Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Historic DNV OCP Vote Monday, May 16th 5 PM

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 Council's stated intent is to replace an outdated OCP (and notably its troublesome "low density" and "low growth" undertakings as embedded in our Local Area Plans).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

... and for the May 16th "Meeting Agenda and Reports" ... see

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: (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


Anonymous said...

Since when are OCP's anything but a set of guidelines? They are meant to evolve with the times and needs as they evolve and have never been meant to be rigid.

Anonymous said...

Why did you delete my comment (posted a couple of days ago) to this, John? Is expressing an opinion counter to your own bringing about censorship?

Anonymous said...

I am not sure if this blog has a audience of more than 11 but to those that do follow it, I assume you are interested in your local community and in answer to John's continued concern about the feedback from the community in regard to the DNV OCP, I highly encourage you to attend on Monday as described. I am pleased to see the North Shore Outlooks coverage and hope to see a lot of faces, familiar or otherwise at the event.


Vincent Santacroce

Anonymous said...

Forgive me if I sound a bit cynical, but by time this District OCP 2030 gets off the ground much of the planning for it will have become obsolete due to unforseen changes in technology, society, etc.,just like we saw with the former District OCP, 20 years ago.

I feel we will all just be tilting at the windmills on Monday night. District will do what District will do.

Anonymous said...

Why, John, do you assume that an OCP is a fixed set of rules? It most certainly not. It must be able to adapt to the changes in the community, whether they be economic, social or environmental.

John Sharpe said...

Hello Anonymous 1:44 PM,

I remember there was a single comment but, I did not delete it.

I did notice however that the blog was "under maintenance' by Google Blogger for a time yesterday so perhaps it was deleted because of that.

All comments are welcome whether in opposition or not. I will not delete comments that attack the argument only if they attack the individual.

John Sharpe said...

Anon 6:45 PM,

Nowhere in the post does it say it is a "fixed set of rules". As noted I did not write the post. I do agree with it's content.

I believe that DNV council wants a certain limited green light with density. To this I might point out that the Iron Workers Memorial Bridge was built in 1959 and the NDP launched the Seabus in 1974. Since then there has been basically nothing added the North Shore access infrastructure. To that please note:Many of the current District councillors voted down the Bus Barn in 2005/6.

Just how is the increase in density proposed by the new OCP and District council supposed to be dealt with when there are no plans for increased infrastructure?

The so-called Seymour 'fly over' is years away and the Province wants multi-millions from the District to help pay for it. Mega tax increases are on the way.

Ernie Crist used to say,(not exact quote)'The whole world does not have to move to the North Shore'. I might add to this; especially with inadequate transportation infrastructure.

This is not to mention other levels of infrastructure that may or not be able to cope with increases in density that are proposed.

If you think traffic congestion is bad now at times at the bridge heads even without tie-ups, just wait until the density is in place.

Perhaps our only saving grace might be that fossil prices go to $2.50 per liter and people will be forced out of their SOV's. Pretty speculative thing to hope for though but, I guess it could happen.

Anonymous said...

Ernie Crist used to say,(not exact quote)'The whole world does not have to move to the North Shore'.

And yet, Ernie himself moved to the North Shore from the other side of the world.


Anonymous said...

When it was first removed, I thought the original author, with initials J.B. might have objected. Guess not.

I think there is a lot of fear-mongering going on here with the new OCP. Development is still very much resident driven, and if neighbours do--or don't--want anything appearing down the block, they will speak up and council will usually listen. Having said that, the PA3 development on the Parkway is probably the most startling example that some will cite as proof that Council does what it wants in spite of neighbourhood opposition, but in that case, the pros were pretty much equal to the cons, and in the end Council opted to vote in favour of seniors.

Time will tell if they were right, however, when it came to two redevelopments in Seymour that were obviously highly controversial, they voted in favour of the residents and down-zoned the properties in question.

Councillors usually want to be re-elected, and if they behave in ways that offend voters in the intervening three years, they risk paying for it at the ballot box.

If you don't like what they've done over the past three years, now's your chance to speak up.

John Sharpe said...

... "I am pleased to see the North Shore Outlooks coverage" ...

I haven't seen the North Shore Outlook coverage but, one thing's for sure the District has never advertised in the Outlook in the years I've been reading it since 2005.

VERY curious as well is the fact that the Outlook no longer publishes letters to the Editor. This is shameful to stop voices in the community. I have emailed and called the Outlook several times on this issue but, they have never responded.

Anonymous said...

The District advertises in the North Shore News, which has a larger coverage. Why waste tax payer money on ineffective advertising?

Anonymous said...

Speaking of letters to the editor, I saw John's letter regarding the HST debate in the Friday NSNews.

How about someone posting a thread on that topic?

Anonymous said...

Because the topic has been beaten to death...

Anonymous said...

Maybe not "beaten" sufficiently.

John's letter states,"...which I suspect...","...I don't know exactly...I'm guessing..."

Then his letter describes the HST in terms of, "The annual $300 cost to each British Columbian..." One assumes that he means in excess of the prior system's average cost.

The Independent Inquiry into the HST found that it cost the average BC FAMILY about $350 per year more than the old system.

John has it at $300 per person (not family) and has had this substantial error published in the local paper.

A small reduction in the BC portion of the HST could easily result in a less expensive sales tax than the GST + PST combo.

I could care less if the tax is called ABC, XYZ, HST or PST. Whatever results in the lowest sales tax is the one I (and any thinking voter) will select.

John Sharpe said...

As far as I'm concerned it has not been "beaten to death" until the Referendum has come and gone.

And as far as my "substantial error" goes, the main issue is that is costing more for basic utilities, commodities, sundries etc. A year before the HST was implemented I had it figured personally that my expenses would be up at least $300 annually and I don't live an extravagant lifestyle.

Anonymous said...

Well John the Independent (non-politically biased) Inquiry has a 70% lower estimate of the per person impact than you do.

That is pretty "substantial" in my books.

The point is that the gov't can apply the 1% personal income tax reduction promised by Campbell which was revoked after his departure to reduce the provincial portion of the HST.

If they peg the tax below the rate of the old system such that we have a net benefit it would be nuts to stubbornly vote to return a higher tax.

John Sharpe said...

The personal income tax announced by Campbell in his attempt to appease British Columbians with the HST was 15% not 1%.

I was happy to see the Independent Inquiry partially support why 750,000 British Columbians signed the NOHST petition. I would question how the "family" equation is based. Is it a family of 3 or 4 or even 5? If the Inquiry is trying to tell us that it is then $116 or $87 per person that would be a joke but, you can believe it if you want.

Anonymous said...

Yes my typo, re the cancelled Campbell tax decrease but the point remains the same.

There are 4 different entities reporting very differing amounts of how much HST the average family pays compared to the old sales tax .

Two are politicized and I suggest that their figures may be skewed to embellish their political objectives.

They are:

The Fraser Institute -

"The Fraser Institute claims that most households will be better off under the new harmonized sales tax, and will pay between $72 and $403 in additional taxes each year. But those households earning less than $80,000 per year will earn back most of that in income tax and HST credits, according to the report, meaning the average family will pay about $44 more."

Fight HST's Bill Vander Zalm -

“The actual tax increase under the HST for an average family is closer to $1208, not $350 as they (the Independent Panel) reported,” Vander Zalm explained.


The average household can expect to pay an additional $521 under the new tax.

According to the Times-Colonist "a household with an annual income of $40,000 to $50,000 will pay $253 more because of the HST, while households in the $80,000 to $90,000 range will pay $1,128 more annually."

To arrive at those figures, Statistics Canada analysed 15 household types and 15 income classifications using a social policy simulations database and model, and applied all of the rebates, tax credits and rules of the HST and GST.

HST Independent Report-

The average family paid $1,169 a year in sales tax under the PST/GST. Under the HST, that family now pays $350 more in sales tax.

Thus the organizations with a political agenda have the increase at somewhere between $44 and $1208.

The independent organizations are between $350 and $521 per family per year.

A family appears to be based upon StatsCan household income.

I would prefer to lend more credibility to the non-political estimates but as you say "you can believe it if you want."

The opportunity to diminish the HST impact below that of the GST/PST system still remains and if we go down that road I'll be voting to pay less tax.

Anonymous said...

Why are posts being censored again, John? Please replace the link to the video that shows a compelling argument for the HST.

John Sharpe said...

Attack the argument, not the one arguing.

Feel free to replace the link without the deragatory comment.

Anonymous said...

John you and the left wing ilk can’t handle any name calling? Perhaps this is the reason amongst others as to why your foray into politics was short lived. You spew rhetoric that is rarely supported by fact.

Anonymous said...

Here is a link that should quell some of the rhetoric

Anonymous said...

Hmm who to believe, a disgraced politician with a high school education or someone with a PHD in economics or someone with a degree in economics coupled with a law degree?

Anonymous said...

Don't forget Bill's sidekick Chris who also lacks any real education when it relates to economics. Take you pick dumb and dumber....

Anonymous said...

There are 3 kinds of people that feel strongly about the HST. They are:

1. Controlled by their emotions.
"I didn't like the way they brought it in so they can reduce it to zero for all I care, I'll vote against it because I'm mad and my emotions control my behaviour."

2. Political puppets.
I'll vote in accordance with my political masters. Left - get rid of it. Right - keep it. Lunatic fringe - anything goes.

3. Financial analysts.
I'll analyze the numbers and vote in accordance with the best deal for the taxpayer.

Frankly, the first 2 types are hopelessly predictable and have little credibility.

I'm interested in the thoughts of unbiased #3's.

I wonder if StatsCan would do another analysis plugging in the new HST proposal and let us know how it stacks up against the former PST system?

John Sharpe said...

Anon 5:41 PM,

Name calling, derogatory and defamatory comments towards the individual, etc., are against the policy of this blog.

Respect should always be the order of the day.

Anonymous said...

Boo hoo politician wanabee