was constructed, a representative from the company said they were not responsible for the sign.

The Dispatch attempted to reach out to the strata council, but Rancho Management Services, which manages the council’s communications, refused to comment.

One resident of The Grande said many of the owners in the building were “mortified” by the sign, and immediately asked the strata council for its removal.

They said the explanation provided by the council was that the sign’s content was a result of miscommunication, and it was actually meant to advise against excessive noise after 10 p.m.

Patrick Penner, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Tri-Cities Dispatch