Tag Archives: Moodyville

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?
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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

Moodyville: neighbourhood neglected

Comment from Voices:  Councillor Clark made this inquiry at the City Council meeting on November 21st:

18. Moodyville Vandalism – File: 13-6520-20-0054/1 Inquiry by: Councillor Clark Councillor Clark inquired of Mayor Mussatto with respect to fires in vacant houses in the Moodyville area. Mayor Mussatto advised that staff will report back.

Now today, three months later, in the rush of homeowners and developers to cash in and a new neighbourhood supposedly planned for about 1900 new units this is happening?

From the North Shore News today:

The City of North Vancouver is looking to contend with some new challenges in Moodyville as the neighbourhood gradually empties out of old residents to make way for new development. North . . .

full article:    Source: Moodyville: neighbourhood neglected

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

 

 

 

A Total Disconnect?

Over the past year opportunities for public involvement in City of North Van Council meetings have been strongly curtailed and, very often, Council votes are taken so quickly it’s impossible to follow the proceedings.  The result – short meetings and public confusion.  At one recent meeting the Mayor declared the meeting adjourned, looked at his watch and gleefully announced “7.35!”
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The January 9th Council meeting – after a 4 week hiatus with a healthy agenda was adjourned after 41 minutes at which time Council members went into a closed session.  There were only two members of the public who spoke during the 2 minute public input period.  Most disconcerting was that the public gallery was virtually empty apart from staff.
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Question and concern – Have the Mayor’s attempts to squash public criticism succeeded?  Have those who would question Council and staff decisions given up?

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One involved resident copied us on this submission sent to Council concerning two agenda items from the Jan 9th meeting (she notes it took longer to type than the length of the meeting):
 

I am writing to convey some thoughts I wish I could state during the Public Input Period at the City of North Vancouver Council Meeting on January 9, 2017. Unfortunately, I am extremely ill, have been off work today, and will not be able to attend.

First, I wish to comment about Item 5, Zoning Amendment to Permit Secondary Suites and Coach Houses on One-Unit Residential Use Lots – File: 08-3360-01-0001/2016 

I have spent time over the weekend carefully reading the attachments that go along with this document as I have had the time. I have concerns about the proposal that would require only 2 off-street parking spots for a single family residence with a Coach House and a Secondary Suite.

 At this point, on my street in the immediate area of my home, are 5 houses that all have secondary suites; two of these houses have 2 secondary suites. NONE, I repeat, NONE of these houses supply off-street parking to the tenants of these suites. In addition, ALL of the owners of the houses park on the road rather than in their garages or parking pads. That means for the house next to me, for example, there have been as many as 5 vehicles from that address alone, all parked on the street. These vehicles do not fit in front of their house, and completely block in front of my home or other homes. 

For the most part, I park in my garage, as do the others in my home. But the one time a week when I buy groceries and want to drop them from the front of the house, it is rarely possible and extremely frustrating. Or if I need to take my mother-in-law to an appointment, I can’t get a spot to park in front. She has mobility issues which makes it impossible to have her walk around to the garage to get into the car. 

It seems to me that this potential Zoning Amendment has not been thought through very carefully. While the CITY SHAPING TOWN HALL SUMMARY REPORT: TWO SUITES POLICY at which the information is provided was held in April of 2014 – and of course on a Tuesday when I have to work – it seems to me to be sorely out of date. 

I believed that the intention for the Council Meeting on January 9 is the recommendation from Staff to proceed to a Public Hearing as per the Agenda: 

RECOMMENDATION:

PURSUANT to the report of the Planner 1, dated January 4, 2017, entitled “ZoningAmendment to Permit Secondary Suites and Coach Houses on One-Unit ResidentialUse Lots”:THAT “Zoning Bylaw, 1995, No. 6700, Amendment Bylaw, 2017, No. 8529”(Secondary Suites and Coach Houses on One-Unit Residential Use Lots), beconsidered and referred to a Public Hearing; AND THAT staff be directed to implement the notification strategy outlined in thereport prior to scheduling a Public Hearing. 

But then I read further into the document and found this statement:

 Options for ConsiderationThis report seeks to implement a Zoning Bylaw change that has long been anticipated.Both an accessory secondary suite and an accessory coach house are proposed to beallowed with no increase in the permitted Gross Floor Area. The processing of CoachHouse Development Permits, including verifying compliance with the Accessory CoachHouse Development Permit Guidelines and requiring consultation with neighbours, willremain unchanged. Three options are presented for Council’s consideration: Option #1 – Allow a Secondary Suite and a Coach House, with a required minimum oftwo parking spaces (RECOMMENDED) This is the staff recommended option. If Council supports this option, the recommendation presented in this report can be adopted.

So I am confused. I am hoping that this issue will move forward to a Public Hearing as per the Agenda item, and not specifically adopted immediately. We have enough parking problems in the City with unenforced illegal suites, and a plethora of illegal parking. We do not need more problems added with a quick adoption of almost 3 year old data where the conditions in the City have drastically changed. 

The second item I wish to address is Item 8, 703-813 East 3rd Street and 746-758 East 2nd Street Rezoning and OCP Amendment (Qualex-Landmark Northern Ltd. / GBL Architects) – File: 13-6480-30-0018/1

 Considering some of the developments that are currently purposed for the 3rd Street corridor/Moodyville Area, this one definitely has more character and variation than other more “box-like” plans I have seen. However, I am greatly concerned about one attribute that is missing from this, and most other large-scale, developments in the City of North Vancouver. 

The Community Benefit Contributions from this project are admirable. Moodyville Park is in need of a facelift. But this development is introducing almost 160 new units into our community. And despite this and previous Council’s edict that more daycare is essential to our communities, I am disheartened that of all the developments that have been approved in the City of North Vancouver over the last 7 – 10 years, as far as I can see only one – that’s right –one has included anything specifically towards child care.

 Public art is lovely, but we can live without public art. The same can be said for other amenities like parks, museums, waterfront amenities, and public parks and open spaces. These certainly make our City more attractive and liveable. But according to our present Council, it is essential that we take every opportunity to augment our supply of child care spaces in the City of North Vancouver. 

So where should these spaces go? Council has told me these spots should be in the communities where they live. So why are you not pushing developers to have daycares within their projects, or make a designated contribution to child care that will service the community they are constructing? You are not requiring these developments to look after the young families that are moving into their premises. You are pushing the required child care spaces out into other communities in the City. Where? How about into the one unit residential use homes which then causes problems like we have experienced on E 4th Street. 

Put these child care centres in areas that they belong in – the developments that create them. Do not push more daycares into one unit residential use homes. Commercial sized daycares do not belong there. If you spread out the daycares into the facilities that attract their clients, you will provide a great service to those families you are attracting to the City of North Vancouver. 

Every developer who wants the City to approve their new development where they get bonuses for 3-bedroom units or townhouses which is designed to attract young families, should be required to commit funds and/or space to look after the children they provide homes for. 

Thank you for your time. 

Jan Malcolm

porphyry@telus.net

Moodyville densifies, population to quadruple

Moodyville’s post-Second World War bungalows are bound to be replaced by 1,800 townhouses stacked on 256 lots. photo Mike Wakefield, North Shore News

Moodyville is changing too much for some and not enough for others – but it’s changing.

In a split vote on May 30, City of North Vancouver council gave final approval to a rezoning that will quadruple the waterfront neighbourhood’s population and replace the collection of Second World War-era bungalows with 1,890 wood-frame townhouses.

Despite supporting the project in a previous vote, Coun. Don Bell expressed disappointment developers were following the exact specifications of the current neighbourhood.

“What we’re creating was not what I’d hoped,” he said.

The development employs a “fairly unimaginative” grid pattern that “simply takes existing streets … and replaces the homes with stacked townhouses,” Bell said.

That replacement will greatly benefit the city, according to Coun. Craig Keating.

Not only will the rezoning help assuage the dearth of ground-oriented townhouses across Metro Vancouver, but the outgoing bungalows are selling for between $1.2 and $1.6 million.

“If that’s the kind of affordability that people want to preserve, I say, have at ’er,” he said.

Coun. Pam Bookham disagreed.

“The loss of affordability in this area is a tremendous loss in this community,” she said, adding the city does not yet have the transportation to handle 3,000 extra residents.
“Once the developers got wind of the proposed changes, it became a free-for-all.”

Bookham and Coun. Rod Clark criticized the rezoning for failing to find a more sensitive interface between industrial land on the port and the nearby residences.

The chugging of grain elevators and other noise from the port has awakened residents on 11th Street and Ridgeway Avenue, according to Clark, himself a Moodyville resident.

“You can imagine what it’s like on First, Second or Third,” he said.

Everyone planning to move into a Moodyville townhouse or apartment should know exactly what they’re buying into, noted Coun. Holly Back.

“If they’re going to buy into it and then complain about the port, they don’t make any sense, they shouldn’t have bought in,” she said. “It’s kind of like the nightclub. I buy the apartment, then I complain the nightclub’s there.”

While the grid will be static, the new neighbourhood should be greener and better connected to biking and hiking trails, said Coun. Linda Buchanan.

Having previously described the new neighbourhood as a look at the future, Mussatto reminded council how the rezoning began.

“A large majority of people in the Moodyville area were the ones that came to us as a council and asked for this rezoning.”

The city is set to take in $30.8 million through density bonus contributions and development cost charges. Approximately one-third of that money is earmarked for utility upgrades and neighbourhood features in Moodyville, but the rest could go toward Harry Jerome Recreation Centre or other city projects, according to a staff report.

During the discussion, Keating teased a future motion which would make rebuilding a large home a little more arduous.

Keating suggested rebuilding a 5,000-square-foot home should require a public hearing. Conversely, homeowners looking to build two single-family homes on a subdivided lot could be readily awarded building permits.

 

– See more at: http://www.nsnews.com/news/moodyville-densifies-population-to-quadruple-1.2272868#sthash.r717PRaz.dpuf

Moodyville is changing too much for some and not enough for others – but it’s changing. In a split vote on May 30, City of North Vancouver council gave final approval to a rezoning that will . . .

Source: Moodyville densifies, population to quadruple

Moodyville density plan gets green light

from the North Shore News:

After 60 years spent serving as a reminder of the bungalow boom that followed the Second World War, the “future” has come to Moodyville.

Council voted in favour of a massive rezoning Monday that will quadruple Moodyville’s population from 1,000 residents to 4,000 and replace detached homes on 256 lots with approximately 1,890 ground-oriented wood-frame units.

There are still concerns over traffic, transit and what rents will be once the construction dust has settled, but for Mayor Darrell Mussatto the new Moodyville is “a vision for the way the world has to go.”

“This is the future. The days of everybody having a single-family home, unfortunately, are not here anymore,” Mussatto said. “We can’t cut down trees anymore and put in houses. We can’t use the farmland, we can’t fill in the inlet, so our only choice is to do better with what we have.”

Council needs to give the project one more affirmative vote before shovels hit the ground.

The townhouses will hit maximum heights of just under 40 feet and the apartments will be just under 50 feet – with both built according to the building standards of LEED Gold or better.

While Mussatto promised the buildings would be “extremely efficient,” that wasn’t quite enough for Coun. Rod Clark.

By not requiring developers to abide by the energy efficiency and noise mitigation of Passive House, which Clark touted as the building standard of the future, the neighbourhood is “losing out on that once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

Moodyville is “under siege” by noise, according to Clark, himself a Moodyville resident.

“Regrettably,” he said, “Moodyville is in the hands of the developers.”

The city is set to take in $30.8 million through density bonus contributions and development cost charges. Approximately one-third of that money is earmarked for utility upgrades and neighbourhood features in Moodyville, but the rest could go toward Harry Jerome Recreation Centre or other city projects, according to a staff report.

For some neighbouring residents preparing to adapt to increased density “forced upon us,” the developers are getting a bargain.

“We should demand more for developing this area since it is, as they call it, ‘a once-in-a-generation opportunity,’” resident Cathy Lewis said. “Once it’s built, it’s done. We should take the time to get it right.”

A city staff report highlighted East Third Street as a future recipient of rapid transit. Parking requirements in the neighbourhood will be slightly lower than in the rest of the city, with 1.2 stalls required for each townhouse instead of 1.5.

In response to concerns about the new residents exacerbating Moodyville’s traffic problems, Coun. Linda Buchanan cautioned that there was no “magic bullet.”

Traffic will only be eased through a conscious effort to change some very old habits, she said.

“If we choose to carry on in the way we have done for the last 50 years, we will end up with gridlock,” she said. “We need to be looking at other means and ways and taking the leadership.”

While the majority of speakers were extremely supportive of the rezoning, there were lingering concerns over whether Moodyville could ever be a home for cash-strapped young people.

Just as with traffic, there is no “magic bullet” for affordable housing, according to Coun. Craig Keating.

“Will it be affordable in the sense that you could rent here for the same price you might rent in a 50-year-old bungalow? Probably not,” he said.

However, relying on the city’s older buildings to provide affordability is only a short-term solution, according to Keating. The long-term solution is to create more supply.

“Housing is a commodity like any other commodity. If you restrict the supply relative to the demand, then ultimately what you end up with is higher costs,” he said.

In a city replete with single-family homes and towers, Moodyville’s wood-frame ground-oriented homes will fill the municipality’s “missing link,” Keating said.
Coun. Holly Back agreed.

“Moodyville is certainly a start to keeping our young people on the North Shore,” she said.

The community support for the rezoning is evidence council has done a good job, according to Back. “How many times do we get where all the neighbours come and they’re happy?”

Council voted 5-2 in favour with Couns. Clark and Pam Bookham opposed.
© 2016 North Shore News

Source: Moodyville density plan gets green light

Moodyville redevelopment heading to public hearing

Moodyville

Just how tall, dense and handsome should Moodyville get?

After a couple years of density dust-ups, city residents are set to get their last word on the future of the neighbourhood at a public hearing scheduled for Monday.

City council is readying to vote on a proposal that would turn Moodyville into a closely packed neighbourhood that would largely bid bon voyage to bungalows in favour of energy efficient townhouses and medium density apartments.

Developer Seacliff Properties discussed plans earlier this year to turn Moodyville East, which is comprised of the land east of St. Davids Avenue and south of East Second Street, into a bicycle and sneaker-friendly neighbourhood with plenty of greenways.

Seacliff plans to create 340 new units in the 8.5-acre area. The developer has assembled more than 50 of the 60 lots in the area.

Preliminary plans call for creating community green spaces, such as gardens, and breaking up larger blocks through pedestrian pathways and connections and greater greenway passages linking to the Spirit Trail.

The average floor space ratio for the neighbourhood, which measures a building’s total floor space against its lot size, would be 1.25. A city staff report notes that population in the area would grow from 1,000 to 3,000 residents.

When pitching council on their proposal earlier this year, Seacliff Properties point man Brent Toderian called the stretch of land a “once in a generation opportunity.”

“As a city planner I’ve referred to this kind of opportunity as a unicorn in the past because it almost doesn’t exist.”

The public hearing is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. at city hall.

– See more at: http://www.nsnews.com/news/moodyville-redevelopment-heading-to-public-hearing-1.2249217#.dpuf

Source: Moodyville redevelopment heading to public hearing

Letter to Council re East 3rd St area

Another Letter to Council re 3rd St area proposed rezoning:

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Dear Mayor, Council and Staff

Re: Proposed Surreptitious Change to City of North Van 600/700 block East 3rd Street Zoning 

As voters in the City of North Vancouver we are dismayed at Council’s proposed change to zoning in our block. 

We have lived and paid city taxes on our single family home at 634 East 4th St for over 22 years. 

Due to a lack of consultation, we were never informed that six story towers were included for the area adjacent to our block in the draft OCP. The only materials we received were vague and mentioned adding potential for duplexes and laneway zoning along 3rd Street. 

This is an example of extremely negligent consultation and poor planning in even considering putting 6 storey developments adjacent to single family residences with no transition. 

Allowing this development will result in a perpetual loss of sunlight on our neighbour’s property and be a visual blight for us and the neighbourhood and decrease our property values.  Gardens in the area will cease to prosper.  Traffic on 3rd already makes 3rd Street unusable for much of the day.  The lane between 3rd and 4thwill become a high volume avenue for hundreds of cars in an area where children play with chalk on the pavement, roller blade, learn to ride bikes, play ball hockey.

 This change in the OCP has no mandate from the voters and unless tested in the upcoming election has no democratic basis in the community. 

Unless there is retraction of this change or a delay until after the election we will no longer vote for any of the Council members responsible for putting this change forward. 

We and our neighbours on 600-700 Block East  4th Street are also writing letters to the editor of the North Shore news and other online publications, donating money to groups raising this issue with voters and our neighbourhood will consider commencing legal action on the basis of inadequate consultation/process if this surreptitious rezoning proceeds. 

You will be hearing from us tonight.

 

Regards, Graham Parkinson

Graham Parkinson, P. Geo., P. Geoph., Senior Geoscientist,


flyer:

 3rd Street Housing


Moodyville – from the other side

Voices has received the following copies of submissions to Council from the proponents of increased density for the Moodyville area:

“Please find attached our response letter to George Madi (cc’s to Mayor and Council) and our letter to Mayor and Council (cc’d to George Madi), both sent Friday, June 13, 2014.
Can you please post these letters on your blog for balance for the other side of the discussion?
Many thanks,
Michael & Michelle Binkley
info@michaelbinkley.com
hello@michellebinkley.com
604-984-8574″

To George;

Dear George Madi,

We have been apprised of your neighbourhood petition regarding no density in the Moodyville area more than the 1st Draft OCP proposal of 1.0 FSR.
We applaud your initiative and think it is fantastic that you are supporting your tenants and neighbours.

We hope that your neighbours took the opportunity in March 2014 to fill out the special East Third Street Survey that the City directly mailed to 400 residents in the area, all of you included. This was a wonderful opportunity for your voices to be heard, and we hope you all took advantage of the process.

During the last three years of the CityShaping process, Staff has identified the East Third Street Area for increased density, so please do not misinterpret that the Area boudary is of our creation. We think that the 400 block was included in the CityShaping East Third Street Area designation because the City has development plans for Alder Street.

Please be mindful that we reached out to you and your neighbours in the late winter of 2011 to help initiate an area-wide fight against PMV’s Low Level Road / CN Rail Expansion Project and only two of you chose to get involved (Julie Anderson and Amanda Nichol). We, however, did get very involved, were successful in stopping that $100M Project and getting PMV to resubmit a new proposal that City Council approved in June, 2012. This included a much lower elevation road which will benefit Alder Street and 400 block East First as well as the 500 & 600 blocks.

After we all learned that the LLR/CN Rail project was the floodgate to several more Port expansion projects, our neighbourhood began working within the CityShaping process to realize a plan to redesign our community that could better exist beside a Port that is growing by more than 100% in two years.  Again, we reached out to the 400 block neighbours to seek participation, and again people chose not to get involved.

We are seeking a way in which the East Third Street Area can be redesigned to better live beside the Port. Ottawa is pushing the Port to expand and is ruining the community, without any consideration to the residents. We are being forced our of our beloved neighbourhood, out of the homes that we have all nourished into a great community. We are resigned to the fact that the growth cannot be stopped, so we have given careful consideration to an idea to help redesign the community and make it one that can exist beside the new Port.

The LLR /CN Rail Expansion Project has seen the removal of several acres of greenspace along the entire project, from St. Patricks Ave to Kennard Ave. There have been two acres alone removed from behind the 500 / 600 blocks of East First Street. It will not be replaced. Municipalities across the GVRD, Metro Vancouver and Vancouver Coastal Health all advocate for better designed communities that utilize greenspace as a natural buffer against industry.  Our neighbourhood has come up with two possible solutions to get 3.5 acres of greenspace back into our two block area – 1.5 more than what was taken.

While we respect you and your neighbours’ viewpoint, we have three questions:

1. We would like to know your group’s solution for getting back the 2+ acres of greenspace for this community that was razed by PMV, based on 1.0 FSR?

2. Did everyone who signed the petition watch our delegation’s presentation on May 26th, either live or on the web? In it we outlined another option at a 1.4 FSR, and  it was not included in the summary at the top of your petition.

3. Does everyone on your petition know that City Staff has recommended a 1.25 FSR as a minimum across the East Third Street Area?

We look forward to hearing back from you,

Sincerely,

Michael & Michelle Binkley

To Council:
Dear Mayor and Council,
We would like to respond to the petition that was sent to you from Mr. George Madi expressing displeasure in further changes to land use in the (Moodyville) East Third Street Area of the Draft OCP.
We respect the opinion expressed in the petition and understand the concerns mentioned. There has been a lot of development approved and under construction in North Vancouver and this is disorienting and inconvenient for some residents. There is fear that poorly planned growth and further development will be on a scale that compromises neighbourhood quality of life within the East Third Street Area. There is also concern that new development will displace affordable rental space that exists in older properties west of St. Davids Ave. This is no different from properties east of St. Davids Ave.
The petition misunderstands the intent and effects of our proposals. We are a group of neighbourhood home owners who have lived in the (Moodyville) East Third Street Area for a long time, some for more than 55 years. We love this area and our community. Our proposals presented to you on May 26, 2014 are intended to improve the future quality of life in the neighbourhood, not undermine it. We are not proposing massive redevelopment with towers but a well-planned mix of low rise town homes and apartments.
Our proposals serve the public interest as much or more than they serve our private interests. They are designed to serve broad public goals expressed in the Draft OCP – Council has made it clear that our private interests will not be considered. Our vision is for the neighbourhood to redevelop in a way that helps focus future growth close to transportation and amenities, that provides a variety of housing types for different families, that uses the land sustainably, that creates a greener public realm and better buffers residential life from the industry on the waterfront.
We are seeking an FSR of at least 1.4 because it will encourage a much better comprehensive development of our neighbourhood – we believe a lower FSR than this will encourage only a piecemeal mix of aging single-family homes and expensive new row townhomes without substantial public open space and other community amenities.
The petition appears to reflect private interests as much or more than the broader public interest, and as much or more than our proposals do.
It is not fair to say that our proposals are driven by private interests any more than the petition is. The petition and letters to Council focus on personal concerns to owners and tenants in the area, on protecting today’s private views and low rent. Where is the public benefit in allowing this neighbourhood to deteriorate rather than redevelop in response to dramatic changes on the part of PMV and its Port tenants?
The petition claims 94 signatures, but upon analysis, only 45 households in the 400 block of East First Street and East Second Street are represented. It is also worth noting that approx. 22% of the signatures are either primary residents or tenants of Mr. Madi.
The information in this petition is in stark contrast to the special East Third Street Survey that was requested by Council in March 2014, and executed by Staff. 368 of 400 surveys were completed. Of those, 96% were homeowner respondents and of those, 83% were in favour of more change in land use for the area. The 400 block East First Street saw 25% or less respondents, but of those 95 – 100% were in favour of more change in land use for the area.
Please remember that the majority of properties in the 400 block East First Street are absentee owner rental properties. One has to wonder if the property owners are in favour of change, whereas their tenants are not. This would account for the City’s Survey results being in marked contrast to Mr. Madi’s petition.
We respectfully ask that you consider this information as you deliberate the Draft OCP.
Sincerely,
Michael & Michelle Binkley

on behalf of the residents 500 & 600 block East First Street & East Second Street & St. Davids Ave.