Regarding your segment today on the Onni development in North Van, many listeners may have been misled by comments implying that the city has rejected the project, or is trying to extract an undeserved benefit from the developer. Neither is correct.
Like every city, North Vancouver has an Official Community Plan (OCP) which dictates what can be built where. Onni wants to greatly exceed these guidelines and build a development that is much taller and denser than the current standards allow. In return, they have offered to provide certain community amenities — in essence, buying additional size beyond what the zoning entitles them to. Nothing wrong with that. But there is also nothing wrong with Council and residents questioning whether the amenities on offer are a fair exchange for the additional several floors of residential the developer will be able to sell. It’s important to remember there is nothing stopping the developer from just building what the current OCP and zoning allow, with no need for amenities or public hearings.
Also, the City did not halt the process, just decide to repeat the public hearing. After getting this far with their proposal, you’d think attending one more meeting wouldn’t be that daunting. Under the circumstances Onni’s reaction is very much over the top, and I can’t help but wonder if this is just an attempt to put pressure on Council. I hope not, because that would be a very cynical thing to do.
-Fred Dawkins (North Van City resident)(emailing from work)