We should praise Council who have listened to knowledgeable informants about the issues around legalization of marijuana. Whatever their final vote or what the citizens of the area believe to be reasonable public policy Council at least sought outside knowledge.
Now if only Council would do the same kind of listening and canvassing of knowledge that is available about building still more tower projects in fragile residential areas adjacent to Lonsdale.
If Councillor Keating and Mayor Mussatto are really serious about “rational, evidence based discussion” and do not stereotype and scoff at opposition to exceptionally tall buildings as “folk wisdom” (Keating), then they might at least try to see that the 19 story building proposed on a short, narrow residential side-street is not a “place where tall buildings should be” (Mussatto).
These assertions are special pleading and circular reasoning to say the least. Talk about ‘rational’ wisdom? Their position is retrograde when it comes to maintaining livable communities and using wisdom on the topic of rational planning for organic development.
Planners and architects world-wide know the deleterious effect of highrises in small residential areas. The congestion and loss of rental accommodation on the entire life-cycle of a city further erodes the livability and spatial quality of residential life.
Here are some reasons:
In addition to the material effect of rampant ‘urbanization’ in an area that is already extremely congested, a tower will further erode livability because the Anthem building is on the same street! Eastern Avenue is not a thoroughfare but it will become one. It is one short block long!
The Anthem building and the massive Extra Foods store will change the character of the neighborhood completely. You approved that change in height. So now stop expanding the concept of the “city” into residential streets with more height than the neighborhood can carry.
The “City” of Lonsdale is really not a “city” at all but a Town which has interlaced neighborhoods of distinct character. The kind of ‘urbanism’ that is rampant now will change the character of the city irrevocably as it spreads outward and upward. If you must build on this site you must not approve that site for buildings higher than the ones currently permitted on Lonsdale.
The number of rental units proposed is ludicrous in comparison to the need for rental housing which in the proposal was a small fraction in regard to the entire condo plan.
Ask yourselves why these massive highrises are not being build on East Hastings, Kerrisdale, Main Street, Fraser, Kitsilano? The answer is that any city, particularly North Vancouver, is built of neighborhoods and people move to neighborhoods because of the ethos and livability of the size, the complex quality of life which is complex in many different ways, and interesting and not anonymous, faceless transitory and This is not “folk wisdom” (Keating) but the common knowledge of progressive planners who are careful about urbanizing neighborhoods.
There is, finally, the planners’ fiction that there is something like a ‘place’ called ‘Central Lonsdale’. Naming a place doesn’t make it a reality. This is planners’ doublespeak. They say it is a city because they say it is?
If the new OCP wants to build new buildings one or two blocks from Lonsdale then why not at least maintain the limit allowed on Lonsdale?
Simon Fraser University
[almost 50 years resident in North Vancouver]