Monthly Archives: January 2018

A new low in the City of North Van(updated)

Our Mayor’s recent totally inappropriate and unacceptable comment in a Council meeting (Jan 15) is getting our little City a lot of unwelcome publicity. 

The Global Canadian newspaper actually was first to write a story about the Council meeting in question, story here: https://www.theglobalcanadian.com/mayor-mussatto-got-stuck-camel-elephant/

Today other news media has picked it up, on CKNW and tonight’s Global News as an example.  Links to the various radio/TV coverage is below.  The Mayor’s apology that apparently has been made would have been better without a snicker:

https://globalnews.ca/news/3996475/north-vancouver-mayor-apologizes-for-camel-toe-comment-during-council-meeting/

https://www.dropbox.com/s/39j6nf2urd7177y/elephant%20feet%20-%20mayor.mp3?dl=0

https://mystacheonline.com/2018/01/15/mirror-mirror-on-the-wall-is-the-mayor-a-liar-or-is-does-he-truly-believe-we-are-that-gullible/

Various commenters have mentioned “idiot”, “disgraceful”, “stupid”, “uncomfortable” “he’s laughing” “obviously Councillor Clark (saying ‘careful’) has more sense than the Mayor”.

Disgraceful.

Update: left on our facebook page with the comment “Does this look like the face of someone who didn’t know the meaning of what he just said?”

Image may contain: 3 people, people smiling, screen

 

 

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Unsettled Place of Transience?

Comment from Voices:  We have received the following version of a letter sent to North Vancouver City Council from a long time resident:

Is North Vancouver Now an Unsettled Place of Transience – Not A City? 

One issue about population growth: the enormous stress on the hospital. 

It is the only hospital on the North Shore and serves, as we know, the entire area from Deep Cove to Squamish and the Sunshine Coast: developments at 13th St and also along the entire Marine Drive and also 3rd street from St. George eastward etc. and at the foot of the cut grow buildings like mushrooms. 

Calling us a “City” is a misnomer; this is not a “city” anymore; it is an enclave that is a lacework of different kinds of settlements, small neighbourhoods, suburbs and bridge ways, which give it its character. 

The character now: sprawl and barely manageable growth. It is place of ‘transience’ and unsettled growth. 

As Council knows working people come to the North Shore from all over the Lower Mainland because they can’t afford to live here. 

For many the place has become little more than passageways from one place to another. 

This Transience! 

The dislocated renters will learn about ‘transience’ very quickly when they are forced to move. 

Who represents them? 

I’ll tell you a story perhaps representative: our Dr. in the Lower Lonsdale area moved his practice to Vancouver. We experienced what happens in finding a Dr. that is not a walk-in clinic. 

Most Dr.s on the North shore are not taking new patients unless in a walk-in clinic. We found out. 

Yet “we” are piling the people in. Who is the “We”? 
Especially one can add when so few voters in the City or District actually vote? Where is the “we”? 

The increase in population for example. Rrcently the rise in flu cases; many took their flu to the hospital because they don’t have a Doctor. 
Canadian statistics show this. 

The increase in population will further stress the lifeworld facilities. 
We know that the increase in population has moved beyond the predicted optimum that was planned. 

Yet development continues? 

We have experienced first hand the waiting time and the stress of the staff at the hospital who do their best. 
We eventually found a Dr. after many weeks of searching; this is a marker that is indicative of the reality. 

The Planning Department can produce a study of the indicators of the quality of the everyday way of life 

and see where ‘we’ stack up? 

-From a Very (very) Long Time North Vancouver Resident.

Consequence of the rush to densify? Safety?

Source: North Vancouver man handed 9 months jail for fatal crosswalk collision

Comment from Voices:  We thought that a comment to this sad article in the North Shore News today would benefit from a wider distribution. It was posted by a Disqus reader and according to the privacy rules can be distributed. We don’t know who wrote it:

Lonsdale from 3rd , North to Keith is scary.😨😨😨😨

In the rush to develop. Mussatto, Keating, Buchanan the (slate) have failed the citizen’s for safe walking, even though they promote walking, cycling,transit in every breath they speak.

It’s still unsafe to cross ,3rd east of Lonsdale anywhere ,as council waits for
Moody Ville developers to pay for maybe 1 light hopefully.

There is people, restaurants everywhere with no lights 1st, 2nd, lower Lonsdale . It’s almost criminal the lack of safety. Try to cross as drivers blow through crosswalks.

The council has ignored these locations jamming development down our throats while not updating crosswalks and much other infrastructure .

This CNV must take partial responsibility for this death,and any future deaths, also counting the 2 others that have already been killed.It will happen again in these locations.

Safety first should be the main concern of any corporation except the CNV, has ignored its responsibility.

Mussatto, Keating ,Buchanan, chose expansion and development at a fast pace in the process neglecting crosswalks,lights and other safety for its citizen’s.

If u don’t believe cross at 4th,5th, 6th, Lonsdale or east 3rd ,200,300,400 I dare you🚗🚗🚗

Failing to make it safe to walk in our community while taking multiple donations from developers to expand density, population seems blatantly ignorant by CNV planners and Councillors Buchanan, Keating and Mayor Mussatto.

Mussatto ,Buchanan ,Keating in their rush to please their corporate donors have left the citizen’s to fend for themselves on our streets.

If u think this over dramatic try and cross the street in any of these locations..Run if u can.

Do something council ! It’s our tax money. The city coffers are full yet this stretch of Lonsdale remains a drag strip.

Vote this group out citizen’s.

Don’t let Mr. Attermann sad death and tragedy to this family be followed by another person rundown in these crosswalks.

Be careful 🚗🚗🚗

 

Eastern Ave- 13 storeys, 225 units

Developer’s Information Session coming up: January 31 6-8pm 125 West 15th (Legion) for a new proposal by Anthem Properties at 1600 Eastern Avenue.  The Mayor and Councillor Keating were recipients of campaign donations from Anthem in 2014.  The proposed density is 3.3 FSR.

We (Voices) have received a copy of the following submission from a concerned resident in the area, which has been submitted to Anthem:

Dear Emily Howard
Community Relations Manager
Anthem Eastern Apartments LP
cc. Planning cnv.
__________________________
I will be attending the Information Session on January 31 to hear about your proposal for the new massive development in our neighborhood.
I’m sure other residents of The Sovereign will be there and will want to know about your plans.
This message is directed to both Anthem and Planning CNV and several Council members.
Here are some questions which you might want to address:  
1. What is the rent scale that Anthem proposes? 
2. Will there be options for affordable rent for the renters who will be affected who now live in the apartments on the East side of Eastern Ave.?
3. What kind of traffic survey and analysis has been done? What does it show?
   The traffic in this area is circumscribed by through-arteries to Grand Blvd.,Lynn Valley,
   and beyond, and the Upper Levels. Traffic on St. George and the hospital is considerable as well.
   17 th. is a shortcut to Grand Blvd. and the Upper Levels.  
4. Traffic to and from Loblaws, bus routes on 15th, fire, police, ambulances, delivery and service vehicles spread are now spread throughout these narrow streets. A huge development will take place on St. George and 15th adding more congestion to the already stressed neighborhood.
5. This is a small residential neighborhood with a specific character;  this massive development will once again promote urban growth and see development take charge of the way of life. What if any amenities is Anthem returning for this density? The intersection at Eastern and 17th and Eastern and 15th is already a  dangerously congested intersection for pedestrians and automobiles. The neighborhood has  many older people who use walkers, families who walk with small children and strollers.  The entrance and exit to Loblaws on both 17th and Eastern impinges on sidewalk traffic.
6. Where is the entrance and exit going to be for Anthem Eastern Apartments?
Thank you for your attention to these issues. 
— 
Jerry Zaslove 

 

City of North Van approves condos for Telus site

Comment from Voices:  We have also posted a letter to the NS News from Linda Heese (name mis-spelled in the article) as well as comments to her letter:

https://nvcityvoices.wordpress.com/2018/01/23/oct-18-cannot-come-soon-enough/

Article in the NS News:

pic

City of North Vancouver council voted on Monday to allow for 179 condo units at 150 East Eighth St.

Despite neighbourhood outcry over a shortage of parking and an excess of density, four out of seven councillors favoured construction of two six-storey buildings as well as 17 ground-floor townhomes.

Besides being “13 townhouses wide,” one six-storey building becomes seven storeys where the sloping site reaches its lowest point, noted neighbour Linda Hayes.

The site resembles a right-angle triangle with the longer sides running along East 11th and Eighth streets and the point jutting towards Lonsdale Avenue.

The project’s mass and height will leave neighbours “dwarfed” while failing to provide housing the city needs, Hayes argued.

“This is a market condo building, not affordable housing,” she said.

While there’s a theory that greater density will breed affordability, the North Shore’s increase in density hasn’t provided “any marked improvement in affordability,” Coun. Don Bell noted.

“We’re seeing a changing demographic on the North Shore that is worrying to me,” he said. “We’re seeing people being driven away because of economics,” he said.

Mayor Darrell Mussatto conceded that developer Crest Adera will sell the units for “as much as they can,” but he countered that the project is still more affordable than buying a single-family home.

The project is near the 229 and 230 bus routes, close to shops, and a quick hop from the Green Necklace cycling route.

“If you’re going to put density somewhere, this is the place you’re going to put it,” Mussatto said.

The city’s guidelines allow a maximum of six storeys on the site – measured from the highest point of the lot. Those parameters limit floor space ratio – which measures the project’s total floor area against its lot size – to 2.6, which includes a 1.0 FSR bonus.

The developer is slated to pay $8.1 million for that extra density, of which $1.6 million is earmarked for the city’s affordable reserve fund and $6.5 million for the civic amenity reserve fund.

That money “can go right to Harry Jerome,” Mussatto said, noting the high cost of the forthcoming recreation centre.

The financial arrangement didn’t persuade Coun. Rod Clark to support the development.

“I don’t want cash in lieu,” he said. “I want the affordable housing units.”

The project’s preliminary application included 12 units at below-market rates. That component was scrapped.

Clark suggested the development was “shoehorning density in an area that’s already pretty dense.”

The project includes 235 parking spots, including 30 spaces for Telus employees who will work in the building on the eastern side of the site.

The extra density will exacerbate a parking scarcity that has sent many customers into the large parking lots around Park Royal in West Vancouver, said Coun. Pam Bookham.

“We’ve been hearing a lot from our business owners about the challenges of providing adequate street parking for their customers,” she said, mentioning the challenges faced by customers at the Club 16 fitness centre on Lonsdale.

If North Vancouver wants to support a small business community, as opposed to a mall, “we need more people,” Coun. Linda Buchanan argued.

Buchanan also took issue with her council colleagues calling for affordable rental.

“It is pretty rich for some councillors to say we need more purpose rental building when they in fact (voted against) a purpose rental building two blocks up the street.”

The market development is essential for North Vancouverites who want to own rather than rent, she said.

“These young people in our community need to have hope that they can actually afford to buy something in our community.”

Coun. Holly Back praised the developer for providing ample parking and an off-leash dog park.

“I don’t see how this six-storey building is going to overshadow anything,” she said. “The Telus building has been pretty ugly there for the last 50 years so thank you for beautifying the area.”

While housing prices have risen amid an “unprecedented building boom,” Coun. Craig Keating reminded the packed chamber about the delicate nature of council’s responsibilities.

“I would not sit here in front of council and say, ‘I’m the councillor who’s going to help everybody’s housing prices go down,’ because if you own the house you don’t like that idea,” he said, adding that it’s a different matter for residents hoping to buy homes.

The project should, “help us replace the single-family home,” he said.

Council’s decision was supported by Philip Tarrant, who described himself as a millennial in support of density.

“Density is the only way my generation can afford to live and buy homes on the North Shore,” he said. “Adera will take an under-utilized property in a great location and turn it into 179 new homes.”

The units range between 600 and 1,900 square feet.

Crest Adera is also on the hook for $635,000 worth of in-kind contributions, including a dog park facilitated by moving the cul-de-sac eastward, public art, and the relocation of the grizzly bear sculpture on Lonsdale Avenue and Eighth Street.

Source: City of North Van approves condos for Telus site

Oct 18 cannot come soon enough

This is a letter from a resident in the City of North Van addressed to The Editor, North Shore News (not yet published) .  The 150 E 8th proposal with 178 units was passed after the public hearing last night by the pro-development members of Council 4-3.

Letter to the Editor

Another Blight on Our Neighbourhood

The letter of the law wins again over the intent of the law.

Once again last night Mayor Mussatto and Councillors Keating, Buchanan and Back voted their approval of a high density project at 150 East 8th Street (Telus Site). It did not matter that every person, living in the adjacent buildings (who sent emails and spoke at the meeting) asked for a height reduction of one storey and for another driveway entrance. This input was completely ignored by these members of Council. Councillor Keating asked if the project met the conditions laid out in the OCP – which it does IF Council agrees to award the Maximum Density Bonus that could be applied. Council could have asked for a reduction of one storey and the City receive less money for the Density Bonus. Councillors Bookham, Bell and Clark voted against the project agreeing with the immediate neighbours that changes are needed.

Another 4 against 3 vote that brings us yet another project too large for the neighbourhood and another 235 cars to add to our streets. This same voting brought us 161 East Keith – a 17 storey tower on too small a lot even with the inclusion of a piece of our boulevard – this tower now overpowers the east end of Victoria Park. Next is the Hollyburn building going up at 13th and Lonsdale – 19 storeys right along Lonsdale.

Oct. 18 cannot come soon enough!

Linda Heese

 

Public Hearing Jan 22- 150 E 8th

Following is a request for residents to attend the Public Hearing tomorrow. Full details are on the “news” page of this website:

Below is a summary of this project and a few bullets on the issues.
It would be much appreciated if local people would make comments to 
Council by 4 pm tomorrow.
Once again, this project is at the absolute maximum height and mass, and 
will not fit well into the established neighbourhood.
It is a shame that our city planners do not live in our neighbourhood 
and therefore are not part of the community.
Please add whatever words you can to encourage people to attend and/or 
send messages to council – Adera has shop owners from lower Lonsdale 
sending messages saying it is all wonderful, and dog walkers from all 
over are sending their praises for a dog park! – unbelievable stuff!
The fight continues.

PUBLIC HEARING for 150 East 8th Street – (TELUS site)

MONDAY, Jan. 22 – City Hall – 6:30 pm

Project Summary:

  • 179 units – all market condo
    • 17 town houses; 162 apartments
  • 7 storeys high on E 8th St. (maximum OCP height 6 storeys)
  • 2.6 FSR (floor space ratio) (OCP is 1.6 with a maximum of 1 additional possible

to achieve additional public benefits or amenities’ ‘at Council’s absolute discretion’.)

  • parking for 205 cars + bicycles

Issues:

  • massive building, 7 storeys high all along E 8th **
    • floor height and building siting make it equal to the 9 storeys on E Keith towers
    • more than 2 storeys higher than current 7 storey buildings on E Keith
    • long and tall massive building compared to the E 8th, 11th & St. Georges buildings
  • driveway – only one entrance & exit into laneway at east end – shared by 1033 St. Georges and the TELUS parking (30 spaces)
  • no affordable housing component in this project
  • unnecessary additional condo units – already exceed 2041 Regional Growth numbers
  • suggestion by Adera for a dog park – on property which is already city owned

**Height of Building – the 6 storey maximum is being measured from the highest area of the property and being used to justify 7 storeys for the majority of the development.

REQUEST:

  • Council not to pass this proposal without amendments
  • reduce the proposal to 6 storey maximum height throughout the project
    • this would reduce the neighbourhood impact & only eliminate 29 units
    • it would reduce the cost to build & somewhat reduce the amenity payment to the City
  • the driveway/traffic issue needs further study