Monday, January 07, 2013

January 7 DNV Meeting to see discussion of Lynn Valley Centre Development

7:00 p.m.
January 7, 2013
Council Chamber, Municipal Hall,
355 West Queens Road, North Vancouver


8.3.        Community Engagement on the Lynn Valley Implementation                           

File No. 13.6480.30/002.002

THAT staff be directed to undertake an intensive and focussed community engagement initiative in early 2013 to seek further feedback to shape and refine the Lynn Valley Town Centre Implementation Plan.


Anonymous said...

The meeting was attended by more than 200 people. Not much input from staff other than the same old talk about public input needed.

Council did its homework and talked about their kids and families and how important it is to "grow" and address the times. The message they sent loudly and clearly was that they are a caring council and listen to the residents. And constant reference to the OCP which was approved unanimously by council without a referendum.

My take is that they are very worried about the backlash from the people who live in Lynn Valley.

Anonymous said...

It was a packed house, had to stand for much of the meeting myself.

I thought the staff seemed very nervous about their presentation assumimgly because of the very large turnout against high rise structures in Lynn Valley.

Obviously council has been hit with many emails, letters, calls form concerned Lynn Valley residents in the past weeks. "A caring council and listen to the residents". Maybe. One thing's for sure they give themselves a lot of credit in that theme. Mike Little even said, "We listen too much". I wouldn't take it that far Mike. I also believe the 'prepared' speeches ' each council member had were meant to soften or butter up the residents. I did like their stance on "tell your friends and neighbours to get involved", but one wonders if their isn't a hidden agenda on that. They're politicians, let's face it.

I was 'a glass half empty' about the evening; The devil will be in the details as we go through process.

I think the residents have a very good stab at keeping high rises at bay for the time being.

Anonymous said...

Council do want people to be involved and participate constructively, but this can only happen if you have a populace that is focused on the complex realities of planning for the future, with all of its inevitable trade-offs.
How do we pay for the miles of roads, bridges, piping that the low density DNV requires? It is mostly 60 years old and requires tens of millions to replace. Who will pay?

Mackay Dunn was correct when he warned that the DNV taxpayer needs to make some hard choices or the lifestyle they are demanding will not continue. We won't need pine boxes to take all of those single family home stalwarts away as they promised at the meeting - they'll be driven out by their own cost of living and the lack of appeal to young people of living in what amounts to an outdoor seniors centre with not a streetbench in sight.
Few people seem to understand how a given density on a site is achieved and how that can be configured and why some configureations are better than others.
One speaker promised that any highrises built would remain empty. Here is a challenge; let them build one and if it remains empty (because NO ONE in Lynn Valley likes highrises) you'll never have to deal with the problem again.
But if even one former Lynn Valley homeowner moves in (some quitter who has grown tired of gutter cleaning?) then you would have to admit that SOME residents need housing other than a single-family home. Why does the No side feel they are entitled to speak for every resident for all of Lynn Valley? Is such a statement supportable or even logical?

Anonymous said...

"I think the residents have a very good stab at keeping high rises at bay for the time being." (Anon 5:59)
To paraphrase Winston Churchill, Lynn Valley residents "can always be counted on to do the right thing...after they have exhausted all other possibilities."

By failing to engage realistically, LV residents may find that they in fact end up with substandard developments that bring little benefit to the community, opportunities that would be of benefit across age, social and economic considerations.

Anonymous said...

There are many, many small communities in BC that have remained approximately the same size throughout the years. Their infrastructure is maintained. Why can't this Council and Staff spend money on infrastructure repair instead of constantly hiring on new staff and depending on new residents to pay the bills?

The highrises will produce much more trouble than they will solve. And, once this process gets going, there is no turning back.

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:48 PM said, "The highrises will produce much more trouble than they will solve."

Please do us the courtesy of elaborating on this. How exactly does a building that occupies less land and requires less infrastructure than single family homes supporting the same population? The latter requires more roads, more sewer lines, more power lines, more phone lines, etc, etc. than the former. Please explain your reasoning.

Anonymous said...

Re: 3:18 PM, I didn't finish my sentence, the second sentence should read:

How exactly does a building that occupies less land and requires less infrastructure than single family homes, supporting the same population, produce more problems?

Anonymous said...

"The highrises will produce much more trouble than they will solve."

More traffic problems, more air pollution, more noise, more crime, less livable community, shadows (see today's NSNEWS letter to the Ed), lower aesthetics for the area, infrastructure that isn't up to the challenge, more strain on schools, hospitals, many other services, higher taxes, hgher housing costs, etc., etc., ...

Anonymous said...

RE: Anon 2:48 is incorrect with regard to the idea of runaway staffing at DNV hall. There has been a significant reduction in total staff numbers, largely through attrition and non replacement of staff. DNV residents are going to have to come out in greater numbers to the financial workshops and learn some accounting and cost projections.
Similarly, those crying more crime, more pollution need to look at the actual numbers from studies dealing with these issues. The reality is most often counterintuitive.
The definition of traffic is all the others on the road when I want to drive. How do you get people out of their cars? Transit needs riders to be viable, but all of the No side would defeat any prospect of establishing viable service.
DNV residents are not now covering the costs of their services through property taxes. The have lived through a lucky time and fortunate confluence of growth factors that does not exist anymore. The cost to maintain the present system and infrstructure is beyond what any of you what to pay for in the future. I can tell you your kids won't want to pay the coming costs and you will be stuck on your own to pay for it. Communities who adopted modest change will flourish. That's where you kids will be. That's where the jobs will be.

Anonymous said...

No one is saying the NO side doesn't want "modest change". In fact I think that's exactly what they are saying. Open your eyes and ears a little.

NO to highrises. How is it made any more plain and simple? There must be alternatives and the LV residents don't want highries and have stated so. 200 plus standing room only in the Chambers at DNV Hall have delivered the message!

Anonymous said...

Why can't high rises in the town cores be a part of modest change/growth? The no side needs to define modest. Would you rather have a few high rises at the town core or a fleet of mid rises throughout the entire region? Which do you think will have more impact on infrastructure. Here's a hint, it isn't the high rises.

Anonymous said...

I too am very curious to hear the definition of the "modest change" that would be deemed acceptable.

Anonymous said...


Ahem, we live on the N. Shore. Has anyone noticed those huge green things standing all over the place? They cast huge shadows. I think they're called trees.

Anonymous said...

I have none of those huge green things in my neighbourhood. I do recall a few many years ago, but they have been replaced by concrete silos.

Anonymous said...

"How do we pay for the miles of roads, bridges, piping that the low density DNV requires? It is mostly 60 years old and requires tens of millions to replace. Who will pay?"

Hmmm so ... you think the people buying the little boxes will not mind paying for OUR infrastructure? You mean the 'kids and families' ( awwww ) they kept referring to? or did you mean US who have now moved to an egg crate in the sky at LV mall? Is THAT the logic of that argument? The new egg crate residents, of course, will have no new costs of their own, no new rec centres, no parking or traffic requirements, no widened roadways and, of course, will use hot air balloons to cross the bridges but they will not mind at all paying for our costs.

Good plan folks!

I'm sorry. Infinite growth is what is proposed and it is will be the ruin of our lovely valley.

Anonymous said...

No trees in Lynn Valley? Really? You must live in the LV Centre parking lot. Are you a shopping cart person sending your blog posts from the LV Library hotspot?

You have to really work at not running into towering evergreens on almost every block on the N. Shore with their attendant (shudder) shadows.


Anonymous said...

Anon 11:50AM , Regarding costs for infrastructure, parks etc. The DNV charges any new development Development Cost Charges (DCCs) for needed improvements to adjoining roads, new sewer and piping, sidewalks. So yes, part of what the constitutes the purchase price of an apartment is a portion of the DCC charges of the project.
Similarly, with the new 2 acre park planned as part of Bosa's application. That park would be built by the developer as part of the Community Amenity Contribution (CACs), at no cost to DNV taxpayers. These provisions are written into the bylaw governing the project and occupancy is not granted until the bylaw conditions (DCCs & CACs) are completed.
So, Anon 11:50 AM, those new people (or shifted LV people) will be paying for the new roadwork, parks, pipes.
It is worth noting that things such as DCCs were not in place at the time of the early days of Lynn Valley. The costs for such things - which are enjoyed by all those now living in single family homes - was paid for largely out of land sales at the time DNV was expanding. Essentially, these home owners obtained their DCC charges for free, through the sale of public lands.
Problem is, there is no more public land for sale, and there is no where else to offset the costs of replacing your services in the older established neighbourhoods. If you want to begin to see what is awaiting DNV taxpayers, google "Canada $400 billion infrastructure deficit"
The above realities reveal why it is important to be engaged and informed about the actual issues involved in retaining what you say you want. There is no more money without loading on the taxpayer, unless we start using other mechanisms, such as DCCs and working with developers who have the means to actually build to fit a market. You won't be getting a 2 acre park for nothing and you certainly are unwilling to pay for it through additional taxes. Start making balanced choices framed in the broader context, logic and a view into the future.

Anonymous said...

A developer wants to ruin the recently revitalized Waldorf Hotel in Vancouver. Tear it down and build highrise market condos.

Check out to find out what's going on there.

Anonymous said...

I read the story. The developer didn't want to "ruin" the aged Waldorf. He wants to replace it with new modern units.

Folks that don't own the Waldorf want the owners to retain it as it now is. said...

The mayor, councilors and North Vancouver District staff involved in the implementation of redevelopment of Lynn Valley Centre have a duty to the community and are responsible for ensuring that residents of Lynn Valley are satisfied with redevelopment of their community. The large attendance of the January 7, 2012, North Van District council meeting by residents of Lynn Valley revealed that people are passionate about their community. I was happy to hear that concerns about the current proposed plan are being acknowledged. Reasonable options for redevelopment and sustainable growth are expected; the residents of Lynn Valley look forward to discussion to enable this to come to be.

It is sure nice to know that the Lynn Valley residents are finally taking a stand against overdevelopment. The turnout at the Jan 7th council meeting was great. This just shows that when people are informed properly, they listen and they are taking part in what is our democratic right.

The Jan. 7 North Van District council meeting was encouraging. It seems the packed house exhibited that Lynn Valley residents are concerned about the recent development proposals for Lynn Valley Centre. They want to have their voices heard and be part of the dialogue. I believe that the councilors and Implementation Planning staff now understand that they can’t just fast track high rise development in our community. We believe in exploring other options and perhaps there are better horizontal (versus vertical) choices. We want District staff to go back to the drawing board and design something that will include retail stores and lower-rise residences that will fit in with the character of Lynn Valley as the OCP clearly states. Yes to sensible and reasonable growth in Lynn Valley. No to high rises!

Nice to know that North Van District Council are listening to the residents of Lynn Valley - They are our elected officials so we would expect no less from them. I am looking forward to the communication process to come and hoping that we have a good cross section of our community coming out to participate in the dialogue concerning BOSA development’s plan for high rises and our OCP.

The first North Vancouver Council meeting of the New Year is generally a drab affair with the usual two or three council watchers sitting in the gallery and wishing they were elsewhere, as business from the past is rehashed like a bad hangover.
But not so this year when on January 07 a massive and vibrant crowd from Lynn Valley flooded the council chamber and late comers had to be ushered into a separate room where they watched the proceedings on closed circuit television. Thanks to everyone who attended, the mad rush to fast track the Lynn Valley Town Center plan has come to an end. DNV council got the message loud and clear that the people from Lynn Valley do not want their communities negatively affected by overdevelopment specifically in the form of high rise towers. Council has promised an "indefinite public engagement process" in which everyone can offer their input in creating a plan which satisfies primarily the residents of Lynn Valley. One can only hope that the people of Lynn Valley continue to participate in overwhelming masses throughout the Lynn Valley planning process.

Anonymous said...

To the "egg crate in the sky" poster.

The footprint of a highrise condo is usually 150 to 200 feet of street frontage or about the same as 3 or 4 single family residential lots. These aging homes would yield about $3000 in taxes per year each or somewhere around $10 - $12,000 annually.

However, a highrise on the same footprint needs no more street or sidewalk frontage and has one water line in and one sewer line out (instead of 3 or 4 to maintain). At 4 to 6 units per floor for 10 floors you have 40 to 60 properties at $1500 or more per year taxes so you have an annual yield of $60 - 90,000.

So yes, I think that the residents of additional density on the same footprint of the low density will help pay for aging infrastructure.

If we supported the concept of "aging in place", that is that seniors sell their large single family residents to younger families and move into "egg crates", then we are unlikely to have higher condo related crime stats with that population. Also, many of the seniors go down to one car from two or even no cars so the traffic boogey man isn't all that scary.

I like the idea of retaining aging N. Shore residents on the N. Shore in easy care residences that make sense for them. The seniors are our fastest growing demographic. Let's embrace that reality and make it work for us.

I think that a lot of the NO group are NIMBYs.

Anonymous said...

How many posters in favour of those high boxes in the sky grew up in homes with a yard to play in, I wonder? Great memories I'll bet. Single family homes are still popular in BC, and why not? Hi rises are not a great place to raise kids in. Ask Counc. Mike Little or Counc. Lisa Muri if they would be willing to move their families of six and five members into one of those pies in the sky? Of course they live in nice homes with a yard.

Anonymous said...

The question is not actually whether or not Councillor little or Muri want to raise their kids in a highrise, but whether or not their grown kids will be able to afford the single family home. The average living unit in DNV has an occupancy of 1.25-1.5 persons. Townhouses are slightly higher, but under 3/unit. No one is asking a family of six to live in an apartment, but why would you demand that a single person occupy 2,000 sq. ft on a 7,500 sq. ft. lot?
What is developing in the DNV is a kind of economic apartheid, where your concerns for decent housing is not seen as legitimate if you don't have the wherewithall for a $1 mil single family home. Should your grandmotehr be told to just push off?

Anonymous said...

Yes Councillors Little and Muri live in houses with backyards, just like 80% of the residents of the District of North Van.

What's your point?

I don't think anyone is suggesting that large families should live in small apartments. The point may be A)that there are a lot of couples living in single family homes because they don't have good downsizing options in their neighborhoods, and B) there are a lot of young couples with one or two young children who don't want to live in a basement suite and would like a decent sized apartment.

Anonymous said...

I have a question for all the folks opposed to density and living in single family homes. When did you buy your home? If you purchased it more than 8 years ago, when prices were half of what they are now, could you afford to buy a house on the North Shore at todays prices> How about all of you who bought back in the 60's or 70's? Could you afford todays prices? What sort of income does a family need to purchase a $800,000 home? Not factoring in any other debt or expenses, you'd need an income of $160,000 per year. How many of us can realistically afford that? This is just one of the underlining reasons for housing alternatives. Condos allow people to get on the property ladder.

Anonymous said...

Anon 08:00 AM is completely correct. Most of those sitting in single-family homes saw their net wealth lifted to unsupportable levels through external factors and price inflation, not as a result of their incomes. In fact for most of us it was a struggle to pay off a $275,000 or even $150,000 mortgage at the time of our peak earning and family raising years. At today's prices it would be impossible.

It is reprehensible that people place all of their opposition to anything other than single family homes at the cost of those who weren't lucky enough to fall within the blessed demographic of the boomers. They are sowing the seeds of their own hell, scared by bogeymen who don't exist. The laws of unintended consequences will soon be so fully in force that even those decrying the spoilage of their
"pristine green mountain views" will be hollering for someone to bail them out of a social and economic trap they fashioned for themselves. Regrettably they will take many others down with them.

"You may not be interested in change, but change is very interested in you."

Anonymous said...

Here's a weird thing.

West Vancouver set aside 60 acres for multifamily and highrise development about 50 years ago. These structures are located from 13th St. to 25 St. and go right down to the water.

NV City has highrise and multifamily zoning on both sides of Lonsdale.

When I go down to walk on the W.V. seawall it is full of N. Van people, many of whom are from Lynn Valley or other areas with very few highrises.

When I go to Lonsdale I run into all kinds of folks from Lynn Valley and other high rise scarce locales.

Yes, these people actually choose to go to locations full of highrises (with their attendant scary shadows) to recreate and shop yet they decry them in their own backyard. Hmmm...

Just an observation.

Anonymous said...

Anon, 12:03PM, you just provided the very definition of NIMBY.

Anonymous said...

Anon. 12:12
Do you live near one of the OCP designated densification areas?

Anonymous said...

Why ever would that matter?

Anonymous said...

The Psychology of MIMBYism
"NIMBYism is the inflammation of the entitlement gland." psychologist Joe Tecce, Boston College "If someone lives on a street for a long time there is a feeling, conscious or not,that 'I own this street", or at least, 'I am the mayor of this street.' New people bring change and unpredictably into a neighbourhood, which causes stress. The greater the insecurity of the person, the more they're projecting their ego beyond their skin." Tecce says,"In effect, people are resistant to change because they're not confident in handling change."

Good NIMBY versus Bad NIMBY, according to Spacing publisher Matt Blackett
- fact-based research and documentation to support your cause
- empirical evidence and precedence
- an eye for the bigger picture
- widespread support
- proactive approach, solution oriented
"What I would hope is that we had a more sophisticated knowledge of how we build cities; that cities are organic and they grow... It's when they're static that negative things start to happen."

- misinformation
- complete self-interest
- anti-change attitudes
- personal attacks on public officials
- always reactive, simple broad solutions with little complexity
"In some cases, NIMBYism has nothing to do with the neighbourhood, it has to do with property values.... But even bad NIMBYism is better than apathy."

Anonymous said...

Hi Anon 4:16 PM; RE live near a densification area/Town or Village Centre? I added the Psychology of NIMBYism post.
I live right beside the Lower Capilano Village centre. I am looking forward to the project and the benefits, connectedness of the community, public plaza, community centre, seniors housing. All of this coming without loading onto your tax bill.
Thank you, you're welcome.

Anonymous said...

George Koch's letter in Thursday's North Shore Outlook.
Begin forwarded message:

* Please note, the sender's email address has not been verified.

$contactPaper - LETTER OF THE WEEK: Lynn Valley Town Centre debate packs district hall*

*This article can also be accessed if you copy and paste the entire address below into your web browser.

Anonymous said...

While there was certainly a large crowd at Monday's Council meeting, it would be a far stretch to describe them as 'vibrant' or to assume they all were united in a single vision or purpose.
Given the comments made by many at the Public Input, it would be more appropriate to use adjectives such as 'unengaged', and 'misdirected'. Many had been led to Monday's meeting by Facebook messages telling them that the Bosa application itself would be submitted for approval that evening, rather than Council framing a renewed process to inform the community - again - following a well attended process of more than two-years.

How would one credibly accept a resident declaring his "shock" at policies clearly outlined and developed through numerous public meetings and workshops, to which this resident claims never to have been informed?

The meeting was depressing to the extent that so many revealed their willingness to have formed an opinion formed in the absence of reality and imaginative forward thinking. Most had been cynically lured there through alarmist misdirection.

It would also be a great error to imagine that everyone in the audience shared the same views. The general comments were not shared by one young lawyer at the event, expressing her dismay that even with the two incomes enjoyed by herself and her husband they were unable to afford a home in Lynn Valley. The same predicament had forced many of her same age friends to leave for other parts of Metro Vancouver. These young families of child-raising age are the ones we will need in the coming years if we are to avoid simply being a large scale outdoors seniors centre.

Anonymous said...

To say that two lawyers, presumably with two good incomes, cannot afford a home in Lynn Valley is preposterous. Perhaps they, like many others, need to downsize their expectations. Are they insisting on granite counter tops, hardwood floors, matching appliances, etc etc. The same advice goes for other first-time buyers. There are hundreds of affordable condos in North Van, but they're not brand-new with built-in laundry etc etc. Start with what you can afford.

Anonymous said...

You know what? I'm thinking that the constant battle against our demographic reality is foolish.

I assume most of the folks lathered up about a burgeoning mature population still have kids at home and that is their norm. Our kids have grown and left the Shore as it was unaffordable for them. Our norm for our peers is the no kid/adult kid family home couple and I have no problem as all with additional seniors and fewer young families for the following reasons:

1. the Baby Boomer senior is the fastest growing demographic so there is a huge pool of them - easy to attract;
2. the parents of the Boomers are passing on and leaving them inheritances that have been described as the greatest transfer of wealth in Canadian history;
3. with little effort local gov'ts can get into reality and ensure facilities and services that cater to the growing senior population;
4. this wealthy group can pay for the lion's share of the refurbishment of the againg infrastructure;
5. as the Boomers age they will turn over their family homes in favour of easy care condos/carriage houses/retirement communities. If enough need to sell this will cause a glut on the real estate market dropping prices. As N. Shore housing never has any problem selling (the only question is at what price?) these homes will be occupied by new folks revitalizing the area. Real estate is a free market that always balances itself with the law of supply and demand.

Politicians, pay attention to the new demographic, get with the programme, embrace it and move forward with (not against) the demonstrated direction of demographics. More seniors now.

Lee L. said...

I get it now. The plan is to turn Lynn Valley into Metrotown so 2 lawyer families can buy without making the required sacrifices.

Why not just buy in Metrotown?

Anonymous said...

NV City and W. Van have lots of highrise options while NV Dist has very few.

Downsizing seniors could populate the LV higrises. Seems like a forward thinking solution.

Anonymous said...

"How about all of you who bought back in the 60's or 70's? Could you afford todays prices?"

Actually, the question is 'Could you afford today's prices at 80's interest rates'?
The answer is a most definite NO. But at today's interest rates, which are 1/5 what they were in 1982 when I bought my house, I think the answer is yes..if I had 2 good quality incomes and a willingness. That is what was required in 1982. We bought in Lynn Valley because I wanted to be near the mountains and because we couldnt afford the British Properties or waterfront in West Vancouver. We didnt whine about that, we just adjusted our expectations and were happy with Lynn Valley.
You can buy in Lynn Valley, because a lot of people do. You won't have to pay 16 percent on your mortgage, as we did. You will get one for around 3 percent. You might have to work somewhere else for a while to save up. We did. Or, like my mum and dad, you might also have to borrow from your relatives to make that down payment.
It might be that for a while, you will have to rent part of your purchase out, as 2 young American immigrants I know are doing. You might have to renovate and use sweat equity, just as they have done.

But think we should turn Lynn Valley into Metrotown so that you dont have to make those adjustments. I think you should just buy in Metrotown.

Anonymous said...

Anon Tuesday, January 15, 2013 10:39:00 AM,

Actually, the question should be, could a person today afford 80's prices at 80's interest rates? I suspect that even with high interests rates, 80's prices for a single detached home were much more affordable than today's prices, regardless of the interest rates.

Also, nobody is suggesting anything like metrotown.

Anonymous said...

Re the eighties. I was there and locked in for one year at 18 1/2% interest for a Lynn Valley home. A close friend was at 23%. Not a pleasant time.

You forgot the other variable. Income. Eighties incomes were peanuts compared to today's average income.

No the eighties house payments were NOT more affordable than today's when taken as a per centage of average net income.

Re DNV high rises including LV.

W. Van has around 50, NV City around 100 and DNV, the largest municipality, about 12. Yes, more highrises are necessary in the Dist., including Lynn Valley.

Anonymous said...

I watched the video, and I liked what the councillors had to say, thought Mike Little (40 minute mark) and Richard Walton (47 minute mark)were the most well spoken.

The rest can be found here...
Robin Hicks 2nd time
Roger Bassam
Doug Mackay-Dunn 2nd time
Lisa Muri
Alan Nixon 2nd time

Lee L. said...


Thanks for clearing up the misconceptions of those who feel that WE had it so good because prices were low while THEY are facing an unaffordable mountain to climb because prices are higher.

Re. 'We NEED more high rises in Lynn Valley'. Just because West Vancouver has 50 and DNV has 12, is no reason at all to build 38 more in DNV. Maybe the reason DNV only has 12, relates to the reasons that residents move here.
They LIKE it that we only have 12?
However, it isn't entirely about high rises. As Lisa Muri so aptly explained, it is in fact about DENSITY. The actual form factor accommodating that density, high rise or townhouse, is only part of the issue. Mainly, it is about DENSITY. The Waltons of the council are happily promoting DENSITY, while ignoring the fact that most of us who bought here, were attracted by the LACK of DENSITY. The greenery and views, and end of the line village feel, as well as manageable traffic, larger single family lots appropriate for raising a family, all stem from lack of DENSITY.
The OCP, like all other OCP's, never includes a plan for the end of growth. Growth is assumed to be an infinitely supportable process and in reality only ends when either the village is so crowded, busy and NOT what Lynn Valley is today, that people don't want to live here(in other words, when it has grown into a crowded rathole which occasions only the odd memory of how lovely it was) or...
The other reason that growth might end, is that space, views, big greenery and single family housing become a rare and highly commodity in the rest of the lower mainland which continues to follow the planners mantra of DENSITY DENSITY. In that case, and should we choose another course which leaves us with neighbourhoods NOT overrun with 'growth', the market price will adjust to that demand.

My fear is that in a futile attempt to temporarily lower that market price, ( calling it 'affordability'), the OCP and council will green light a wave of destructive high density building with attendant traffic such as we see all down Lonsdale.


That's why I chose this particular back yard. I think I am not alone.

Further, rather than engage council on the height of a done deal high rise,it might be more appropriate to demand that the OCP be revoked until passed by public referendum.

THEN we shall see if the people of the District really want all that density.

Anonymous said...

...and if they don't then their taxes will go crazy to pay for the certain requirement for infrastructure replacement.

Will the area become unaffordable, not through raising real estate prices, but through astronomical tax burden?

THEN we shall see if holding back the tide of affordable housing for seniors and new entrants to the real estate market trumps the hole in the single family resident's bank account.

Lee L. said...

People pay what they can pay for a property. The total payments include taxes.

When too many CANNOT or WILL NOT pay then prices will necessarily adjust downward until they CAN pay.. as long as there are people wanting to live here.

But further, Anonymous 7:53.. your logic is flawed. With respect to building high density you warn that "if we don't taxes will go crazy to pay for the certain requirement for infrastructure replacement"...
implying that if we DO build high density, taxes will not go crazy. But as you say, infrastructure replacement is a "certain requirement" and paying for it cannot be avoided, so what you really are saying is that we can get the new residents moving in to pay for it instead of us... that is..the "seniors and new entrants to the real estate market" you refer to. Surely the need for them to pay such a 'horrendous' tax burden, will negatively affect affordability of the new DENSE housing, as well as the existing, thereby contradicting your assertion that this plan addresses the need for affordable housing in Lynn Valley.

Unless.... you are planning so MUCH high density housing, that it can make a noticeable difference in our tax bill and still positively impact affordability.

In that case, we are following a plan to a very different and, in my opinion, far less liveable Lynn Valley. I don't agree that it would be a better Lynn Valley.

In short, you can't relieve the tax burden significantly, without building so much high density housing that you have completely changed the character of the valley and the traffic in it.

38 more high rises? Not interested.
Put the OCP and densification to a referendum.

Anonymous said...

Dear Lee L.

Where to start...

1. If one already owns a property and property taxes march upward to an unsustainable level then one is put in the same position as the folks in the 1980s.

Unplanned uprooting for financial reasons. Very traumatic for long term residents but if that is OK with you then OK.

2. When taxes go up to replace infrastructure (which is certain unless you're OK with dramatic cuts to facilities and services) then those least likely to pay the increase are the first effected. These are typically seniors on fixed income or entry level purchasers that haven't yet reached a comfortable income level.

If they need to sell (see #1) then they need somewhere to go.

Solution? Smaller, higher density units (yes, multifamily including highrises). This allows the most vulnerable to "age in place" without a complete upheaval to their lives.

3. With great respect, it is your reasoning that is flawed. Without rehashing why higher density yields higher tax revenue please re-read Jan. 10, 5:04 PM.

4. Yes, I get that things are nice just the way they are now. They cannot stay that way due to current and future infrastructure costs. There will be change but you can ameliorate the degree of change by careful introduction of change now.

5. Yes, house prices may dip due to burgeoning taxes but no, house prices do not necessarily have to go down due to higher taxes. There is a strong international market that has noticed the N. Shore. It may be that a significant portion of current residents may need to find other accomodation to be replaced by more well-heeled investors.

6. No matter how much we wish something will stay the same wishing will not make it so.

Anonymous said...

I find it repugnant that the OCP was approved unanimously by DNV Council. We have lost our democracy.

Anonymous said...

Anon Friday, January 18, 2013 4:20:00 PM,

How have you lost your democracy, exactly? Council was elected by the public and performed their task as mandated. Is your definition of democracy different from everyone else's?

Is it only democracy if it jives with your point of view?

Anonymous said...

It should have gone to referendum. Why wasn't it a question on the November 2011 municipal ballot?

I know exactly why, voter turnout would have been more than 21 percent and elected council would not all be liberal-leaning.

That is the loss of democracy.

Anonymous said...

Good Lord, and here I thought critical thinking was alive and well in Canada. It would appear we're becoming as bad as our neighbours to the South.

You have not answered the question of how exactly the process is not democratic. Why is it a requirement all of a sudden for the OCP to go to referendum? Who pays for that? Come on, present your case in a coherent manner!

John Sharpe said...

Maybe I can answer the question. Below is a letter to the Editor I wrote dated Wed.. Oct 31.

Anticipating your vehement disagreement.

Meeting numbers a figment of the imagination

Dear Editor,
In his letter to the North Shore News, Oct.17(DNV Welcomes public input), Mayor Richard Walton writes: "thousands of participants took part in the process leading up to the OCP adoption."
I took part in many of those meetings and would say "hundreds" would be more accurate, as I saw many of the same faces at these meetings.
Nevertheless, out of 55,000-plus eligible district voters, this might equate to an 8% turnout according to the Mayor's seemingly exaggerated figure, which was supported by his statement at an all-candidates meeting in November 2011 that "3,000-4,000" people participated. Compare this to the meek 20% that show up on Election Day. Not exactly a ringing endorsement of the OCP. And not democratic at all.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps a return to poly-sci 100 is needed.

The UN provides a simple definition for democracy:

"You have the right to take part in your country’s political affairs either by belonging to the government yourself or by choosing politicians to represent you."

Note that you have the RIGHT. You are not compelled to or barred from exercising that right.

So John and friends, when politicians chosen by the majority of persons that exercised their right to vote make a decision, that is democracy.

That is entirely different than some kind of system where nothing really counts unless the majority of possible voters, including all those that abstain from voting, give their approval.

John Sharpe said...

And on that premise Anon 8:40 PM is exactly why the adoption of the OCP should have gone to referendum with the Nov. 2011 municipal election.

Anonymous said...

WHy should an OCP go to referendum? Why should the people get to vote on every little thing? The public vote in place a council to make decisions on behalf of the electorate. If you want to see what happens when public referendum becomes the norm, look south to California. Unmitigated disaster. If you're not getting your way with this council, work to make a change in the next. That's democracy.

Anonymous said...

No, John. Reread Anon 8:40.

In a democracy voters "choose politicians to represent them."

That is exactly what is happening regarding in local gov't (including the OCP), the politicians chosen by the majority are making decisions (albeit ones you don't like).

Persons who think that "isn't democracy" are mistaken.

John Sharpe said...

"Why should the people get to vote on every little thing?"

I wouldn't call the OCP adoption "every little thing". That was a major milestone. And not enough District voters were engaged in my opinion. More participation = more democracy such as in a civic election/referendum.

Anonymous said...

Each of us may hold their own opinion whether or not the politicians have made a good decision. That is a different thing than saying that it "isn't democracy" when those elected by the majority of voters made that decision.

That is democracy.

If those duly elected vote to hold a referendum (or not) that is democracy too.

You might think that the OCP merits a referendum. I might think that we should have one on the budget. The pols may decide that we will not have one on either. That is democracy.

Anonymous said...

It would have costed the taxpayers nothing to have the OCP on the municipal ballot as a question.

Most importantly staff and council got their way. The public was not involved.

Anonymous said...

How can you say the public were not involved when they clearly were and are!? Please elaborate! Making ridiculous statements like that show how out of touch with the workings of the municipality you truly are!

Lyle Craver said...

Having attended at least a dozen meetings on the OCP I would say that (1) there was huge public input that (2) didn't figure in the final OCP which I do feel was staff-driven rather than driven by the citizenry. There was a LOT of opinions expressed in the various meetings and breakout groups I attended where there was a clear consensus that was completely ignored and in some cases exactly the opposite view appeared in the final OCP and I do think the Council was not sufficiently skeptical of some of the things that were presented.

I would further argue that the OCP documents are and were full of technical terms (the big one being FSR - floor space ratio) that 75+% of the people did not fully understand and which no real explanation was given.

Nevertheless the final OCP achieved a balance of conflicting interests - there are things I loathe about the OCP and other items I love. Unlike many here I have taken the time to read the whole thing through more than once.

I know it will be amended through the years but my chief concern is ensuring that it will be amended in a way that reflects community wishes and retains a workable balance.

I count on Council to resist OCP changes that would unbalance the OCP for the benefit of special interest groups particularly in the real estate industry. For all of us there were things we had to give up to get the things we wanted - there were things taken out of the OCP that many of us wanted which we accepted to keep the things we most treasure and it is not acceptable to demand we give up what we most treasure in the OCP.