Comment from Voices: Eyebrows were raised several times during the Council meeting and Public Hearing on October 24th.
Whether it was the violation of the public input rules by allowing two speakers to address matters which would be dealt with by the Public Hearing that night. Or some of the statements by members of Council – i.e. Councillor Back stating ‘professionals don’t want to live in old buildings’ or Councillor Buchanan stating that ‘it fits with the OCP’. It seems she missed the fact that the OCP projects an annual increase of 1.3% but growth for the last two years has been over 3%.
Or maybe it was the Mayor stating that he ‘happened to have a study’ that ‘the hottest job markets in Canada by numbers – the number one hottest job market in all of Canada is the City of North Vancouver’. Not true. We have been contacted by many people asking us to check – North Vancouver (City and District) is about 35 on the list. We wrote to the City more than 24 hours ago, and have not had the courtesy of a reply – here is our email with the facts:
Email addressed to Connie Rabold, Communications Director:
Several people have contacted us and asked us to investigate and confirm a statement made during the Public Hearing on October 24th that ‘the City is the hottest job market in Canada’. Both the media company that conducted the survey and the Government have confirmed that the Job Bank does not distinguish between the City and the District of North Vancouver.
Therefore with the City’s population quoted as 48,196 and the District at 84,412 the ‘title’ is totally incorrect. We believe that based on a corrected population for “North Vancouver” (city + district) of 132, 608 and using the average number of jobs provided on that Top 50 list (10.42 x 48 = 500 jobs). The correct number for North Vancouver should be 3.79 jobs per thousand population, which would put us 35th on that list, just behind Saskatoon and Edmonton.
We are surprised that the stats were misinterpreted and that they seemingly have not been questioned by City staff. We respectfully suggest that the News release be corrected, otherwise the public may feel it is being deliberately mislead. Also, we feel that the District should be advised because it is likely largely responsible for any job growth, with the expansion of Seaspan.
Hottest job market in Canada
The City’s been named the top-ranking community in the Top 50 Hot Job Markets in Canada survey. The survey says, we’re the number one job destination in the nation. According to the ranking, with 10.42 available jobs per 1,000 people, the City’s the best place in the country to find work
“This endorsement of the strength of our community’s employment opportunities confirms the City is an extremely desirable place to live and work”, says Mayor Darrell Mussatto. “Our ranking as the top job market in Canada is confirmation that employees and employers throughout our community are enjoying the benefits of an extremely vibrant and thriving job sector and business climate, as well as a desirable community in which to work.”
Please confirm that your news release will be corrected. The North Shore News is being copied on this in the event that they may run an incorrect article.
Toni Bolton for
North Van City Voices
Comment from Voices: We have received the following copy of a Letter to the Editor, North Shore News (not yet published):
How I wish Mayor Mussatto had mustered the courage 2 years ago to tell us honestly his plans for the densification of our little 4.6 sq. mile city. Just consider the time that could have been saved — hours on the phone, computer and knocking on doors; afternoons standing on street corners in the rain; evenings at meetings; the endless talking and planning with like-minded people — all aimed at gathering signatures for the time-honored method of showing public opposition, A PETITION.
The reality is that all opposition petitions presented to the current council over the past two years have been either maligned or ignored by the Mayor and his majority slate . Every path to success has been tried — 2500 signatures were deemed to be from people who would not be affected by the project, 85 signatures from an immediate neighbourhood were said to be from too narrow an area and the most recent with 325 signatures from taxpaying city residents against the Hollyburn tower were proclaimed to be inadequate in contrast to the pity felt by one councillor for the 800 hopefuls on a waiting list.
If only the Mayor and his slate had been honest. Of course, they might not have been elected but then, they may have been successful. Either way, everyone would have understood what was ahead. Instead the Mayor, in my opinion, has become a bully and has been publicly downright rude to several citizens and councillors who have spoken against him . Council meetings are overcome by an atmosphere of antagonism.
Are you mad enough about all the significant problems densification is heaping upon our city and are contemplating a petition? My advice is – DON’T WASTE YOUR TIME AND EFFORT! The final council vote is guaranteed to be 4-3 in favour of all future densification projects.
Our City deserves better!
Comment from Voices: The vote of 4-3 was as expected, but disappointing none the less.
Many speakers were concerned about the OCP process – the special study area was a last-minute change to the OCP in 2015 and there was no public consultation. Speakers opposed cited the OCP (quoting from the City website ‘The OCP is intended to provide a degree of certainty for the future of our community’). There were concerns about parking, traffic, congestion, quality of life, loss of green space, loss of mountain views, need for infrastructure, need for affordable housing. Many were concerned about the 13th and Lonsdale corner when Centreview is complete across the street (344 units).
We thank the independent Council members – Bell, Bookham and Clark for being the voice of reason and listening to current residents. They also did not receive campaign donations from Hollyburn Properties.
The majority of speakers in favour were current Hollyburn Properties renters, staff, realtors, planners and an LGH Doctor.
We’ll publish our current growth targets and numbers this week.
from the North Shore News:
Tower power prevailed in the City of North Vancouver Monday, as council approved a 187-foot, 144-unit rental project in Central Lonsdale. The 1301-1333 Lonsdale Avenue building is 66 feet higher . . .
Source: Split City of North Vancouver council gives Hollyburn tower approval
We have received a copy of the following letter sent today to City of North Van Council:
Dear City of North Vancouver Council,
With regards to the possible OCP Amendment to the Hollyburn rental building I, along with many others, will be watching closely to see how Council handles this proposal.
A couple weeks three full buses passed me on Marine drive in the morning and last week twice I was late for work again as the buses did not show up on time…again!
We don’t have the infrastructure in place on the North Shore for more density.
It seems that City Hall pushes for more people to live in the City – but we don’t have the resources. We are destroying the planet / ecosystem at such an alarming rate.
Density is not the answer to the world’s problems and unlimited growth is just increasing the divide.
In the last election I spent countless weeks encouraging the community and my contacts to vote. In the upcoming election I will not be supporting those who continue to blindly push ahead the OCP amendments and density that cannot be supported by our ecosystem, infrastructure, and disappearing health and education systems.
Comment from Voices: Below is a letter to the Editor, NS News regarding the Hollyburn Properties development application for 13th and Lonsdale. We also remind you that four members of Council – Councillors Back, Buchanan, Keating and Mayor Mussatto received campaign donations from the applicant (from $500 to $1000). Quoting Dan Rather “Who gives what money to whom expecting what for it?”
A rendering distributed at a council workshop in March 2011 shows a building at 13th Street and Lonsdale Avenue compliant with the official community plan. image supplied
Hollyburn Properties Ltd. held an open house and a town hall earlier this year for its proposed development of a market rental building at the corner of Lonsdale and 13th Street. Mayor and council (in a 4-3 vote) recently passed a resolution for the project to proceed to a public hearing. This was despite the fact that as reported by the city planner, “there is significant public concern with regard to the application.” Three councillors (Pam Bookham, Don Bell and Rod Clark) voted against the resolution, citing concerns with density, height, parking and traffic.
The site was designated as a special study area for consideration of increased height in response to lobbying by Hollyburn. As stated in the official community plan, such sites “are areas of the City that require in-depth study to resolve issues.” Where is the in-depth study? Will increased height for this location in fact provide any improvement in “defining the City Centre”?
The city has offered to sell 22,186 square feet of density to Hollyburn for $1,996,758. There has been no justification provided for this increased density. Is the city being unduly influenced by the money in considering a 20 per cent higher density for this site?
This has resulted in a proposal for a building at a height of 58 metres whereas the OCP maximum is 37 metres and with a density of 0.8 floor space ratio, or FSR, over the OCP maximum of 4.0. We now are faced with an increase in height of seven storeys.
The Hollyburn proposal does bring additional needed rental housing albeit at market rates to the city. However, this can and should be done consistent with the height and density restrictions contained in the OCP.
The graphic above shows an OCP compliant building. Imagine another seven storeys on top. You decide. This is your city – it’s time to speak up. Attend the public hearing at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 24 in council chamber at city hall, 141 West 14th St., North Vancouver. Council is scheduled to vote immediately after the hearing.
Source: LETTER: Tower proposal goes to public hearing Monday
The public hearing for this application is coming before Council on October 24th. There has been much opposition to this proposal – the OCP amendment is to amend the height from 120 feet to 190 feet (19 storeys). The Tower will have commercial space and 144 rental apartments. The proposal includes the purchase of density from the City’s density bank (22,186 sq ft) at the rate of $90/ sq ft. A bargain in today’s market.
Attached is a mailout prepared by a group of residents opposed to the proposal. Concerns are listed on this attachment: 1301-lonsdale-mailout-final
1301 – 1333 Lonsdale Avenue – Hollyburn Properties Proposal
PUBLIC HEARING – OCT. 24 at 7:30 at CITY HALL
PROPOSED: 19 storey Market Rental tower on the NW corner of 13th and north along Lonsdale
- 2 storeys commercial, 1 storey amenity & 16 storeys of Market Rental apartments
- 9 units per floor = 144 units; studio, 1, 2 & 3 bedrooms; 462 to 1,005 square feet
- rents from $1,500+ to $3,000+ per month plus parking
HEIGHT ALLOWED IN OFFICIAL COMMUNITY PLAN: 120 feet (12 storeys)
– proposing 190 feet (19 storeys plus elevator shaft and mechanical rooms)
DENSITY ALLOWED IN OFFICIAL COMMUNITY PLAN: 4.0 Floor Space Ratio (FSR)
– proposing 4.8 FSR (with the purchase of additional density from the City for $1,996,758)
RESIDENTIAL PARKING SPACES: 86 spaces for 144 units (0.6 spaces per unit)
Full details of the application are here: http://www.cnv.org/Property-and-Development/Projects-and-Developments/Current-Developments/1301-1333-Lonsdale-Avenue
Posted in Council
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.
- 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.