Category Archives: Council

Delegation scripts and correspondence

EDITORIAL: Health and wealth

Editorial in the North Shore News today:

Source: EDITORIAL: Health and wealth

We celebrate this week with the District of North Vancouver and the North Vancouver Recreation and Culture on the (phased) opening of the new Delbrook Community Recreation Centre.

A community with a busy rec centre is a healthy community.

The district initially intended to pay some of the $53.5-million cost by selling off some of the old Delbrook land but, facing blowback from the community, council scrapped that plan and citizens will pay down the $28 million in debt and the accompanying interest largely through their taxes.

As municipalities go, rec centres are big, big-ticket items. The City of North Vancouver could be spending three times as much on a replacement for the Harry Jerome Recreation Centre depending on what amenities it will include.

Plenty of people in the aquatics community have questioned the wisdom of building two 25-metre pools within walking distance of each other when pool users from both sides of the city/district boundary say they’d prefer one (much more expensive) 50-metre one.

It’s a crystalline example of how, even with shared services like the recreation and culture, North Vancouverites’ interests are divided by silly borders.

But, as we saw with paying for Delbrook, a council can be persuaded.

On Monday night, the city council is holding a special meeting just to listen to presentations from Harry Jerome’s user groups.

On Tuesday night, the wider community is welcomed to offer their input at a town hall meeting at the Pinnacle Hotel. We encourage everyone to show up and help shape the rec centres that will keep them in shape.

– See more at: http://www.nsnews.com/opinion/editorial/editorial-health-and-wealth-1.19669793#sthash.oVwJCmny.dpuf

Full CNV report details: http://www.cnv.org/parks-recreation-and-culture/recreation/harry-jerome-rec-centre

 

 

 

Housing talk gets louder and angrier in Vancouver

Article in The Globe and Mail today and quoting in part:  one conclusion  “that more supply is nothing but fuel for the unaffordability crisis”

 “The only group at fault are politicians who want growth without having to pay the requisite cost.”

Because the majority of our infrastructure was built before 1990, we are continually drawing on that value with massive new developments. Government should be tapping the “vast fortunes being made in real estate” to ensure equal access to public infrastructure,” he says, echoing Mr. Hudson’s argument for far heftier taxes on speculative buying.

“The growth has not paid for itself. Much of the infrastructure is relatively dated and paid for by a generation that was far more generous, and we are drawing down on that, compromising the quality of life without growing the infrastructure. We are creating congestion, whether it’s traffic, or at the hospitals or universities, whatever. There is plenty of money in private growth, so the growth should at least pay for itself. Why should government and the people in the middle foot the bill?

“Somebody doesn’t spend $4-million on your house alone. It’s the region they are buying, not the house. It’s the community that makes it special. It wouldn’t be worth anything if the community were to decay. That’s what we don’t understand.

“Obviously something terrible is happening – the money flooding in is not a sign of a healthy functioning capitalist market.

“The only group at fault are politicians who want growth without having to pay the requisite cost.”

Source: Housing talk gets louder and angrier in Vancouver

City of North Vancouver council green-lights Green on Queensbury

Source: City of North Vancouver council green-lights Green on Queensbury

Comment by Voices:   Another lost opportunity to fulfill the earlier plans for Moodyville. Three four-storey buildings that mirror most of the buildings further  west along Marine Drive:

 Proposed Development looking southeast from East 3rd Street and Moody Ave

What happened to “With the community’s participation, these guidelines have been developed to advocate for a welcoming and attractive neighbourhood. They illustrate multifamily development that frames local, tree-lined streets. A range of building forms and housing types create a diverse streetscape, unified by the pedestrian-scale rhythm of front doors with paths to the sidewalk. Lanes and greenways further promote a living streets approach with fine-grained access through the neighbourhood. Buildings follow the natural slope, and considerations of view impacts and neighbourliness temper the apparent scale of development. Contemporary architectural forms support placemaking and comfort through well designed frontages and enhanced energy efficiency, noise reduction and adaptability. The Moodyville guidelines will support efforts to increase family-friendly housing in the community through designated densities that allow for a diversity of ground-oriented townhouse and low-rise apartment housing forms. Buildings are commonly arranged around a courtyard, and, in almost all forms, each dwelling benefits from a front door opening onto the street, lane or mews” (ref: http://www.cnv.org/Property-and-Development/Projects-and-Developments/Major-Studies-and-Projects/Moodyville-Development-Controls-Process)

Affordability?  Suggested prices in excess of $700,000 for a two bedroom unit is not helpful to keep young families in the City, and is as ridiculous as Councillor Back’s comment speaking about the Grand Boulevard application that smaller lots in the Boulevard  area could be “great starter homes”.    Thanks (again) to Councillors Bell, Bookham and Clark for not supporting the project.

Disappointing (again).

 

 

Why Real Estate Developers Are Ignoring the Middle Class | The Tyee

Comment from Voices:  We have been watching with increasing dismay as the overbuilding continues in the City of North Van.  We are watching new buildings being constructed with starting prices for one bedroom units in excess of $600,000 (Kindred $649+).  We are watching sales being announced in new buildings when the projects have not yet had a public hearinghttps://www.buzzbuzzhome.com/ca/canada/cities/bc-north-vancouver-new-homes.

In the meantime, we note that there have been six Council meetings in 2017 to date – total time for six meetings has been less than 9 hours!  Is it too late for Council to meet with residents in a Town Hall setting to ask residents if they’re happy with this direction?
.

The following article was published in The Tyee today and quoting in part: ‘But many of the experts quoted in the report spoke candidly about the industry. Some of them are concerned about the direction it’s heading. “We’re not paying enough attention to affordable housing, and I don’t mean low-income or government-subsidized. Just regular rents. No new buildings are providing that kind of product,” said one CEO. “Time will tell if that’s going to come back to haunt us. Not everybody makes $75,000 to $100,000 a year.”’

Source: Why Real Estate Developers Are Ignoring the Middle Class | The Tyee.

Kerry Morris has written to the Mayor and Council expressing his concerns:  Kerry Morris opinion on Tyee article  Quoting in part: ‘

When Darrell Mussatto began as Mayor, the City of North Vancouver was still an affordable place to live. There existed an abundance of large liveable well maintained apartment buildings providing nice accommodation for the more than 50% of City residents who live in our community but do not own a home.

We also note this letter to the Editor, North Shore News today:

Dear Editor:

Recent letters to the editor have prompted me to write.

We have been extremely wasteful with our land, a precious commodity that we buy and sell. However, when it becomes in short supply, we cannot manufacture any more. When a commodity that is in great demand becomes scarce and hard to get, the price skyrockets – a situation we now find ourselves in.

The North Shore has arrived at a point where it is necessary to accommodate a different style of building and people must open their minds to change, as our community planners wrestle with the necessity of smaller footprints, which mean building up in our core centres and with more creative infill in our surrounding neighbourhoods.

It is also time to take a break from the building of high-end market homes and concentrate on building housing for those who live, work and serve our North Shore.

These are the people who give life and vibrancy and caring to a community, the average and low income earning people. They form a large section of the North Shore and certainly deserve the dignity and security of a home, be it rental or freehold, without having to fight tooth and nail to get their homes built in the neighbourhoods they serve and protect.

The North Shore has always been home to people from all walks of life, all levels of income and all forms of expertise. Let’s keep it that way.

Maureen Bragg
North Vancouver

– See more at: http://www.nsnews.com/opinion/letters/letter-housing-should-serve-the-needs-of-those-who-live-here-1.12483976#sthash.kGLXXNsG.dpuf

Ferris Wheel back again?

Coming up at CNV Council on Monday is a motion from Councillor Buchanan:

Ferris Wheel in Lower Lonsdale – File: 13-6740-20-0014/1

Submitted by: Councillor Buchanan

RECOMMENDATION: WHEREAS the development of the Shipyards is moving forward; WHEREAS the programming of the Shipyards has proven to be highly successful; AND WHEREAS the original plans for the Shipyards included a Ferris Wheel; THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT staff investigate the feasibility of the City hosting a Ferris Wheel attraction in Lower Lonsdale during the summer of 2017 on a cost recovery basis.

This was previously considered and discounted in April 2015: https://nvcityvoices.wordpress.com/2015/04/17/shipyards-plan-moving-ahead/

Quoting from the North Shore News: ‘Gone from the plan, however, is the ferris wheel at the end of the pier, which had been a lightning rod for criticism by opponents of the plan’.

There seems to be no mention of the ferris wheel in the City’s December 2016 update: http://www.cnv.org/parks-recreation-and-culture/city-waterfront/the-shipyards-lot-5.

Does this mean that the Casino could surface soon?  Many mentions in various media back to 2013 along with the ferris wheel.

 

LETTER: Hold our local councils to account

In the North Shore News today:

Dear Editor:

I encourage everyone everywhere to pay attention to what is happening at their municipal council meetings. They affect our daily lives so directly.

My understanding of all that underlies decisions of our local councils should be that whilst they move their communities forward, they should always work to maintain the quality of life of the people who elected them. In this North Vancouver councils have abysmally failed!

I have lived on the North Shore for many years and I am increasingly feeling like a prisoner in my own home, unable to venture out after two o’clock. As the traffic congestion becomes intolerable the councils continue to approve every application for development with minimal upgrade to infrastructure. Hundreds more units have been approved for this year.

At a District of North Vancouver council meeting recently a councillor suggested that if residents think this is congestion, we should visit Vietnam. Three councillors pleaded for a three-month development approval pause but were voted down by four who suggested we should be concerned about where our grandchildren will live. I conclude that they are quite unconcerned about the lives of their current constituents.

We must pay close attention to what transpires at our local councils and we must vote accordingly next time.

Lesley Brooks
North Vancouver

– See more at: http://www.nsnews.com/opinion/letters/letter-hold-our-local-councils-to-account-1.9918282#sthash.4fvSFbip.dpuf

Source: LETTER: Hold our local councils to account

Moodyville Park land swap goes to negative vote

from the North Shore News: Source: Moodyville Park land swap goes to negative vote

The developer of Green on Queensbury is proposing a land exchange with the city that would see residential lots it owns on East Third Street (dotted red line) added to Moodyville Park in exchange for the development of city-owned land (in red). .

If anyone can show just cause why the City of North Vancouver should not swap land with Qualex-Landmark Northern development company, fill out the proper form or forever hold your peace.

Council is currently mulling the first major project of the new Moodyville neighbourhood, Green on Queensbury, a development that would put 157 apartments and townhouses in three four-storey buildings on East Third Street.

However, an integral part of that deal is a land swap with the developer trading land on the 800 block of East Third Street to the city for an equal amount of city-owned land to the east and south of the 700 block.

Critics of the deal can stop the swap by filling out a form and submitting it to the city clerk’s office by 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 27.

If fewer than 3,620 voters, or 10 per cent of eligible electors, oppose the exchange, city council will vote on final adoption. If more than 10 per cent of the city’s voters try to quash the deal, council will have the option of moving to assent voting, which is essentially a referendum. A referendum would likely cost between $60,000 and $70,000, according to city staff.

For Coun. Rod Clark, who routinely blasted the negative petition process as it related to the formation of the Lower Lonsdale Business Improvement Area, the alternative approval process was more of the same.

“In essence, it is a negative petition,” he said, voting against the process.

Living less than a block from Moodyville Park, Clark allowed he had a “vested interest” in the swap.

ClarkCoun. Rod Clark, who lives less than a block from the park, voted against the motion, citing issues with the negative petition process.

The trade would allow the city to expand Moodyville Park by 25,000 square feet at no cost, according to a city staff report. The reconfigured park would allow for an improved connection to the Spirit Trail, as well as the closure of the lane south of the 700 block and the road at the foot of Queensbury Avenue, according to city staff.

While Coun. Don Bell concurred with Clark about negative petitions, he pointed out that council is overseeing a “unique” situation.

Using a different process, such as including a question in the 2018 municipal election or holding a referendum, would result in a major delay or cost.

“In this particular case I believe there is a significant benefit to the community,” Bell said of the land exchange. “It’s important for that development on the south side of Third (Street) to go ahead and to clean up that whole section because the houses have been abandoned.”

The development involves demolishing two 1941-era heritage homes as well as a $2.5-million “revitalization” of Moodyville Park, funded with the developer’s $4.2-million community benefit contribution.

Mayor Darrell Mussatto agreed with Bell, calling the deal a “win-win.”

“If we were to delay this it would be quite a significant hardship for all involved.”

Council voted 4-2 in favour of the alternative approval process, with Clark and Coun. Pam Bookham opposed.

The form is slated to be available Friday at city hall and at cnv.org.

Coun. Linda Buchanan did not attend Monday’s meeting.

– See more at: http://www.nsnews.com/news/moodyville-park-land-swap-goes-to-negative-vote-1.7711235#sthash.Rqidf2sg.dpuf