Who Dropped the Ball? (re Cloverley)

—– Original Message —–

Sent: Monday, April 07, 2014 7:01 AM
Subject: Cloverley School
April 6th.2014
Mayor Mussatto and  Members of Council,
The North Vancouver School District ( S.D. ) invited members of the Cloverley Residents and Queensbury Associations to attend a meeting on April 3rd. at Cloverley School to present their proposals for possible use of the Cloverley Property which includes the Park and Tennis Courts. The Public meeting for the same proposals will be held April 16th. at the same location.
The S.D. presented 4 different development plans, which to say the least were Shocking. The S.D. completely ignored
comments and suggestions from the 125 participents that attended the first Open House meeting in February.What is the point of having the public process if their intent is to only work with developers. 95% of the people made it clear they did not want to lose the Park and wanted some type of Community center,daycare or mix use facility for the residents.
Of the four proposals, all of them ridiculous, I would like to bring your attention to # 1 proposal with the least density and the most to lose and  #3 proposal with the highest density and the least to lose. Seems familiar, almost like density bonusing.
#1 proposal-   64 single family homes, 32 being townhomes  and 32 being houses. Cloverley Park and tennis courts would be completely removed for this development with a lane extending south through the property from the existing lane at Kennard Ave. A small ribbon of green would remain at Hendry Ave. with another small parcel of land at the corner of Shavington for possible future use for Early Childhood Learning.
#3 proposal – 297 Units of  4 to 6 story condo’s at the South West end of the property where the school is now located. This proposal would allow Cloverley Park and tennis courts to remain.( Density Bonusing)
 # 2 has 189 Units and # 4 has 81 Townhomes with mixed variations. I do not have the full details because at this point I was completely disgusted with the whole process. We were not allowed to keep any copies of their proposals until after the April 16th. meeting so I don’t have any complete details to offer you.
I was sitting at one of the tables with John Lewis from the S.D. and members from the Dialog team along with 7 other residents. When I questioned why they would even bring such a ridiculous set of development proposals and not include suggestions that were made at the previous meeting I never received an appropiate answer.
When John Lewis was questioned by one resident about the 30 million dollars the S.D. spent on the Board Offices on Lonsdale,he quicky replied, actually it was 32 million as if this was completely acceptable. This is not what you want to hear when you are being presented with these disingenuous proposals and taking part in a process that borders on being a complete sham.
The CRA  and John Braithwaite over the years has made it perfectly clear at Council meetings  in the past that any development in our neighbourhood other that single family,would not be acceptable, nor the loss of Cloverley Park.
In Sept. 2007 we made an attempt to have Cloverley Park changed to a dedicated Park but we were denied by council. A letter was sent to to the City to recommend purchase of the park from the S.D.and Richard White’s reply was ( second from last paragraph) “The City has offered to fund part of the salary of a professional planner to enable the School District’s work in this regard to be undertaken at the earliest opportunity and the most thoughtful and thorough way possible. This planner will be on staff very shortly. I am told that the City and the School District staff have already developed a work program for this staff person and that it includes sorting out the ways by which the City may acquire the Cloverley site at a price that is reasonable for the City and acceptable to the School District and the Province. Richard White followed up with a second letter in Sept. 2008 stating he expected to be working with the School District in the coming months and he would be seeking Council’s instruction with regard to adding this work to the 2009 Work Program.
 If the S.D. now plans to hold the City and the tax payers ransom for the Cloverley Park property in any way even in the form of Density Bonus this would be a classic situation of conflict of interest.
Who has dropped the ball at City Hall?  The City has had almost 7 years to purchase Cloverley Park since our last letter. Now fast forward to 2014  and we have a desperate and greedy S.D. trying to bully the residents to choose a higher density option to save the Park knowing this is a single family coach house zoned area.This is not acceptable to me and it never will be.
I urge the City to give direction to the School District to delay the Public Process Meetings until the City can offer proper clarification and resolve of Cloverley Park and tennis courts. I also recommend you follow up on Rod Clark’s suggestion last week  to have the S.D. meet with City Council.  Why is the S.D. in such urgent need of capital or are they being pressured from developers?
The North Vancouver City Parks Master Plan states clearly that the City should acquire land owned by the School District that is being considered for dispostion.The fact that this has been a City Park fo 30 years or more and City staff have worked closely on this very issue, puzzles me and many other residents. Once again,who dropped the ball?
George Ellis,
member of Cloverley Residents Assn
contact cra@telus.net

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