Letter to Editor, NS News (not yet published)
As a person who has lived in the Lower Mainland for most of my 67 years, I am very concerned about the almost insane desire to “densify” almost very square space available until I really took the time to think about it. When I did, I realized the whole “densify” is actually a myth for the following reasons:
- If the majority of the new spaces are only going to be one or two bedrooms, then we need to ask if we are only going to have single people, couples or people who only want one child.
- Are we going to be looking at a situation with 4 or 5 or more people living in one or two bedroom units (apparently that is happening in Woodcroft in North Vancouver) and if so we are not building communities we are building ghettos.
- Where are all the thousands of people coming from that want to live in city with such a small selection of housing size?
- Where will extended family members live in these one and two bedroom units?
- If we are not building to accommodate families in houses or town houses then this population growth is very likely a onetime thing – how can it grow if there are no or very few children?
- Traffic – everyone is concerned about traffic and when there are only 2 bridges and one Seabus there is a reason for concern. No one believes that you can add the thousands of people on the North Shore without having massive issues with traffic and so far no Politian or developer has come up with any kind of resolution that makes sense.
- Pollution – again more cars will create more pollution so let us see the politicians put their money where their mouths are and have air quality control devices set up on Marine Drive and Taylor Way, Marine Drive and Capilano Road, West 3rd and Esplanade intersection of Lynn Valley Road and Mountain Highway and the Lower Road for a month or two.
- Hospital – how irresponsible is it to plan huge increase in density with a 223 bed hospital?
Solutions – I think the only real solution is that people on the North Shore, whether it is West Vancouver or North Vancouver district or city need to get together to form an “anti-density” party for the next municipal election. We certainly do not have to be on the same page in terms of political parties but we need to agree that it is time politicians are representing the people instead of special interest groups such as developers. This group could then run candidates under a “community” umbrella and with enough people there could be a large cash flow that developer, union or other special interest groups would not have so much power.
There also needs to be a public meeting where all three levels of governments are present because the issues facing North Shore residents need complete representation. It is time we have the opportunity to have dialogue about the issues which are going to have such a large impact such as immigration, proper road planning, a large and modern hospital that can deal with future growth. We also need to know are we growing a community or just slabs of cement.
Sue Lakes Cook