Category Archives: Articles

Rebellion in the neighbourhood | The Global Canadian

Comment by Voices:  Comparison of current growth in the City of North Van, the target in the Regional Growth Strategy for 2031 was 28,000 dwelling units. Currently planned are 31,192 (exceeding the 2041 targets). All details are on our ‘Statistics’ page or here for specific details:   https://nvcityvoices.files.wordpress.com/2018/01/cnv_housing-units-january-2018.xls

Article in The Global Canadian:

Residents built our communities but now see a decline in quality of life due to disruption caused by endless rebuilding By Corrie Kost I feel like an end of an era in municipal governance is about to take place. In my opinion, and this is a change I’d welcome, many municipalities in the lower mainland …

Source: Rebellion in the neighbourhood | The Global Canadian

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Create policies that benefit the CNV residents | The Global CanadianThe Global Canadian

Quoting in part from Fiona Walsh in https://www.theglobalcanadian.com/ :

The Harry Jerome Recreation Centre was built in 1966, when the population was considerably less than today. Since then the John Braithwaite Community Centre was built in Lower Lonsdale, but the Harry Jerome redevelopment has been put on the back burner, for many years, for lack of funding. Why didn’t the City collect enough funds from all the developments that they have been approving — with density bonuses that exceed the Official Community Plan guidelines — to pay for this redevelopment?

The City of North Vancouver, governed by a slate of councillors who vote en bloc, seems to be running the city with an eye to the extra revenue from developers. Who benefits from that revenue? We’d like to see more consideration given to policies that benefit the residents.

Source: Create policies that benefit the CNV residents | The Global CanadianThe Global Canadian

Vancouver housing: The view from Singapore​ – The Globe and Mail

Article in The Globe and Mail today regarding foreign ownership of real estate in Vancouver and suburbs.  Definitely applies to North Vancouver:

Quoting in brief:  

Many argue the new city policy to prioritize locals at the start of a presales launch won’t return the housing stock to local income-earners because it’s a question of money earned elsewhere. The percentage of homes in the new buildings that are purchased with foreign money is, of course, an unknown. But the source of the money is, to Mr. Robinson, the crux of the problem. People working at local jobs can’t compete.

“Let’s be real, this is what’s going on: For the last 30 years properties in Vancouver have been bought up by people who don’t earn money in Vancouver and don’t pay taxes in Canada – that’s how you can have the average home price get to 25 times the average income,” Mr. Robinson says.

read full article here:

Source: Vancouver housing: The view from Singapore​ – The Globe and Mail

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 🚗🚗🚗

 

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:

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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

Longtime North Van City councillor dies at 95

Comment from Voices:  Stella Jo was a feisty lady who kept up with the goings-on in the City until recently.  A City Councillor for 27 years, she was described most often as “a community activist” but she was so much more than that. Always championing for the public good.

The most recent correspondence from her that we published was this, referring to the Onni 13th and Lonsdale development: https://nvcityvoices.wordpress.com/2013/03/15/letter-from-stella-jo-dean-to-editor-ns-news/.

Her obituary is here: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/nsnews/obituary.aspx?n=stella-jo-order-of-canada-dean-nee-kozak&pid=187805967&fhid=5857

Article in the NS News:

Source: Longtime North Van City councillor dies at 95

When the election-funding cap did not fit the CNV councillors – The Global Canadian

This article was published earlier in the print edition of The Global Canadian, which is now available online.   As we move further into the local election year (Oct 2018), we thought the comments in the article by various people including Council members are worth noting:

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‘The new BC government led by NDP is proposing a ban on corporate and union donations and limiting individual donations to $1200.’

Source: When the election-funding cap did not fit the CNV councillors – The Global Canadian