Category Archives: Uncategorized

Delegation to Council Jul 17

Fred Dawkins represented North Van City Voices’ delegation to Council last night. The script follows:

Voices Delegation to CNV Council, 17 July 2017

Good evening Your Worship, Councillors.

I’m speaking tonight on behalf of North Van City Voices.

As everyone here is aware, the city has been undergoing an unprecedented building boom over the past several years. Council has been facilitating this rapid increase in population through density bonusing, consistently going beyond the guidelines that were established by our Official Community Plan just a couple of years ago.

Of course, bonusing is a tool that the city uses in an effort to achieve certain policy objectives. Is it working? We’ll get to that in a minute.

First some context. Voices has been monitoring the growth in housing units in the city, keeping a running total of new units built, approved, or otherwise in the development pipeline since 2011. We have on several occasions pointed out that the city is well ahead of the pace of development required to meet its long-term objectives for population growth. These objectives formed a large part of the rationale behind the City Shaping exercise and the revised OCP that emerged from it. So, how much are we getting ahead of our growth projections?

read more:  NVCV – Delegation Jul 2017

Development proposal 151 E Keith

Following is a copy of an email received today from a resident in a neighbouring building to this proposal.  The email is addressed to Council and copied to the development planner.   We have also received copies of the previous emails sent in November and May to which there has been no response.  

The proposal is an ‘infill’ project of 4 buildings in space around the existing tower, currently green space.  Of the 43 units, 31 are studio units, each less than 400 sqft.  Detail from the City website:

‘The City has received a Zoning Amendment application from Matthew Steyer of Urban Systems Ltd. to rezone 151 East Keith Road to support the development of 43 additional residential rental units to the existing tower. The proposed 43 units would be constructed in four separate infill buildings on the property and would consist of:

  • A 31 unit – four storey apartment building to front Keith Road;
  • A nine unit – four storey townhouse building to front East 6th Street;
  • A three unit – two storey townhouse building to front East Keith Road; and
  • A single storey recycling, garbage and bike storage building fronting East 6th Street to support the additional rental units. 

The proposed new infill buildings are to be constructed on top of the existing parking structure consisting of 93 parking stalls for the entire complex.  This Development Application does not propose any changes or modifications to the existing tower.’

Your Honourable Mayor, Esteemed Council Members and Mr. Johnson: 

Further to our e-mails sent November 14, 2016 and May 31, 2017, we have had no response from you.   As we have not been invited to speak before council, we attended last evening’s Council Meeting in support of North Van City Voices.  

While we were dismayed with the response to their presentation, the Council did make some very valid points.  The Mayor, particularly, seemed focussed on day care.  The building at 151 East Keith Road is within walking distance of several schools and would be a prime location for a day care centre.  

As well, earlier in the meeting an obviously distraught elderly gentlemen did try to speak with you about the severe lack of ‘affordable’ housing for care attendants for seniors in North Vancouver.  Again, we are in an area rife with seniors who have sold their houses and downsized to live by Victoria Park to be close to Lion’s Gate Hospital.   Building 34 x 400 sq.ft. studio suites at 151 East Keith and marketing them at $1,300 per month with no parking is obviously a money grab by Starlight Investments.  Adding the 9 multiple family suites is obviously just an attempt to appease the City to see if they can get more density. 

Again, the residents of this building are not against development next door but our feeling is ‘while life isn’t fair, it should be just’.  We would be happy to have a day care on the premises.  We would also welcome studio suites that have rents significantly lower than the $1,300/mo. suggested that are specifically built to accommodate care givers for the elderly.  However, we maintain the setbacks for the property need to be in line with the CNV OCP. 

As previously noted, we have endured the mind numbing noise, dust and disruption of traffic from the building at 161 East Keith for months.  We have ongoing issues with parking and, again, request that any approval for construction at 151 be held off until the building at 161 is fully occupied and a fair assessment has been made to determine if there is, in fact, parking available in the area.  We think we can pretty much guarantee the outcome of that survey. 

We feel we presented in our last e-mails very valid reasons why we oppose the development at 151 East Keith. We would appreciate your review of our concerns and request a meeting with Council to discuss same prior to the date being set for the Public Hearing. 

Respectfully submitted, 

Victoria Thompson,

#701-123 East Keith Road,

North Vancouver, BC  V7L 1V1

Telephone:  (604) 990-0309 

On behalf of the Owners

Strata Plan VR 2735 Victoria Place

Sky-high condo prices aren’t a supply problem

From the Globe and Mail (Gary Mason), quoting in part:

‘No, there is lots of “supply” in Vancouver and Toronto. That isn’t the issue. It’s who’s getting access to that supply that is a big part of the problem. And it’s also the type of “supply” being built.

Many of the condos being constructed are designed to be purchased by wealthy investors, the Lamborghini crowd. They aren’t being built for a couple of young professionals starting a family. Not unless you consider $1-million for 1,000-square-feet on the 10th floor of a tower in suburban Burnaby, B.C., reasonable. No, somehow, some way, governments need to encourage developers, through incentives or whatever it takes, to start building housing that the middle class can afford.

Right now, developers are getting everything their way. They are putting pressure on local politicians to speed up the approval process so they can erect more towers, more quickly, but they are doing nothing – nothing – about the costs of the units they are constructing. In fact, you could argue they are engaging in activity that is helping ensure the costs keep going up.

It’s ridiculous.’




North Shore False Creek—The view of the mountains blocked

Vancouverism—the tower-and-podium architecture that began building post-Expo ’86—boils down to just two essential parts: Towers-and-Skytrain. The towers block the sky and the view of the mountains and stop the sun from reaching the city street and sidewalks. This in a place where skies are either overcast, or raining 60% of the time. Nobody wants that. The Skytrain blights the neighborhoods it crosses preserving an unencumbered ground plane for automobiles. People want the public realm to support social functioning as well as traffic, not just one or the other. The Vancouverism doesn’t give much consideration to the human experience of place, or what should be understood to be the quality of the urbanism. Vancouverism’s gigantic land parcel assemblies obliterate human scale. There is no ‘there’ there. No legible hierarchy of street, block, district and neighborhood. The whole is not greater than the sum of…

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UBCM Convention

Do you wonder what our CNV council members are doing in Victoria at the Union of BC Municipalities annual convention this week?  

Program is here

and Resolutions to be voted on are here:



Resident concerns re Hollyburn 3

We (Voices) have received the following copy of an email to Council members and Planning concerning the proposed OCP amendment and development for 1301-1333 Lonsdale.  First reading of the bylaw is on the agenda for September 19.  The public hearing date has not yet been announced.   We also note that a minimum of 117 parking spaces in the vicinity are currently reserved for CNV staff.

Dear Michael and CNV Council,
I have written to you in the past about my concerns regarding the amount of parking that is planned for 1301-1333 Lonsdale – Hollyburn 3.
Today I am providing facts to support my concerns.
There is already a shortage of resident parking for Hollyburn 1 & 2.  The parking lots for the two buildings are FULL and there is a waiting list.  Given the market-rate rents for Hollyburn 3, the proposed on-site parking for this new building will be insufficient for its residents and visitors.  Further, the traffic created by this development will exceed what has been modelled which will cause congestion issues in the lane between City Hall and Hollyburn 3 as well as on 13th and Lonsdale. 
Bridgewater/Hollyburn 2:
  • 134 suites
  • 74 resident parking spaces in the building
  • 50 + an additional 4 parking spaces assigned in the Marlborough/Hollyburn 1 building
    • includes 10 Visitor Parking spaces across the street behind the Marlborough
    • Disabled Visitor parking is across the street from the Hollyburn 2!
    • Disabled residents must park on P1 since the elevator doesn’t go to the lower parking levels.
  • All parking spaces are ‘FULL‘ and Hollyburn 1 & 2 has a waiting list.
What is the current parking ratio for every Bridgewater/Hollyburn 2 dwelling unit?  (74+54-10)/134=  .88 non-visitor parking spaces per dwelling unit.   And it’s not enough since there is a waiting list.  Where are the additional Bridgewater cars going to park?   Also, recall that the current parking ratio for Vista Place (based on ICBC data) is 1.1 registered vehicles per dwelling unit.
The parking ratio for Hollyburn 3 is 0.6 non-visitor parking spaces per dwelling unit AND Hollyburn 3 has more 2 and 3 bedroom units than Hollyburn 2.    It’s NOT enough regardless of the amount of bicycle parking provided.   Facts show that people who can afford the market-rate rents in the new North Shore buildings are choosing to have at least one car.  Families who move into the 2 and 3 bedroom units in Hollyburn 3 will definitely have a car based on the facts for both Vista Place and Hollyburn 2.
The City of North Vancouver is creating a traffic and parking mess for the existing Central Lonsdale residents.   Hollyburn 2 is already creating a number of congestion issues on 14th and in the Civic Mews area.
Why not reduce the size/density of Hollyburn 3 to be in line with the OCP so that the residential parking is consistent with what the rental market requires?   That’s what your Constituents are asking you to do based an all of the public input. 
What’s the point of holding Open Houses, Public Town Hall meetings and Public Hearings if you completely ignore the public input and the facts?   
North Vancouver residents are not evolving to use other modes of travel as fast as you might wish.  
Carol Reimer

Housing supply clarified

The article states “According to a recent city information bulletin, they are building way more than outlined in the Regional Growth Strategy” – referring to Vancouver. However, this also applies to the City of North Vancouver which is now close to the 2041 Regional Growth Strategy targets – 25 years ahead of schedule.

Affordable housing myths and facts

By Elizabeth Murphy, Vancouver Sun, August 19, 2016

The city’s consultant’s report of June 2014 confirmed, “the City has sufficient capacity in existing zoning and approved community plans to accommodate over 20 years of supply at the recent pace of residential development.” Photo Stephen Bohus BLA / PNG

The province is expected to make pre-election announcements starting in September featuring housing affordability fixes. Unfortunately, it looks like the policies they are considering may be ineffective yet problematic. To find the right solutions, they need to be using accurate assumptions rather than myth.

The B.C. Liberals frequently suggest increasing housing supply as the solution to the housing affordability crisis. In the City of Vancouver, there is already ample zoned capacity. The city’s consultant’s report of June 2014 confirmed, “the City has sufficient capacity in existing zoning and approved community plans to accommodate over 20 years of supply…

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