Plan B for transit needed

Voices comment:  letter to the North Shore News with a suggestion we totally agree with.  We have long advocated that the new growth must contribute to livability.  In our first delegation to Council in May 2012 we said:

We ask that Council develop some reasonable policies and guidelines with respect to density bonusing, like those in West Vancouver and Vancouver, so that the public knows that the city is getting fair value for additional density and so that developers are not able to avoid paying less than their share.’

We know that we (the City) is not receiving fair value for the current growth.  There have been far too many lost opportunities for community amenities.   Link to our inaugural delegation is here:  Maybe we need a reminder about how far we have come (or not).

Link to News letter is here:   Plan B for transit needed.

North Vancouver – Dear Editor: Thank you for printing the letter Slap Developers with a Cost Charge to Help Pay for Transit (mailbox, Jan. 28), and thanks to letter-writer Don Bryant for his idea. I agree. Politicians may need a backup plan if the transit referendum fails.

There is an ongoing dilemma of how to balance growth with transportation, so we believe development cost charges are a fair and equitable way to collect fees to pay for downstream improvements which are a direct result of development. This is also easier for the majority of people to swallow, since they equate growth with increasing demand for transit.

There is a growing discontent with development – growth – as Bryant pointed out. Developers are just doing their job – developing housing, etc. – but the growth needs to be accompanied with transit improvements, otherwise commuters become frustrated, and it will become an election issue, as witnessed in North Vancouver in November.

Bryant has proposed a solution which will up the costs for developers, but the alternative is even less attractive to them, namely stopping growth. All it takes is pressure from the mayors, through Metro, to get the province to revise the Local Government Act enabling municipalities to collect DCCs for transit.

Are you listening, mayors and local MLAs? Maybe this is the “Plan B” the mayor is looking for.

Alex Jamieson

North Vancouver

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