As you may or may not be aware, on May 16th it is planned that Council will vote to close further debate on replacing the OCP. When this vote happens, it will be an historic one for all residents in the DNV. Council's stated intent is to replace an outdated OCP (and notably its troublesome "low density" and "low growth" undertakings as embedded in our Local Area Plans). In their view, Council and DNV staff would replace our existing OCP with one that is "more flexible" and which provides "guidelines" rather than actually controls DNV development.
Specifically, on the planned May 16th vote,
"Recommendation: THAT the May 16, 2011 Public Hearing be Closed ... " see http://www.dnv.org/upload/documents/Council_PH/110516PHAGN.htm
... and for the May 16th "Meeting Agenda and Reports" ... see http://www.dnv.org/upload/documents/Council_PH/110516PH.pdf
One of the new OCP's " ... stated intents is to identify 10,000 new housing units, equalling an additional 20,000 residents ... The plan lists Lynn Valley (2500 new units), Lower Lynn (3000 new units), Capilano/Marine (2000 new units) and Maplewood (1500 new units) as the primary growth areas ..." see: http://www.nsnews.com/business/District+North+Vancouver+seeks+input/4409561/story.html#ixzz1LtwCgoP7 (North Shore News, March 9, 2011 ... and "DNV Identity 2030" document for "new unit counts"). Interestingly, the DNV website lists our total population as 82,562 people, so the plan is for a 25% increase. Is such an increase truly what DNV residents and voters want? What they deserve? Is this a realistic plan?
Apparently, the new OCP's "new unit" counts are in addition to developments that have already been approved, and will happen regardless of future single- and multi-family development on the Tsleil-Waututh Nation lands (the present large and growing Ravenwoods Development) and Squamish Nation lands (new development).
It is my view that the 'new' OCP ignores the "new" infrastructure needed to support the planned density increases, much of which will very significantly affect the already over-taxed northern-end of the 2nd Narrows Bridge, which is controlled by the BC Highways Department and not the DNV. (i.e. most of the OCP's 20,000 new residents, plus another 1400 for the already-approved Fern Street development, plus whatever additional residents are added at the Tsleil-Waututh Nation's Ravenwoods development) And what about increased public transit, which is controlled by Metro Transit? And added hospital beds, which are controlled by the Health Authority? And what about added Community Centres, which finally is something we (DNV) pay for directly? If the DNV hasn't planned properly for the added infrastructure required, how can any added density be claimed to be "sustainable growth"? Who pays, well-planned or not? ... you and I do in our taxes - provincial and municipal - and with a diminshed quality of life. I also believe that adding density to accommodate 20,000added residents will do nothing to make housing more affordable on the North Shore. Housing prices are regional, and nothing that is presently being done anywhere in the Lower Mainland can turn the tide of ever-higher real estate prices against the 50,000 to 60,000 new residents every year who are calling Metro Vancouver home.
Regardless of your opinion on whether this Council should change our OCP as they plan, BRING A FRIEND AND ATTEND THE MEETING. This apparently will be the last chance for our voices to be heard in the OCP debate.
Please, plan on attending the Council meeting 5:00 pm May 16th at Council offices, 355 West Queens Road.
Written by Anonymous