This is a letter from a resident in the City of North Van addressed to The Editor, North Shore News (not yet published) . The 150 E 8th proposal with 178 units was passed after the public hearing last night by the pro-development members of Council 4-3.
Letter to the Editor
Another Blight on Our Neighbourhood
The letter of the law wins again over the intent of the law.
Once again last night Mayor Mussatto and Councillors Keating, Buchanan and Back voted their approval of a high density project at 150 East 8th Street (Telus Site). It did not matter that every person, living in the adjacent buildings (who sent emails and spoke at the meeting) asked for a height reduction of one storey and for another driveway entrance. This input was completely ignored by these members of Council. Councillor Keating asked if the project met the conditions laid out in the OCP – which it does IF Council agrees to award the Maximum Density Bonus that could be applied. Council could have asked for a reduction of one storey and the City receive less money for the Density Bonus. Councillors Bookham, Bell and Clark voted against the project agreeing with the immediate neighbours that changes are needed.
Another 4 against 3 vote that brings us yet another project too large for the neighbourhood and another 235 cars to add to our streets. This same voting brought us 161 East Keith – a 17 storey tower on too small a lot even with the inclusion of a piece of our boulevard – this tower now overpowers the east end of Victoria Park. Next is the Hollyburn building going up at 13th and Lonsdale – 19 storeys right along Lonsdale.
Oct. 18 cannot come soon enough!
Following is a request for residents to attend the Public Hearing tomorrow. Full details are on the “news” page of this website:
Below is a summary of this project and a few bullets on the issues.
It would be much appreciated if local people would make comments to
Council by 4 pm tomorrow.
Once again, this project is at the absolute maximum height and mass, and
will not fit well into the established neighbourhood.
It is a shame that our city planners do not live in our neighbourhood
and therefore are not part of the community.
Please add whatever words you can to encourage people to attend and/or
send messages to council – Adera has shop owners from lower Lonsdale
sending messages saying it is all wonderful, and dog walkers from all
over are sending their praises for a dog park! – unbelievable stuff!
The fight continues.
PUBLIC HEARING for 150 East 8th Street – (TELUS site)
MONDAY, Jan. 22 – City Hall – 6:30 pm
- 179 units – all market condo
- 17 town houses; 162 apartments
- 7 storeys high on E 8th St. (maximum OCP height 6 storeys)
- 2.6 FSR (floor space ratio) (OCP is 1.6 with a maximum of 1 additional possible
‘to achieve additional public benefits or amenities’ ‘at Council’s absolute discretion’.)
- parking for 205 cars + bicycles
- massive building, 7 storeys high all along E 8th **
- floor height and building siting make it equal to the 9 storeys on E Keith towers
- more than 2 storeys higher than current 7 storey buildings on E Keith
- long and tall massive building compared to the E 8th, 11th & St. Georges buildings
- driveway – only one entrance & exit into laneway at east end – shared by 1033 St. Georges and the TELUS parking (30 spaces)
- no affordable housing component in this project
- unnecessary additional condo units – already exceed 2041 Regional Growth numbers
- suggestion by Adera for a dog park – on property which is already city owned
**Height of Building – the 6 storey maximum is being measured from the highest area of the property and being used to justify 7 storeys for the majority of the development.
- Council not to pass this proposal without amendments
- reduce the proposal to 6 storey maximum height throughout the project
- this would reduce the neighbourhood impact & only eliminate 29 units
- it would reduce the cost to build & somewhat reduce the amenity payment to the City
- the driveway/traffic issue needs further study
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