Taxes, bike lifts, DCC’s, G3 Terminal

It would seem (from the view of the Gallery at last night’s meeting) that public interest in the goings-on at CNV Council is waning, .  We (Voices) know from what we hear that this is not the case, many residents are quietly biding their time, communicating with each other and on social media, and waiting patiently for the next local election.  Thanks to two residents for attending meetings and speaking up last night.  Meeting video:

Two of the speakers at public input last night, CNV Council.  

  • Kerry Morris spoke about his 20% property tax increase and ‘squandering money’ on pet projects in the City.  We (Voices) note that the bike lift was back again – this time with a price tag of $4.2M estimated.  We also note that this was brought up in 2009, with the Mayor saying at that time that ‘he wouldn’t expect the City to pay anything’.
  • We thank Councillors Back, Bell, Bookham and Clark for voting with the financial interests of residents in mind (re the bike lift).  

Follow up email from Kerry Morris to Council with further detail:

‘As discussed tonight at council, my tax assessment arrived today and unlike the assertions of Mr. Themens, the City’s head of finance, my taxes increased 20% versus last year. I should feel grateful as I am now privy to reports of increases exceeding 30% for some RS-1 homeowners in neighbourhoods closer to Lonsdale than mine.
Council is constantly debating the issue of Affordable Housing, making claim that it is seeking to improve affordability, and blaming the lack of affordability on the Federal and Provincial governments. But affordability is not a matter limited to the sticker price of a capital home purchase, it is also driven by the cost of keeping and operating a home. In this area the City has become the single most devastating obstacle to affordability.
As a council you seem to have lost your understanding that squandering money on foolish and wasteful projects (bike-lift feasibility studies, etc.) which put the security of City residents homes at risk is patently wrong and reprehensible conduct.
I note with interest the opening of the new $70K putting green out front of Mayor Mussatto’s home at 8th & 9th Streets at St. Andrews. A $70K one hole putting green in a year when RS-1 home owners are experiencing a 20-30% increase in their property tax costs suggests council is out of touch with its residents needs, not to mention reality.
Mr. Mayor, I want to congratulate you. You finally have that legacy you have strived so hard to create. Your Slate and this council will be remembered as the principle cause of the single largest tax increase in this City’s entire history’.
  • Cathy Lewis was the next speaker and spoke about Development Cost Charges, and lost opportunities for the CNV.   It would seem that the new bylaw passed with minimal increases from 1997 – a bonus for developers of townhouse/apartments.  The City is expecting 7500 new residents in the next 10 years in 4052 new units, the majority of those in townhouse and apartments.  Draft of Ms Lewis’ input:

‘May 30, 2016 Council Presentation

Regarding item # 5 on the agenda Development Cost Charges Review and Update, I was the resident who asked the questions on Attachment #3 of tonight’s package and I would like to thank staff for responding to my questions.

However, I would like to again say that I believe the City is missing out on an opportunity to secure more revenue for the much needed infrastructure that new development will require.

The District of North Vancouver has recently amended their DCC Bylaws and their rates for Duplexes, Townhouses and Apartments are still about 50% higher than the proposed rate adjustment being considered tonight. Why is the City not on par with the District in these areas?

With the projected growth figures and the massive redevelopment of the Moodyville area where most of the development will come in the form of townhouses and apartments, we are missing a chance to have these rates set at a comparable level.

Since the DCC bylaw has not been updated in 20 years we have certainly already missed a huge opportunity. The past 5 years alone have seen an enormous amount of development that should have secured us more revenue.

To argue that the extra cost to the developer will be passed on to the purchaser does not factor out in today’s market where the purchase price is whatever the market will bear.

I would urge staff to consider changing the rates to be on par with the District.

On another issue, I believe Port of Vancouver is holding a public AGM tomorrow afternoon where the CEO Robin Sylvester and board of directors have invited MLA’s MP’s and Mayor’s to attend and I wondered if the Mayor will be attending? The G3 Grain Terminal Project that is planned for our waterfront has massive implications on our entire harbour and the surrounding municipalities and like so many of the ports projects, the risk we all take is certainly not outweighed by any benefits. Please protect our environment.

Thank you

Cathy Lewis


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