Letter to Councillor Bell from Miles Hogan

Dear Councillor Bell,

I understand you will approve Onni’s application if certain changes are made. Would you please inform me of the changes you expect from Onni?

I expect they include a new design to promote liveability and community and to avoid the simplistic twin tower design described by former councillor Braithwaite as a “monstrosity”. Architects have so many tools and materials at their disposal it is unfortunate that Onni chose to go with two upright rectangles simply to maximise density. One only need look at Victoria’sDockside Green development to see imagination meeting practicality.

I also expect Onni’s changes to include more affordable/subsidized housing to meet the needs of our most vulnerable which include seniors, individuals in abusive relationships, the physically and mentally disabled, the homeless and those battling addictions.  As an example of ONE group, you will note the attached email identifies that only 40 units are needed to assist women and their children to escape abusive situations. Unfortunately one woman had to wait 2 years to find safe housing and many must move from the North Shore and their support network. The email also describes how integration of non-market and market housing is preferred. You are of course aware of the City of North Vancouver’s policy to provide 5-10% of special needs housing within a residential complex. Onni is only offering around 12 units or 3.5% of the 344 units.

The 37 daycare spots proposed are not enough. If only 11% of the units contain families requiring daycare all the spots will be filled and the new residents of 1308 Lonsdale will take daycare spots away from existing North Vancouver residents. While looking for daycare in the Lonsdale area for my 4 month year old son (for when he turns one) I have repeatedly been told there is not enough daycare on the North Shore.
Finally, I expect you will demand that this development be green and sustainable whether viewed narrowly or broadly. A simple example of the short sightedness which epitomizes the entire projects is the number of electric vehicle charging stations. Of the 926 parking stalls only 40 will have electric vehicle charging stations. This is an almost unbelievable figure considering the CNV’s GHG emission targets and the need to disassociate transportation and fossil fuels.
More broadly speaking the project’s proposed density (4.5 FSR) and massive number of units simply facilitate the City’s unsustainable growth strategy of increasing the population 43% by 2041.  It means all the efforts we make individually to reduce our environmental footprint in areas like land use, sewage, garbage, GHG emissions, water and energy will be offset by increased population. This is extremely problematic as climate change increases uncertainty associated with water availability and energy production. Mayor Mussatto himself noted that the snow pack on North Shore mountains is decreasing. How can increased population be reconciled with decreased or untimely water availability and other priorities such as implementation of the Wild Salmon policy as called for in the Cohen Commission’s final report? The answer of course is it cannot.
I, like you, am not against redevelopment of this site, however, it must be done right. It must increase liveability and community, provide for our most vulnerable and be truly sustainable so as to provide opportunity for future generations, not liabilities.
Please require Onni to follow the OCP, it is our plan for the future.
I look forward to your response.
Best regards,
Miles Hogan
170 3rd St. E.
North Vancouver

2012-11-29_Special needs housing

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