Category Archives: Council

Delegation scripts and correspondence

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

Questions abound – Anthem/Eastern

Comment from Voices:  We have received a copy of the following email from a long time City of North Van resident concerning the Anthem development proposal at Eastern Ave and 17th Street in the City.   The resident attended the ‘developer information session’ this week and has the following questions for the City and the developer:

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‘No Councillors were at this meeting that I could see. 

I talked to the Development and Relocation Consultant who was there and he explained his role. 
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The consultant  lives near Broadway and Cambie, not in North Vancouver.
It would have been a nice gesture if members of Council were there. Are we their enemies? 
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The employees from Anthem politely answered questions which they are supposed to do; they are obliged to give the party line that everything is the best of all possible worlds, when they must know that tearing up the neighbourhood is shameful. 
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On the other hand, maybe they don’t know the long term effects on life quality of this kind of expansion.
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The key issue the Council and the planners must face is that the OCP that is being administered for this part of North Vancouver means that all the worst aspects of urban expansion will take place with no logic or rationale that anyone who knows about these matters and who live here can understand: other than expand and then pay the price of congestion and living with aesthetically cookie cutter buildings which this one will be, I am sorry to say. 
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Anyone who looks at urban expansion in, say,  The Netherlands and Germany will see that the new high rises in North Vancouver around 13th, as well as the sprawling clunky ones around 21st St West, are not  buildings that one might admire. They are like warehouses.
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Since there are plans for expansion of housing north of Harry Jerome citizens of North Vancouver need to know why these high-rises are being tossed up now in this vulnerable area of the town. ‘

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.

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:

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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