Saturday, March 25, 2017

Boring Gets It Done | Andrew Saxton for Leader

If you've been following the Conservative leadership race, you likely have been watching the front runners like Kevin O'Leary, Kellie Leitch and maybe Michael Chong.  It's been easy to forget that we have a local boy running as well, and he just released the following campaign video.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Cashing Out Condos

As reported today
"Owners of a 114-unit condominium complex in North Vancouver have become among the first to achieve court approval to sell their entire complex to a developer. 
The BC Supreme Court approved Anthem Properties’ bid of $51 million for the 6.5-acre Seymour Estates project on Lytton Street in North Vancouver district in December. The transaction closed in late January."
For those who don't follow strata legislation, the Province changed rules last year to allow a vote of 80% of owners as enough to force the sale of an entire strata complex, pending a review in the courts.  Previously the vote had to be unanimous for a sale to happen, something that was pretty much impossible.

The Seymour Estates deal has been in and out of the courts for several years.

There are a lot of strata developments on the North Shore. Many are forty or more years old, and facing massive repairs to basic infrastructure.  How many more will opt to sell out, and what impact will this have on our community?

There are a number of these applications working their way through the courts right now, usually with one or two hold-out owners refusing to sell.

The wildcard in all of this is the new Civil Resolution Tribunal, which has already shown a willingness to force a strata to do essential repairs even if owners voted not to spend the money.

Yard Waste!

Hello all - I'm back a after relaxing week of detached retina reattachment. Note - if you've got a topic that you think is worth pursuing we can give you posting privileges on the blog. Yard waste would have been a good one. Just email me.
New Topic? New DNV Garbage collection Program

The New program eliminates any yard trimmings that do not fit into the two carts. That's right, when you do your spring cleanup their suggestion is that you keep the green waste at your house and use it as filler in your organics cart when every you have free space. Or you can haul it to the depot for a fee. Or you can dump it** in the forest where it will become forest fire ladder fuel. (**hefty dumping fine may apply)

When did this cease to be a public service? You should be able to put your yard waste out for free or a reasonable fee curbside rather than having thousands of households driving to the depot.

Saturday, March 04, 2017

DNV Contractors as "Good Neighbours"

One of the things that District staff have struggled with in recent years are the number of residential construction projects happening within our town.  It's one thing to plan and orchestrate a big project like Seylynn, but keeping an eye on the dozens of single family homes being built or renovated is another thing altogether.

Monday evening at 7:30 District planning staff will present a report to Council called "Single Family Home Renewal Initiatives Update," which is a good indication of the ways that the District is trying to balance the desires of builders with the needs and concerns of the people living in the surrounding neighbourhoods.  Read it here before commenting please.

The District did an on-line survey, with a special focus on Upper Capilano.  The top six themes identified by local residents were:

  • New house size and impact. This category includes concerns about height, placement, building coverage, and setbacks.
  • Loss of trees and vegetation. Comments include loss of green space, gardens, and mature plants.
  • Transportation. Examples of comments include truck traffic, parking (during construction and overall supply), road closures, and delays.
  • Garbage, debris and piles. For example, dust, materials stored on streets, debris, and garbage on or near construction sites.
  • Noise. This includes comments on hours when construction noise is permitted, and general complaints about construction-related noise.
  • Change in neighbourhood character. Comments reflected unease about changes to the look, feel, and loss of older houses. 
As far as solutions, there will be a revision of the existing Good Neighbour package for builders, but more interesting suggestions include adding a maximum principal building size to RS-1 zoning, and examining whether there is a need for a look at "impacts of basements construction including tree and vegetation loss, potential slope stability, and groundwater impacts."

I'd be happy if they could just get construction crews to listen to something other than "Classic Rock" on their DeWalt radios.

Friday, February 24, 2017

CNV Coachhouses and Suites

At the top of the City of North Vancouver's newsletter this week was news that:
This week the North Vancouver City Council unanimously supported allowing both a secondary suite and a coach house on single family properties. Positive feedback from the community was immediate.
“It's extremely important that the City continues to address housing affordability through a variety of options such as allowing single family homes to potentially have two rental units," says Mayor Darrell Mussatto.
It's interesting that at a time when lots of people are worried about development and increased density, the CNV has decided to support a plan which could double or triple the number of occupants on a specific property.  One has to wonder about parking, and the increased demand for municipal services like water, sewer, and waste disposal.

Learn more about Council's Housing Action Plan.