During last night’s City Council meeting, there were three or four members of the RCMP in attendance – fully equipped with flak jackets, revolvers on each hip etc. They seemed to be there for the public input portion of the meeting – what was the City expecting? Is there so much discontent in our little City that Council members have to fear members of the community coming forward to speak? What grounds are there for this intimidation? There is a regular Security officer in attendance at Council meetings. When the Mayor was asked who requested the reinforcements his reply was “I’ll get back to you”. We would like an explanation.
There were well informed speakers at public input last night, including former Councillors Bob Fearnley, Bob Heywood and Guy Heywood. Questions were asked about the 161 East Keith public hearing process by Linda Heese, questions are here: 161 East Keith – Public Input- Feb. 16, 2015 – V2.
Video link to meeting is here: http://www.cnv.org/2015CouncilVideos
Voices spokesperson Fred Dawkins questioned the figures in the Regional Context Statement that was before the Metro Vancouver Board on Friday for approval. His submission follows, we have requested a response from the City:
CNV Council meeting 16 Feb 2015 – Public Input
My name is Fred Dawkins, I reside at 827 West 19th in the City of North Vancouver, and I’m here on behalf of North Van City Voices to discuss the Regional Growth Strategy.
In 2011 the City approved the growth targets set for Metro Vancouver’s Regional Growth Strategy. Throughout the City Shaping process, these targets were constantly referred to as one of the main rationales for increased density. As a reminder, here are those targets, which still remain on the City’s website as elements of the proposed new OCP:
2011 2021 2031 2041
Population 48,168 56,000 62,000 68,000
Housing units 24,206 25,600 28,000 30,200
Add’l needed – 1,400 3,800 6,000
So according to the projections that City staff and council have been putting forward to the citizens of North Vancouver throughout the City Shaping process, we need to build about 6,000 additional units of housing by 2041 to meet our commitment to the region. That’s certainly doable, especially since, as our group has documented, the city already has about 5,000 units in the development pipeline – that is, built since 2011 or in various stages of approval. We could easily reach those targets by pursuing a strategy of slow, prudent growth from here on.
But wait. On Jan. 12, this Council approved several amendments to the draft OCP. One of them was to bump the 2041 target for new units up to 10,620 – a 77 per cent increase from the original target of 6,000 – allegedly to account for the proposed upzoning of the Moodyville area, even though the estimated increase in units for this area is projected to be less than a third of that total increase.
Now we find that on Friday (Feb. 13) the City presented its Regional Context Statement to Metro Vancouver which bumps up the growth target even higher, to 11,680 new dwelling units by 2041. That’s just about double the projected rate of development that has been consistently presented in the draft OCP up until just one month ago.
We would like an explanation as to why there is this discrepancy between the targets approved by Council on Jan. 12 and those presented to Metro. What is the correct number? And what justification is there for doubling the target in the space of a couple of months, with no public discussion?
Why are we overbuilding the City of North Vancouver?