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PoMo takes action on filming policies

Port Moody will develop policies governing filming but the city shouldn’t expect an economic windfall, even as it becomes increasingly popular for movie and TV productions, cautioned one councillor.
film set
Filming is robust in the Tri-Cities, and the City of Port Moody is considering developing a filming policy to ensure there's no conflicts with residents and businesses.

Port Moody will develop policies governing filming but the city shouldn’t expect an economic windfall, even as it becomes increasingly popular for movie and TV productions, cautioned one councillor.

According to a report presented to a council committee of the whole meeting July 10, the city has issued eight filming permits so far this year while 23 were issued all of 2017. Popular locations include Clarke Street, Newport Village, Eagle Ridge Hospital, Heritage Woods secondary school and Rocky Point Park.

Kate Zanon, general manager of community services, said PoMo should take a supportive approach to production companies seeking to film in the city by streamlining permitting procedures and creating guidelines for things like noise and overnight filming, and ensuring popular locations don’t become too disruptive.

“If you don’t have policy, you can turn a positive into a negative,” she said.

Coun. Barbara Junker said film production can be especially troublesome to businesses in popular locations like Clarke Street. She said one business owner recently expressed to her frustration when a production overstayed its permitted time, affecting access to the area by customers.

Zanon said having tighter policies in place would ensure production requirements match “the values of the community.”

She said the film industry is accustomed to working with policies when production companies are on location. "They just want to know it’s available.”

Zanon also suggested a filming policy could include provision for the creation of a reserve fund to pool permit fees that could then be used to pay for amenities that benefit the community. Those fees can range from $300 for a simple filming permit to much more money if several fees are required to shut down roads or civic facilities to accommodate filming.

mbartel@tricitynews.com