Sunday, January 27, 2013

Lynn Valley as the new Metrotown?

Ideal Non-Hirise Residential Development
The anti-development voices have launched a website called  The banner headline reads:
Protect Lynn Valley
Another Metrotown?

But is Burnaby, much less the Metrotown development  a reasonable thing to compare? Let's put that to test - DNV vs Burnaby, in a development slapdown. A battle of the suburban titans!

  • DNV has a population of about 84,000.  Burnaby approaches 225,000, or about 2 1/2 times as big.
  • DNV covers 160 sq/km; Burnaby 90. About half as much space.
  • How crowded? DNV has 525 people per sq/km; Burnaby nearly five times as many at 2400.
  • DNV population grew by a paltry .3% between 2001 and 2005; Burnaby's by 4.6%. (that's 15 times as much growth!)

Some other numbers:

  • Median earnings - DNV $33,426; Burnaby $25,377
  • Family Size - DNV 3.1; Burnaby 2.9
  • Percent of population who are immigrants: DNV 31%; Burnaby 50%
At a glance I'm prepared to say that it's pointless to compare Burnaby and the District of North Vancouver.  They're entirely different, and the likelihood of DNV ever looking, feeling, or being like Burnaby approaches zero.

Oh but those towers!  Surely if we allow towers Lynn Valley will be EXACTLY like Metrotown!!

Again, let's step back and compare what's proposed:

Metrotown's Station Square development proposes five towers, as do the Safeway and Zellers proposals for Lynn Valley, but that's about where the similarity ends.

Metrotown is buildings towers ranging from 35 to 57 stories, with 1800 residential units.
The Lynn Valley proposals have asked for two 6 floor towers, one 14 floor, and two 22 floor buildings, with just over 600 units.

It's pointless to compare the two. They're simply so different that there's nothing useful to be learned from the designs. And of course, the middle of Burnaby is entirely different from Lynn Valley anyhow.

Oh! But the OCP, and City Council in the back pockets of developers!  They're all lying to us!

There's no point in debating conspiracies or hypotheticals.  I'd rather look at what's on the table and see how to make it best fit the future of this town.

Once you've thrown out the silly Metrotown comparisons, you're left with a reasonable set of questions, and probably with what District staff have been looking at.
  • What can you build to replace the empty Library building and the empty Zellers building?
  • What is going to happen to a very old, very small, and probably slated for closing or redevelopment Safeway?
(Of course, the unspoken question is what's so bad about Metrotown?  An awful lot of people like to work, shop, and live there.)

One More Note: in order to get the DNV density to match Burnaby's 2,463/ we would need another 310,000 people to move in - 3 1/2 times the current population.  And we would need to build nearly 100,000 new residential units to house them.
Pre-notification letter for the existing Safeway store
Pre-notification letter for Lynn Valley Centre


Anonymous said...

B. R.,

Don't you get it, NO HIGHRISES? Other development within reason and character of the neighbourhood is OK.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Barry for this researched and sensible post.

You must already know that the positional people will tenaciously repeat their no highrise/density mantra. Their eyes, ears and minds are closed to info that doesn't support what they already think.

Meanwhile, for those still able to review and consider information your post is a breath of fresh air.

Anonymous said...

You just don't get it. We have just as much a right to fight against highrises as you have to fight for them. Let's get a real debate going.

Barry Rueger said...

Yeah but when four stories is considered a "hirise" and you start comparing to developments two and three times as large you tend to lose credibility.

Anonymous said...


The "No" crowd use exaggeration and misinformation as a communication tool in order to help fool some of the people all of the time. It's no surprise that a 4 story building is portrayed as being the same thing as units 5 or 10 times as high. Just a case of junk logic.

A great example is yesterday's effort in the NS News by Trevor C. He has shined up his Chairman Mao badge when he describes the possible type of tankers in Vancouver harbour and in the same breath recalls the Exxon Valdez. Funny thing is that he doesn't expound at all about the Exxon and recall that it was a single hull vessel commanded by a Captain that had been drinking. He forgets to mention that there has been frequent and regularly scheduled oil tanker traffic in Vancouver harbour for more than 50 years without a single serious incident. Deception by omission.

In the same sentence he describes "the wildly unpopular Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines proposal for the Kitimat area and the Liquified Natural Gas facility also proposed for Kitimat." Seems like "wildly UNpopular" describes both proposals. Problem is the LNG proposal is really "wildly popular" - just ask any resident of Kitimat. Again,information distorted to suit the foregone conclusion.

Oh well, the more things change the more they stay the same.

Anonymous said...

If the residents of Lynn Valley don't want highrises, and that is proven to DNV Council, it is incumbent upon it to follow the wishes of the citizens.

Anonymous said...

And conversely, if public view is formed by misinformation and is proven to support an unsustainable model, is council not obligated to vote against the wishes of those citizens and for that which benefits the community as a whole?

Anonymous said...

Just because YOU think this "benefits the community as a whole?" doesn't make it so. Pure arrogance!

Anonymous said...

With increased densification necessarily follows increased crime, pollution, traffic, noise, and a general loss of suburban lifestyle. This is FACT!

Anonymous said...

Anon Monday, January 28, 2013 12:48:00 PM, are you not being arrogant in saying that your view is correct and supported by the majority?

Anon Monday, January 28, 2013 1:04:00 PM, please provide us with the studies and statistics that show these things to be fact.

Anon Monday, January 28, 2013 7:24:00 AM said. 'Let's get a real debate going', which is something I have been regularly saying. However, all I've seen the anti-high rise group do is propagate myths and hurl insults at those of us who support high rises. That's not debate, it's illustrating ones childishness. Argue your side with information to support your side, otherwise you're doing nothing but showing how ill informed you really are.

Let us have reasoned debate/discussion.

Anonymous said...

We cannot possibly do that with you! You are a tunnel-visioned person. You don't listen to anything or anyone that goes against what you think.

What about the increased traffic? crime? noise? pollution? that goes along with highrises?

You are not responding to these questions.

Why do we in Lynn Valley have to pay this price?

Anonymous said...

Two new posts today:

1.Density without highrises

2.Debunking the high rise myth

Worth a read.

Anonymous said...

WTH? Who is considering 4 storeys as a high rise? None of the NOHIGHRISE people I know do. Why do you distort the truth?

Anonymous said...

Anon Monday, January 28, 2013 1:52:00 PM, I'm asking you to support your claims. I'm not the one making these claims, so you cannot turn this around and ask me to prove your claims are false. If you are stating something and asserting that it is fact, you should be prepared to support your claims when you are challenged. Your group seems to be making a lot of assertions, but aren't providing any credible evidence to support your claims. Show me that this development will increase crime and all the other negatives that you claim. You asked for debate, this is your chance. Debate!

Anonymous said...

Oh well allt this development in North Van, it woll become
Will still have the mountains and a few trails.So it will
lose desirabilty as a place to live.!!

Barry Rueger said...

4 stories too big? That's from the package related to the Polygon proposal for E 27th and Mountain Highway - four and five stories proposed.

Page 7: Under Public Input: This project is too tall, too big, or has too many units (3 comments).

Barry Rueger said...

One More Note: in order to get the DNV density to match Burnaby's 2,463/ we would need another 310,000 people to move in - 3 1/2 times the current population. And we would need to build nearly 100,000 new residential units to house them.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:06. Good for you.

The tactic of Wendy Q and Sue L has been to express a number of unsubstantiated opinions and then demand that you prove that they are untrue.

The Anon is using the same M O.

Nice going to not get sucked in.

If you want to state it as a fact - prove it. Otherwise is just one person's opinion.

Barry Rueger said...

To the anti-development Anons, I'll ask again: Stop dodging and tell us:

1. What would you build to replace the empty Library building and the empty Zellers building?

2. What would you do to replace a very old, very small, and probably slated for closing or redevelopment Safeway? (Note that the Edgemont Super-Valu is heading for replacement.)

Anonymous said...

Reply 5:32p.m. Monday January 18th

I think we need a Bloomingdales"s!!!

Anonymous said...

We need to look at the big difference between Burnaby and the North Shore. The North Shore is like an island, connected to the rest of the Lower Mainland/Metro by two bridges (one substandard due to three lanes that were so impressive back in the 1930's) and a Seabus service.

What happens during a state of emergency on one or both bridges? I don't think it would affect the folks living in Burnaby much. Build for density, but the North Shore is not the right area for it. And with more building up the Sea to Sky Hwy, just how much more do you think our bridges can carry, Barry?

This is not a utopia where everybody living on the NS will work on the NS. Give it a break.

Anonymous said...

None of the pro developers are responding to the questions regarding lack of livability that necessarily comes along with densification.

As far as the owners of the property in question in Lynn Valley (Safeway, Zellers, old library) the people (developers) who own this property do certainly not DESERVE a bail-out from DNV taxpayers.

If the development is not approved, they can sell their property to a less greedy developer.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:33 PM, your post makes no sense. WHat makes you think tax payers will be getting any kind of bail out? Any developer will bear the cost of not only the development, but the process as well in the form of fees to the DNV. On top of this will be DCC's which will be assessed and collected by the district. In other words, the cost of development will be to give money to the DNV. Not the other way 'round, as you suggest. Please do us all a favour and go to the planning desk at District hall and ask them to explain the process to you because you clearly don't have the faintest idea of how it works.

And once again, it is the NIMBYs who are asserting that density brings a bunch of negatives and since it is they who are making these assertions, it is on them to provide the studies and statistics to support them. You can't make sweeping generalizations and then say 'prove I'm wrong' when you are called on it. You are the ones claiming density will negatively impact livability - prove it. Show us the data.

Anonymous said...

2nd sentence above should read, "What makes you think developers will be getting any kind of bail out?"

Barry Rueger said...

The North Shore is like an island, connected to the rest of the Lower Mainland/Metro by two bridges and a Seabus service.

What happens during a state of emergency on one or both bridges?

I'm not sure that the stophirises folk have delved much into Emergency Preparedness, but the North Shore Emergency Management Office has.

Near as I can tell from the DNV Emergency plan, evacuating North Vancouver doesn't seem to be a likely outcome in any of their scenarios. Given the lack of nuclear reactors and the fact that we're mostly well above sea level, I can't think of any emergency that would call for that kind of operation.

The reality is that evacuations happen on a building or, worst case, neighbourhood level, not whole cities. If resources need to be brought to one location or another there are already established Disaster Response Routes.

If both bridges are blocked it's usually a large nuisance, but not life threatening.

Now, if you're just complaining that sometimes the Second Narrows is crowded, well yeah. It's not like the hour and a half commutes Torontonians face, but it can be annoying.

But then again, those folks in Burnaby also face slow traffic commuting to downtown Vancouver.

In any event, traffic to, from, and in the District pales compared to most large cities.

If you really see that as an insurmountable problem, then look at some solutions that might actually change things - the first and foremost being to get proper mass transit to the North Shore.

Really, the worries about emergency evacuation are just another canard that can safely be ignored.

Anonymous said...

So everything is perfect in Barry's world and highrise density can do no wrong and there are no downsides to it. Let's just go with Barry's take on things that higher density is what the citizenry want in Lynn Valley even though most live and moved here for quite the opposite. Let's all now just accept the fact that it is all just a done deal. developer should have their way, screw the community. Thanks Barry!

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:07PM, what makes you think that you're the one who's right? Why is it that the pro-density folks are the only ones trying to have a reasonable discussion, while you and your ilk are just making stuff up? Are you really so arrogant to think that you speak for everyone? Most of the people I speak to look forward to the development of the site in question. Once again, show us the data that says high rise development in this proposal will bring about all these negatives that you claim. Your histrionics is getting old.

Anonymous said...

Excuse me, who's arrogant? Take a look in the mirror.

Anonymous said...

Your petty sniping is boring, Anon 7:51PM. When are you going to actually participate in the discussion rather than cry that the sky is falling?

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately Barry never passed math in school as he was on his merry way following his career as a dog walker.

We do not want thousands of more cars in Lynn Valley.

Barry Rueger said...

Question for you Anon: Show me your math. 600 residential units = "thousands of cars?"

Are you suggesting that most of these would be four car households??

Anonymous said...

Single family homes are the biggest culprits for the high numbers of cars, not high rises. Parking required for high rises is actually less than that of single family homes (look in the DNV By laws for required parking ratios). In fact, anyone who has lived in a high rise will know that the required number of parking stalls is often too many. There are often more stalls than cars. So, Anon 1:55AM please explain your math.

Anonymous said...

The growth rate is 1%,

That means 1% more crime, traffic, pollution, demand on services, etc...

Unless, there are other factors that affect those numbers as well.

Crime has been steadily dropping in Canada since the early 90's, a 1% increase is unlikely under those conditions, but even if it did happen we would still have the lowest crime rate of a community over 20,000 people in the region.

Traffic volume is likely to increase by almost 1%, some will go to buses and some will be seniors with different traffic patterns, but will the road improvements add more than 1% capacity? Widening the Keith Rd bridge alone will add 50% capacity to the Mountain Hwy corridor.

More pollution? Since the pollution on the North Shore is largely from Industry, that won't change. As for the pollution derrived from buildings (the 2nd highest source), multi family dwellings are way more efficient than single family, and towers, even though I don't generally support them, I must admit that they are far more efficient than single family. Traffic generated pollution is steadily decreasing due to technological upgrades which is why Aircare is being scrapped.

Hospital resources follow the patient under the current system. If I go to Burnaby Memorial this year, next year they get more funding, if the usage at LGH goes up, so will their funding.

Schools, same deal. Lynnmour Elementary, Eastview Elementary, Boundary Elementary, and Ross Rd, are all below capacity, and Westover and Fromme will be reopened again if there is enough demand.

Not gridlock, not sky is falling, not even lower quality of life...

(I still don't support anything over 12 stories because its just ugly... at least I am honest)

Anonymous said...

Growth in Lynn Valley is much more than 1% over the last 10 years. You get your figures from DNV hall which also take into consideration people dying, the number of people who left the Seylynn area when the developer took over their properties and factors in areas such as Seymour with much lower growth.

I have lived in Lynn Valley for 20 years and the crime rate has at least doubled. Sirens at all hours of the day and night which is a change from 20 years ago to say the least.

As far as highrises go, if they are built on a good transportation infrastructure I agree with you. However Lynn Valley is a destination area, it certainly is not on a viable public transit route.

None of this really matters if the people of Lynn Valley don't want highrises, municipal politicians must act on behalf of their citizens. It's called democracy.

If they don't, they will lose their seats on council.

Barry Rueger said...

I have lived in Lynn Valley for 20 years and the crime rate has at least doubled.

Please link to relevant statistics or I'll be forced to say this is nonsense.

Anonymous said...

"I have lived in Lynn Valley for 20 years and the crime rate has at least doubled."

No. A quick google search produced the DNV crime rate from 2001 at 59, 2012 was at 41.

That's a 30% drop over the last 12 years, just in case you are as bad at math as you are at recollecting the good old days.

Anonymous said...

The sirens every night are mostly EMS assist calls for DNVFire. Not Police.

Last night there were no sirens in Lynn Valley. Rescue 1 went out at 9am, but that's it.

If you are bored, or a siren chaser, check out DNV Live Fire Dispatch.

Protip: The fire engines have the hall number written after them. ie Rescue 1, is from fire hall #1 in Lynn Valley.

Griffin said...

"The sky is falling, the sky is falling"...NOT.

All those sirens you hear are likely fire trucks followed by ambulances coming to the aid of seniors who have had some sort of incident in their (single family) homes, as a result of which they may no longer be able to live there and may want or need something smaller. My rationale is that the fire department hardly ever has a burning building to deal with these days and serious car accidents requiring two or three squad cars aren't that common. And no matter how you try to sell it, the crime rate on the North Shore is the lowest of any place in the lower mainland. Statistics are an interesting thing: Yes, if crimes go from two to four, that is a 100% increase, but it doesn't mean that the place is now a haven for crooks. In actual fact, the crime rate is going down, and that's been the case for a few years now, although I admit that certain areas, e.g. Lower Lonsdale, may be the exception. Multi-family dwellings are actually a lot less prone to break-ins than single family homes and parking is usually more secure, so how do they lead to more crime?

As for muni councillors losing their seats if they vote for high-rises in Lynn Valley, there are voters in other parts of the District, you know---Lynn Valley is not the centre of the universe (NS style) although it may be the geographic centre of the District. And voters have short memories: despite all the fooferaw over Council approving Pacific Arbour's retirement highrise on MSP, all were re-elected. As for Seymour having much slower growth, until the new construction on Marine Drive started, Seymour had more multi-family buildings than anywhere in the District, much of it constructed in the last ten years. So I'm not sure that all your claims will stand up to scrutiny.

Barry Rueger said...

For what it's worth, there is one thing that does invariably lead to increased crime: vacant buildings.

Like the vacant library building.
Like the vacant Zellers building.

Add a vacant Safeway - a distinct possibility given its age, and general trends in grocery merchandising - and you'll see a real bump in undesirable behaviour all along E 27th.

Lynn Valley can not afford to have large chunk of commercial real estate sit empty and abandoned for years while a bunch of complainers stall every attempt at re-developing it.

One more point: the reason why every major developer wants to build multi-story buildings is obvious: that's where the money is. If you want to limit development to two stories in Lynn Valley the District is going to need to spend some serious money to attract anyone to build here.

No-one is going to offer to redevelop that much commercial real estate without a good chance of a profit.

Griffin said...

Barry is right about vacant buildings being a magnet for squatters and all the naysayers should take note. I can just hear the rebuttal..."then the District should just buy back the land and turn it into green space." (And just where is the money supposed to come from????)

The Safeway site comes up often in these discussions and the truth is that even though it appears to be part of the Lynn Valley Centre parcel, they actually own the property on which the building sits and they are bleeding big-time since SOF went into the Mall. Their plan is to demolish the existing structure and build a multi-storey residential tower with a new food store at ground level. It's likely the only way the store will be viable with the competition they face.

Anonymous said...


I like your points re the general topic but I didn't really get the point of your Fire Dept. rationale.

DNV Fire responds to more than 4000incidents per year.

You're right, the FD responds first to specified medical emergencies to save life and provide medical care while waiting for the ambulance to arrive from LGH. There are no fewer auto accidents than there ever were. Fire responses have remained at a similar level for more than a decade. For example there were 2 structure fires today. High angle rescue, confined space rescue, industrial rescue, hazardous materials response, swift water rescue have all been assigned to the Fire Dept.

Both a pumper truck plus additional vehicles that respond to the entire District are stationed in L V so there will be sirens for vehicles responding from L V to the entire District.

Just saying.

Anonymous said...

All statistics quoted are for the DNV, not Lynn Valley.

Anonymous said...

Is Lynn Valley a separate entity from the DNV?

Griffin said...

Anon 1:38 was complaining that growth, specifically high rises, was going to result in even more sirens than s/he is putting up with now and my response was primarily directed toward that person's logic, or lack thereof. I stand by my comment that there are fewer house fires in this day and age than there were say 25 years ago for various reasons, and serious car accidents do not seem to happen as often because speed limits are lower, the message about drinking and driving has been driven home (no pun intended), and with an increased population, there ARE more cars on the road (but definitely not gridlock), and traffic lights have been installed all over the place, so it's not as easy to race around as it once may have been. I have the utmost respect for the Fire Department and the work they do but I think the point that Anon 1:38 was trying to make was off the mark, at least in the context of his or her remarks. Calls requiring medical help are more the norm and in DNV, especially with our changing demographic: older people have more health issues so we can expect to hear more sirens. That's often why residents fear a retirement community being built in their neighbourhood. I remember years ago, on Keith Road just west of Taylor Way, a really high-end seniors development was turned down for that very reason. And it was one of the arguments against Pacific Arbour's project on MSP.

"Just saying"....

Anonymous said...

Don't forget that Anon 1:38 was linking the sirens (s)he was hearing to increased crime. So pointing out that the sirens are related to emergencies unrelated to crime is spot on. Don't want sirens? Don't live in an urban or suburban environment.

Anonymous said...

Anon. 8:28
Yes it is when low growth rates are assigned to a part of the district where the growth rate has been much higher than 1% over the last 15 years.

Anonymous said...

"DNV Fire responds to more than 4000 incidents per year."

4000 incidents / 365 days = 10.9 incidents per day

10.9 per day / 5 halls = 2.2 calls per hall per day

2.2 Calls per day per hall with more than half of the calls being EMS assist or moving to standby = about 1 call per day per hall where they are actually using their skills.

Assisting EMS should be paid for by the Province.

On a given shift a DNV firefighter and their crew will respond to 1 real event.

I respect the work they do, but we don't need more firefighters or firehalls.

Anonymous said...

We certainly don't need two fire departments in the two North Vans.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:27. If you or one of your loved ones have a heart attack or are seriously injured you'd be surprised how quickly you will think that is a "real event."

Lee Leeman said...

Thanks for the article Barry. I think you have demonstrated ably what many people who resist the highrise development and the attendant increase in density are less expert in communicating.

Let me explain.

You see, I was born in Vancouver and have lived in the Lower Mainland for 65 years. That allows me a certain perspective on growth. In particular I recall the old Simpson Sears 'mall' out in Burnaby. There was no 'Metrotown' then, just single family homes, and a shopping centre not much different from LVC.

There actually were a lot of trees left on those single family properties, there was a great park nearby ( threatened as it was ) and there were small shops on Kingsway. Today, there is METROTOWN which you have described well in your figures. Now how did that vastly greater scale shown in your article come to pass? Certainly not without plans to greatly densify the area around the property that eventually became METROTOWN.

It was GROWTH by incremental, continuous increases in DENSITY following grand promises of cheaper and better housing from developers, in wave after wave of high rise encroachment on those neighbourhoods. That's how.

You see, the WEST END had already had the same thing happen and there was money to be made in housing more and more people.
So.. although you are correct that the proposed Lynn Valley projects are not of the same scale as years of development have wrought over in Burnaby, and that is what your figures show, it is also true that accommodating all that growth did not come with zero cost to the character of those neighbourhoods. You don't just hop in your car and pick up a few things at Metrotown, you navigate serious traffic. You share Central Park with a lot more people. And guess what? It isn't any more affordable than anywhere else around Vancouver.

Yet it is not necessarily the 22 floors of egg crate apartments with a Safeway in the basement that people are reacting against. It is the more sinister process of continually increasing density with no throttle mechanism in the OCP. Without that throttle mechanism, and with continued inmigration to the lower mainland, we WILL see more growth in my neightourhood, we WILL see further density increase and we WILL, as a consequence, see the area transform into Metrotown.
Some people may like that. These people can go live there. I bought here because I DONT like that and i want to keep the character of what I bought.

A recent post on this blog stated that we have 12 highrises in Lynn Valley while West Vancouver has 50.

Maybe people should IMAGINE what Lynn Valley would be like if we copied West Vancouver and did build another 38 highrises.

Maybe people who do not spend all their free time attending planning meetings or collecting comparative growth figures, instead need only walk down Lonsdale to see firsthand the transformation of the City at the hands of a neighbouring council devoted to increasing density, and to know that this kind of density is not not in their best interest.

To me, sir, your figures strike an ominous chord.


Barry Rueger said...

Hi Lee, and many thanks for not posting Anon! I'm afraid I'm going to ask you the recurring question:

1. What would you build to replace the empty Library building and the empty Zellers building?

2. What would you do to replace a very old, very small, and probably slated for closing or redevelopment Safeway?

Anonymous said...


There are 12 highrises in DNV not in LV.

I think that the highrises in W. Van have almost no impact on their quality of life and it is certainly every bit as nice as L V.

Property values speak louder than activists.


What is said here is of interest. The identity of who says what is irrelevant.

Barry Rueger said...

And: What does future hold for the Black Bear Pub?

I am often asked by people if the Bear will be closing when/if redevelopment of the centre goes through,” said pub comptroller Sue McMordie. ”The Bear is not going to close, and is firmly in support of these applications. If and when the redevelopment is for the land that the Bear is on, we have a relocation clause in our long-term lease that will move us to a new and just as good or better location within the new development.”

Griffin said...

Years ago, I had friends who moved from Vancouver to Kelowna because of its "small town" feel. And when Kelowna lost that, they moved to Parksville. Who knows where they will move to next when that changes. My point is that when you have a desirable community, people move there. And so it goes. That is simply the reality of life, and Lynn Valley residents, along with everyone else on the North Shore, will at some point face the inevitable, whether next year or in ten years. I am really not sure how one can stop it indefinitely.

Lee Leeman said...

"Years ago, I had friends who moved from Vancouver to Kelowna because of its "small town" feel. And when Kelowna lost that, they moved to Parksville. Who knows where they will move to next when that changes. My point is that when you have a desirable community, people move there"

... your friends couldn't 'move there' unless:
a) Someone moved away or
b) New housing was built or
c) Old housing was demolished or upgraded to higher density.
So except for (a) what caused Kelowna to 'lose' what they found desireable was unchecked development through expansion of housing or density.

I prefer limiting the new growth and density so as to preserve what we have left... especially since it is so close to downtown Vancouver. It can only become more desireable as time goes by.

Building out until a place becomes undesireable or even uninhabitable, is not a wise thing to do.

Perhaps the best option is the let the City of North Vancouver continue with its rapid densification, and so save Lynn Valley from the 'growth/density happy' planners.

Anonymous said...

Wow, we are less expert at communicating. Great stuff on this blog lately.

The densification process put forward by the Bilderbergs and the world order tells us that we have to live in beehives and shut up.

We have lost our democratic process.

Barry Rueger said...

But Lee, again, while you're "saving" Lynn Valley,

I'm afraid I'm going to ask you the recurring question:

1. What would you build to replace the empty Library building and the empty Zellers building?

2. What would you do to replace a very old, very small, and probably slated for closing or redevelopment Safeway?

Why is it that NO-ONE on the anti-highrise side will answer these questions? Do none of you have anything to propose or suggest? Do you prefer streets full of vacant buildings?

It is NOT enough to just complain endlessly.

Anonymous said...

"Anon 3:27. If you or one of your loved ones have a heart attack or are seriously injured you'd be surprised how quickly you will think that is a "real event.""

Obviously it is a real event, but it is a BC Ambulance event. The Province should either be increasing the number of paramedics or compensating the fire department for being the first responders when they are more than 15 minutes out.

Sending 4 firefighters and 2 or 4 paramedics to an EMS calls is rarely an efficient use of resources.

Anonymous said...

One of the things that disturbs me most is the push to have so many people placed in strata housing.
The only non-strata housing BC has is single family homes and duplexes.

BC is the only province in Canada to not have strata free/freehold multi-residential housing (townhomes, row houses) available. Owning land and property rights is still King in Canada. Why should we be forced to give that up? People then have to put up with little dictators who pad their egos on Strata Councils.

Why is BC not stepping up to change this arcane law, like the rest of Canada? There has to be an agenda in BC for this not yet to happen in the 21st century.

Anonymous said...

Barry's tunnel-visioned rhetoric regarding what will happen with the Safeway, Zellers, and the old library is banal.

The owners of the properties in question have their due diligence ahead of them.

Why, Barry, do you think that we, the taxpayers and citizens of Lynn Valley, somehow have to get rid of these eyesores by building highrises?

Sell off the property and go away developers.

Somebody will buy the property and present a much lower level of densification. And if they don't they should be charged under the DNV bylaw regarding the maintenance and upgrade of property to reasonable standards.

Barry Rueger said...

Who? Who? Who is going to pay millions of dollars for this property and only build a two story strip mall? Or do you expect them to shoehorn in some more sacred single family houses?

If an acceptable profit could be made from building low-rise commercial on this property there would be developers lined up around the block to buy it.

Under your preferred scenario there will be three vacant buildings, then one by one the small family run stores in that end of the mall will close, a pretty much inevitable decline that happens when land and buildings sit vacant.

(Make no mistake, as long as all of the windows and doors are boarded up, and the weeds cut back every other month, you'll find that all municipal ordinances have been met.)

This has happened in many cities. It can happen here.

Unless you're prepared to spend tax dollars to pay developers to do low-rise developments here, you'll see nothing. The costs will outstrip the potential profits.

If it were up to me I would love to see a nice low-rise, landscaped, arts centre, some new performance space for concerts, maybe a restaurant and gallery. Lynn Valley could really use that. I would even like to see my taxes go towards paying for it.

I expect though that the same people on the anti-highrise bandwagon would howl with outrage about that too.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:38. Re medical emergencies.

The province could very well "compensate" i.e. reimburse municipalities for the first response medical services provided by their firefighters but they won't. They can hardly balance their budget as it is.

For the same reason they won't hire more paramedics to non-growth areas like DNV.

The DNV communities far away from the hospital where the ambulances are based are very "efficiently" served by first response by their local Montroyal, Norgate, Deep Cove etc. fire fighters who arrive first, stabilize the patient and then wait for the arrival of the paramedics.

We heard for 2 years from the paramedic union spokesman that the ambulance system was "broken". I'm very happy to have a layer of quick responders that I can count on.

The system is as efficient as limited funds can make it and exactly what it should be.

Anonymous said...

Who? Who? Who?
The owners of the property.
Not the taxpayers!!!

Griffin said...

From Barry's post, he is asking who will buy the property for millions of dollars and then only build a two storey strip mall. The owners of the property (in this case DNV and Bosa Bros) are going to sell not buy. Dontcha get it?

The people who think that development is a dirty word are living in a fantasy world so perhaps they should all get together and buy themselves a little island in the middle of Georgia Strait where nobody will be able to move there because there's no more room to build. That's the only way you're going to keep the status quo. Or tell everyone to stop having babies for the next thirty years!! Good luck with that!

SteveE said...

Barry, I enjoyed your post and appreciate you putting numbers to your argument. The biggest concern I have about densification is the lack of an integrated plan for the whole of Lynn Valley, specifically regarding transportation routes (i.e. traffic). I agree that with your point that something needs to replace the empty Library building and the empty Zellers building. But there seems to be a lack of an integrated plan for the whole area. Are there any estimates on what the current traffic congestion is like (for the whole of Lynn Valley) and what the impact of an extra thousand residential units would be? Are there estimates of the impact on journey time around Lynn Valley? Is there an overall traffic plan for Lynn Valley? I noticed that for the proposed Safeway development in North Vancouver, the only traffic plan proposed by the City was for the area immediately around Safeway (corner of 13th & 14th Streets & Lonsdale) and not for larger area - particularly access to the Lynn Valley on-ramp. Could you point me to some documents that have this kind of data?

Barry Rueger said...

SteveE - the proposals on the table are for 600 units, not 1000.

I'm short on research time today, but every major development proposal includes an assessment of traffic - it's just part of the package that every municipality insists on.

Of course those measurements are done by highly trained professionals, and not by guys sitting on their front porch in a lawn chair, so you know that they can't be trusted. :)

Anonymous said...

Every DNV traffic study done in the last 20 years has been done by the same company and has OKd everything.

Perhaps the DNV should branch out.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:41 AM, can your support that statement? Which engineering firm has received all of the work? Also, are you talking about District initiated studies, or developer initiated studies?

Anonymous said...

I don't need to support my statement. It is public record.

Barry Rueger said...

Anon 8:37: Links please, lest you find yourself embarrassed.

Anonymous said...

Let's talk about Lynn Valley. Why do we need 10 pizza joints?

Anonymous said...

If 10 pizza joints are making a go of it, that would suggest that there is a demand for 10 pizza joints. Supply and demand.

Anonymous said...

Amen, Anon 9:29...what a strange comment from 8:51. Perhaps he owns one?

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:37 is probably Wendy Q. again. It's her style.

Barry Rueger said...

Little known DNV bylaw states that every sushi restaurant must be balanced by a pizza outlet.

Anonymous said...

I think we need a Mexican restaurant and an Indian restaurant in Lynn Valley.

Anonymous said...

Barry Rueger said...

OK, just for future reference, Lynn Valley doesn't have ten pizza joints - only four. :) My tally:

Fast Food type joints: 22
Sit down and stay awhile restaurants: 4

Pizza Joints Little Caesars; Papa John's; Fresh Slice; Pizza Hut
Sushi Joints Mr Sushi; Mountain Sushi; Hanamuru (in the mall); Yama Sushi
Burger and Sandwich Joints Dairy Queen; A&W; McDonalds;Subway; Quiznos
Coffee and Drink Joints Delaneys; Starbucks; Booster Juice; Starbucks; Waves; Bubbling Bubble Tea House
Mall Fast Food Joints Little Japan; Fortune Wok; Family Gourmet Deli; Sheffield Gourmet Cup

Sit Down, Table Service Restaurants (aka, places where you would go with a group of friends, to eat, talk, and hang out as a social occasion) Black Bear; Browns; Aristos Greek Taverna; Tommy's

Divisions are arbitrary. End of the Line and the Legion are ignored because they're well outside of the Lynn Valley Centre orbit.

Does anyone know when the mall's DQ/Orange Julius disappeared?

For the record, in the interest of full disclosure, I prefer Waves over Delany's, and DJJs over on Lonsdale for pizza.

Anonymous said...

Clearly, Carrie Smith, the writer of that letter, is oblivious to the fact that SuperValu is a brand of Lowblaws/Westfair, a conglomerate! Thrify, being a BC company, would seem to actually better qualify as a neighbourhood market than a Loblaw franchise. Especially since the stores award annual scholarships to students associated with the stores. Do the NIMBY's ever stop and think about these things before they write ill-informed rants to the newspapers? She also rolls her eyes at Cafe Artigiano, another local business! Carrie Smith seems to favour Ontario conglomerates to BC business. What kind of Edgemont Village is she really angling for? Perhaps Ms. Smith would consider retracting her letter to show that she supports local business?

Griffin said...

People dislike change and she has likely shopped at the Super-Valu so long that it's become just another neighborhood store for her, despite it's Loblaw roots. The Thrifty store on Marine Drive is actually quite a pleasant place to shop, although once you get past the loss leader specials, it's a little more expensive than say, the RCSS at Second Narrows. Don't know Cafe Artigiano. Edgemont Village does have a nice small-town feel to it however if she doesn't like the new developments, then she should voice her concerns to District Hall.

Anonymous said...

You missed a few pizza joints in Lynn Valley.

Barry Rueger said...

You missed a few pizza joints in Lynn Valley.

Name 'em. I expected more than that.

Barry Rueger said...

Every DNV traffic study done in the last 20 years has been done by the same company and has OKd everything.

Well, embarrassment time for at least one Anon! While listening to tonight's Council meeting I did some Google searches on the DNV website.

Without much effort I found traffic studies by MMM Group Limited, Urban Systems, Creative Transportation Solutions, Fehr& Peers, Opus International Consultants (Canada) Limited, and of course our own District staff.

And I didn't even try that hard to find these, or go back past a year or so.

A note: these studies don't "OK" anything. They measure current conditions, project future changes, and leave it to the District to make decisions.

So Anon: once again I call BS on your claim.

Lee Leeman said...


Monday, January 28, 2013 5:05:00 PM
Barry Rueger said...
To the anti-development Anons, I'll ask again: Stop dodging and tell us:

"1. What would you build to replace the empty Library building and the empty Zellers building?

2. What would you do to replace a very old, very small, and probably slated for closing or redevelopment Safeway? (Note that the Edgemont Super-Valu is heading for replacement.)"

I don't know, Barry. Is it URGENT?

This sounds all too familiar and although we didn't have BLOGS back then, I remember that there was a lot of mewling along the lines of 'What we will we DO if Stong's moves out? '.

Therein lies the answer to at least one of your questions.

Repurposing a smallish library we didn't and don't need to replace, also ought not be an impossible task either given a little time. But just as 'turn it into a night club' might not be the answer we are seeking, neither is 'build a huge pack and stack high rise' with the attendant growth in traffic and increased demand on existing community services.

Face it Barry, some of us just moved here to get away from that and we ain't about to let you develop it away.

Anonymous said...

I moved to Lynn Valley in the 1960's. A strip mall anchored by the Marshall Wells store and grocery store, the Cedar V theatre, Hal's Fish and Chips and the mom and pop Lynn Valley Grocery, Barker Hardware, Janz's, Val Thayer's gas station. Most torn down and now replaced.

Old turn of the (last) century homes owned by orignial settlers and loggers. Wooden sidewalks. You could tell where you were on LV road by the potholes that your car was hitting - had a familiar pattern.

Then the "new" library, now to be torn down and the Safeway. Wow the building when we got a Zellers!
An enclosed mall, are we ever sophisticated. McDonalds in LV - yea, we don't have to drive all the way to Pemberton and Marine.

Then houses torn down Mountain Village, Mountain Court and Whitely Court townhomes.

I have my snapshot in time when I moved to LV 50 years ago and you know what? I'll bet about 90% of the people commenting here weren't here then.

It seems to me the old "now I'm here and I'll slam the door on anyone else" syndrome. Should I have stood up and said that none of you now complaining shouldn't be allowed to live in your more recently built homes and we should have frozen LV in time?


It has improved and will continue to improve - highrises included.

I would have loved to stop the world to suit me but many of you showed up. it wasn't why I moved to LV and my first choice but I still aceept you.

Quit being such NIMBYs and go for a hike up Lynn Creek. you've got it good.

Anonymous said...

Well said 10:55,

Barry your search didn't catch the most common transportation company that shows up (and probably the one WQ is alluding to), Bunt & Associates. They have been used a fair amount in the last five years (not 20).

There used to be a fifth pizza joint but the Rocky Mountain Flat Bread company went under.

Re: Medical
"The system is as efficient as limited funds can make it and exactly what it should be."

Close. BCAS should be downloaded (with funding) to the Municipalities. It could be integrated with the fire halls and instead of sending a 4 or 5 person crew to a call, the integrated paramedics could go out as a twosome, or whatever the situation requires.

Barry Rueger said...

I'm sure that the Anons who have the evidence that Bunt & Associates are defrauding the District will bring that to the proper authorities? Or at least the North Shore News.

Or perhaps they'll just sit around at pizza joint #6 discussing the Dark Conspiracy.

Anonymous said...

Bunt have been around for 20 years and do a good job of what they do. There aren't a lot of traffic engineers in Vancouver, so it isn't surprising to see their name come up. When they first came on the scene, I think they were pretty much the only game in town for traffic engineering studies. You'll see their name on studies commissioned by municipalities and developers alike and really have to ask why their ethics would be called into question. Professional consultants are hired to do a job and are guided by a code of ethics established by their professional association, whether that be Engineers or Architects. Through my work with Architectural firms, I have worked with Bunt & Associates and have found them to be nothing but professional. If anyone has any real evidence that suggests that they are acting in a less than ethical manner, then those people should have the backbone to present their evidence to the Association of Professional Engineers & Geoscientists, rather than muckrake here. I suspect that the anon who is making these allegations is simply upset because these studies don't jive with their point of view.

Griffin said...

You've got that right. Wendy will strafe anyone and anything that does not jive with her point of view. What I chuckle about is that she doesn't realize how transparent and identifiable she is, even when posting as "anon"...

Anonymous said...

Wendy needs to learn that just because she says something, doesn't make it true. She's notorious for not substantiating her statements. Sadder yet is that people actually buy into her nonsense.

Anonymous said...

Who's Wendy

Anonymous said...

John Sharpe said...

1. What would you build to replace the empty Library building and the empty Zellers building?

2. What would you do to replace a very old, very small, and probably slated for closing or redevelopment Safeway?

Well Barry,

1. How about some 3 or 4 storey condos like ones that are already in keeping with the Village-esque of Lynn Valley

2. And why can't the Safeway re-model itself to a "Lifestyle" Safeway just like it's doing all over the GVRD. If they want to tear it down and build a new one the could add some business offices. They don't build highrises atop all of them.

Anonymous said...

It has become apparent that the vocal residents of Lynn Valley do not want highrises. We elected our municipal council to listen to us. They are not.

We'll see what happens in the next municipal election.

Anonymous said...

You're wrong Anon 4:18 PM, the majority elected council to listen to THEM! A vocal minority does NOT represent the views of the majority. Had that been the case, you'd have seen a change in council during the last election.

Griffin said...

John, as has been said many, many times here, the land on which the Zellers and Safeway stores sit is too valuable for 3 or 4 storey buildings. Do a little research and find out what the assessed value of each parcel is and then tell us how a developer can construct low rise condos or townhomes that will sell for less than a million bucks each.

Anonymous said...

3 or 4 storey building not only make no sense economically, they make no sense from a land use point of view. This land is located in the town centre which is exactly where one wants to see higher density, mixed use activity. The mix of commercial, office and residential offers a greater potential for people to live and work within the immediate community. This has the potential of reducing the need for cars by those who live within the proposed development. Especially once transit catches up and starts providing the necessary service (remember that this service will NOT happen without increases in density). Like it or not, the proposed development is the hub of the areas commercial activity and transportation. It needs to be developed in such a way that emphasizes this relationship rather than stifles it.

John Sharpe said...

Well, as Mayor Walton says, himself, "I'm not a high rise guy".

John Sharpe said...

Anon 6:40 PM,

I think you might be wrong. The majority did not elect council. Only 21% voted and that is no majority. I don't care how you swing it.

Now, if a strong voice in a community has hard copy petitions and the numbers are evident against an issue in the community then I feel council has an obligation to listen to that 'majority' voice. I'm confident that at least some of District council feels the same. I just don't think 21% election time voter turnout qualifies as a mandate. That is my opinion. And I've heard all the arguments against that opinion.

On a different note: I had an interesting discussion with an LVCA leader the other day that said, "whomever takes over the Zeller's spot, it will be for at least a 15 year lease."

jism singh said...

You have done an excellent job in passing out the message through this blog, keep up the good work!
Boudoir Photography