Saturday, January 19, 2013

Lynn Valley residents weigh in on town planning

The always excellent Lynn Valley Life website has a collection of very thoughtful comments from local residents regarding the proposed developments which hopefully will replace the soon to be vacant Zellers* and the already vacant former Library.

Food for thought, and a refreshing change from some of the intensely negative opinions that seem to surround any development proposed for North Vancouver.

Your views: citizens weigh in on town planning

* March 15th is D-day

71 comments:

Anonymous said...

It is highly doubtful that Lynn Valley Life would be willing to print intensely negative opinions. There is more to the whole town planning deal than many are aware of. Keep wearing those rose-coloured glasses.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:19 PM, Show us proof of what you say. All I see is a noisy minority who share your view. Nearly every person that I've spoken too supports (and are quite excited by) the proposed development at the town centre. They feel that it will make the community more vibrant, liveable and sustainable for them, their children and seniors. Who exactly is wearing rose-coloured glasses? You may want to look in the mirror.

John Sharpe said...

"Food for thought, and a refreshing change from some of the intensely negative opinions that seem to surround any development proposed for North Vancouver."

"Any development" Barry? That's a pretty negative comment in itself. It's The Highrise towers that many people in Lynn Valley don't want.

Anonymous said...

Come on John, when has there ever been resounding positivity toward any development on this blog? There are only a few of us here who are positive about development while the resounding majority are negative to the point of being rude and hostile. Do you not even read your own blog?

Anonymous said...

Most people I talk to are not against development per se. They are against the lack of genuine public process that is going along with it. Why does it have to be highrises? And why all at once throughout the DNV?

Anonymous said...

How can you say there is no public process when it has been there for anybody who cares enough to participate?

It doesn't have to be high rises, but that is what the developers are bringing to the table. Now it is up to the established process to sort out what actually gets approved.

All at once throughout the DNV? Really? You've got a development happening in Seylynn and a proposal for the heart of lynn valley. Where are all these others throughout the DNV?

Anonymous said...

Lower Capilano and Maplewood.

Anonymous said...

The unanimous approval by DNV Council of the OCP says it all. Mayor Walton bragged at all candidates meetings that more than 3000 people participated in the process.

There are 60,000 eligible voters in the DNV. Even if it was 5000 participating, that is only 8 percent of the voters. This is not democracy.

Anonymous said...

It is called direct democracy and the OCP should have been a referendum question on the 2011 municipal ballot. Yes or No.

Anonymous said...

Wow, there seems to be a real disconnect on this blog about what democracy is. T the last two posters, go see the discussion about this in the MONDAY, JANUARY 07, 2013 topic.

Anonymous said...

You are useless. The January 7 meeting was a farce.

Anonymous said...

The District of North Vancouver and City of North Vancouver as local governments go are a farce

Anonymous said...

What alternative do you propose? Do you have a viable alternative, or are you only capable of criticizing the established process?

Anonymous said...

(Waiting with bated breath for the inevitable cry of "You're a big poopy-pants!)

Anonymous said...

WQ prefers to call people idiots.

Anonymous said...

"Established process"
It is flawed.

Anonymous said...

So what's the alternative? Rather than complain about it, offer some solutions? How would you make it better, while being fair and cost effective?

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:32
What exactly are you doing? Have you run for public office?
All you do is complain about we left-wingers who complain about our lives.
You offer no solutions.

Anonymous said...

I'm not complaining. I'm asking you to offer solutions, rather than your incessant complaining. Come on! Let's discuss the alternatives! You're being invited to present your ideas, rather than complain and label everything a farce! Stop behaving like a child and offer us some credible options. I think the system as it stands works. Sure it has its flaws, but it does not prevent people who are interested in participating from doing so. Do you participate, or just sit at your computer and complain?

Barry Rueger said...

I've been looking at the many documents related to tonight's Public hearing for Polygon's proposed 27th and Mountain Hwy project.

Already there are complaints that four and five stories is a horrible assault on the public sensibilities.

Polygon, like all developers, has spent the time and money to jump through all of the requisite hoops - Designs that fit within the OCP, or which can reasonably be considered as fair variances from it; hearings like tonight's; planning approvals; building codes; amenities; traffic and parking analysis... the full package runs into many, many pages.

To suggest that there has been a lack of oversight is just ridiculous.

Until now I'd concluded that the nay-sayers just hated tall buildings. Maybe they had a bad trip up the CN Tower as a child, I don't know.

But if four stories is also Too Much, I have to assume that the things they really, really hate are developers.

There's a problem though.

Conceivably a single person can build her or his own house (although results and completion may be a bit sketchy), but nothing bigger than two bedrooms and a garage is likely to happen without a real live developer to plan, finance and build it.

And real live developers are going to work closely with real live city hall staff and politicians. Not because they're CORRUPT, but because it's the intelligent and proper way to do large projects.

The proper way to do large projects is to hire professionals and experts to assess things and recommend decisions. Really.

And that's why traffic analysis by a trained engineer, someone who has actually studied the subject, and been awarded some kind of certification, will always trump someone off the street shouting "TRAFFIC IN LYNN VALLEY!!

Lynn Valley's malls are showing their age - both on the Save-On and DQ sides of the street - as is Safeway. Zellers is going in a few weeks. If I were to hazard a guess, Safeway could be next, and certainly some of the small stores near Zellers will feel the pinch when walk by traffic drops off.

Those three or four blocks of vacant buildings on 27th are NOT a good thing. Every time that a building goes empty you're increasing the likelihood that the one next to it will also be shuttered.

And once you've started that slide, it can accelerate.

I'm counting on DNV to choose projects that will bring life, and business, and people to Lynn Valley, and to do it soon, not after the decline as begun.

Anonymous said...

Every new development added to Lynn Valley without the proper infrastructure in place FIRST will result in a veritable gridlock. Guaranteed! Typical of DNV to place the cart in front of the horse. People have right to complain, Barry.

Anonymous said...

Where are you getting your 'facts', anon 1:38PM? Show us your studies that support you assertions. The simple act of saying something doesn't make it so, no matter hard hard you wish it!

People have a right to complain, but they do not have the right to make up the 'facts'.

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:52- You are kidding me, right? It is as plain as the nose on your face. More density will mean rush hour-like traffic all day especially when you factor in Seylynn. Translink is not doing anything to improve their service on the NS. Province is sitting on its tush about needed Hwy and bridge upgrades to carry the future population density. The developers are the only ones gaining anything out of all this. People are not going to give up their cars for bike pedals.

Anonymous said...

Show the data to support your claims. Like I said, you don't get to make up your own facts without substantiating them. Show me your traffic studies. Remember, you're the one making these sweeping statements - the onus is on you to convince us that you actually know what you're talking about.

Anonymous said...

The Lynn Valley OCP represents approximately a 1% growth rate. (~30,000 residents, 1% growth is 300 per year, 20 year plan ~6,000 new people)

Even if none of the new residents take transit, doesn't that generally mean the traffic volume will increase by about 1% per year?

Gridlock?

Anonymous said...

Anon Wed. 8:00

Since when is the onus on us and you accept no responsibility for providing facts that say it's a positive thing to increase density to highrises in Lynn Valley?

I have an onus for you -- drive through Lynn Valley during peak periods!

We have lost our small-town community forever, let's at least densify appropriately. No highrises!

Anonymous said...

Usually the person who is making claims is the one who must be able to support those claims. Standard debate procedure that any high school student would be able to tell you. You claim gridlock, and I ask 'prove it'! There is no gridlock now, despite your assertions that there is. You want gridlock, go to LA or New York City. I can get through Lynn Valley relatively easily at any given time of day. Some days, I get held up a few minutes and other days I don't. In the years I've lived here I have yet to experience gridlock. If you're expecting clear sailing from points A to B, like you might have had in your youth, then you're being quite unrealistic. Like it or not, we're part of a large, highly populated metropolitan area and growth is going to happen whether you like it or not.

Anonymous said...

I don't think so. You are losing.

Anonymous said...

The people against highrises in Lynn Valley are winning. Dan Ellis is about to be turfed as the chair of the OCP implementation committee.

Barry Rueger said...

Couple points: "We have lost our small-town community forever," When and where was that? or does that refer to the shopping mall?

Traffic: there just aren't enough cars to cause "grid-lock". There are though arguably more than enough traffic lights to create that impression.

Anonymous said...

"Dan Ellis is about to be turfed as the chair of the OCP implementation committee."

What makes you think he will be 'turfed'?

According to the terms of reference, "The Chair and Vice Chair will be elected by the Committee at its first meeting each year."

That meeting was on January 17th, wasn't Dan elected for the year at that time?

If he was elected then there are no provisions under the terms of reference for his replacement until after the December 2013 meeting. The only way he could be replaced at this point is if the DNV Advisory Oversight Committee kicked him off the committee.

So again I ask, why do you think he is going to be 'turfed'?

ml

Anonymous said...

It is disheartening to hear so many voices with opinions that are not grounded in either fact or broad absolutist proclamations. Similar to what we experienced in Lower Capilano we have many people who claim they don't want change but a look at themselves in the mirror would clearly show that they themselves have changed. What part of their own life, habits and needs hasn't changed in the last 30+ years?
So many people at the January 7 DNV Council meeting said they would only be taken out of their homes in a pine box. Well, let's see the "No Change" contingent sign a sworn oath to never leave their single-family homes EVER, under any circumstance - not lack of funds, not poor health, not death of a spouse, not change of life decisions - NEVER! This would help Council make appropriate decisions about broad social planning that respond to real wishes of the citizenry. Anyone who broke their oath would have no recourse but to leave the DNV.
Why do so many feel that their authenticity as a person is defined by the idea that they live in a pristine forested mountain enclave? By and large this is not how they obtain their livelihoods, or where they work. All that traffic on your roads is people heading downtown to work amongst other people, in highrise buildings, dependent on the needs and consumption of others.

In this relentless pursuit of an imagined environment, how do you reconcile the reality of protecting a parking lot? A Zellers?

I can think of little further proof of the comments from one local politician: The DNV ethic is I love my kids, but I love myself more.

Anonymous said...

Doug,
Nobody is protecting a Zellers, which is already gone. And nobody is protecting a parking lot. The 2007 charettes recommended an underground parking lot facilitating over 2000 cars. The spin is that it will be green on top instead of blacktop.

These cars still have to drive in and out of Lynn Valley and just because they are hidden while they are parked doesn't mean they don't pollute in every sense of the word.

Anonymous said...

ml,
There is a thing called conflict of interest. And the COI commissioner of BC is on the case.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:30PM, actually having the cars parked underground will indeed mean less pollution because when it rains, they won't be contributing to the surface water pollution that exists with the current surface parking. All that oil and gasoline that drips on the asphalt gets carried to the storm system which then gets dumped into our ecosystem. Also, there is the visual pollution of an expanse of cars. Ugly and wasted space. Get the cars under ground and use the street frontage to generate business (which equals tax revenue).

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:00PM, what exactly is the conflict of interest that you are suggesting?

Lyle Craver said...

I have not posted here in quite a long time but first off let me say I am very pleased at the volume of comments.

I continue to be annoyed at loose talk around the subject of "conflict of interest" - CoI is all about receiving a personal benefit (which is strictly defined in legislation) by virtue of a public office.

I am speaking for myself, not as an officer of the Lynn Valley Community Association (which I am) ***BUT***

(1) Dan Ellis is a long time executive member of the LVCA
(2) He applied for a position on the DNV OCP implementation committee like lots of other people and was duly appointed by Council. He was subsequently elected committee chair by the members of that committee.

His salary from both (1) and (2) is $0.00 - in other words he's a volunteer. It seems to me that the main "benefit" he gets from his efforts on behalf of the LVCA and the OCP Implementation committee is a ton of work which he gets to perform for free.

Needless to say, that's not the definition of Conflict of Interest found in the Community Charter or any other piece of legislation and by using the term conflict of interest in this sloppy way people besmirch the reputation of a solid, thoroughly decent man who I have known for more than 10 years.

I will not pretend that I always AGREE with him on political matters - that is certainly not true - but his integrity ought not to be in question.

(My personal opinion is the 22 storey tower concept is exceptionally ugly)

My only other comment on this is I get really really nervous when I hear people like Councillor Muri refer to the OCP as a "living document" - because the OCP is a community compromise with plusses and minuses for everybody. It should not be willy nilly unbalanced simply to accomodate a developer who considers the OCP a 'preliminary negotiating position' (and from my experience given the number of various applications that come before Council, too many do). In my opinion any councillor who won't fight for the OCP doesn't deserve your vote and certainly won't get mine.

Barry Rueger said...

The 2007 charettes recommended an underground parking lot facilitating over 2000 cars.

Irrelevant to any current discussion. The two current preliminary West 27th proposals only include 1458 parking spaces. A number which one assumes will decline as the size of towers is negotiated down.

Thank you Lyle for putting the silly conflict accusations to rest. Although, like the imaginary traffic gridlock, I'm sure they'll return again, and again, again....

Anonymous said...

Lyle,
What?
Fight for an OCP that was not democratically approved?

Anonymous said...

1. If the OCP was adopted by resolution of council then it was "democratically approved."

2. Lisa is right. The OCP is a living document as it is amended from time to time and consideration to variance is given on a case by case basis. Nothing stays frozen in time and as change happens we must adapt.

Anonymous said...

All this nice talk about underground parking leaves many women feeling very unsafe. Perhaps the solution is to add a security guard on every level or two, to deter thieves and worse.I will continue to park my car above ground, or in a parkade where one is not enclosed between four walls. We do not have the infrastructure in place for the population growing in Lynn Valley, now, and parking is getting pretty tight in the Mall already.

Anonymous said...

The conflict of interest commissioner of BC is governed by the Members' Conflict of Interest Act (which should give you some clues as to their scope and powers.

Their website, and specifically their role, can be found here.

They govern matters of the Provincial Legislature, not Municipal Councils. The Councils conflicts of interest are adjudicated by the Muncipal Clerk on the advice of the Solicitor.

You still haven't said what his conflit is?

Anonymous said...

Wait for the 2007 CBC clip when Dan Ellis faced off with former DNV Councillor Ernie Crist and Rick Cluff was the moderator.

I wonder how he will benefit financially from this "proposed" densification.

P.S. Check out the Press regarding Rich Coleman and Surrey council turning down the casino project.

Please note that some municipal councils actually pay attention to their residents.

Barry Rueger said...

A note on usage in the English language.

"Pay attention to their residents" is in no way synonymous with "Only does what I want."

"Undemocratic" is in no way synonymous with "Did something that I don't like."

"Is in a conflict of interest" is in no way synonymous with "Voted for something that I don't like."

There's nothing wrong with disagreeing with what our District administrators do, or even with rehashing long forgotten historical precedents, but strong opinions only sway people when they're backed by facts.

If you don't like something it's all right to just say "I don't like this," without going off on emotional tangents.

And if there are no facts to support your claims, maybe just excuse yourself.

Anonymous said...

We will have more of the facts when we get the CBC clip.

Anonymous said...

Who exactly is 'we'? And why can't you spell out specifically what this conflict of interest is that you are alleging? You seem to have the information, why are you not posting any information in support of your accusations?

Anonymous said...

We are rattling your arrogant cages.

Anonymous said...

My God, I just entirely agreed with every line in Barry R's post.

Politics really do make strange bedfellows.

Yes, the NIMBYs prattling on about things being "undemocratic" because they don't agree with them is predictable but a bit much.

The latest veiled threats with CBC clips and Conflict Commissioners will be equal fluff and not amount to anything.

And (gulp) Barry makes another good point. We have some folks who think that something is correct because they think it is and they post their thoughts as "facts". These comments are really opinions unless they are substantiated by concrete evidence. For example we have had posters tell us that "staff" are driving various approvals that the posters don't like (exceed zoning and/or OCP or even change the OCP itself).

The staff take home pay isn't altered by one sou if another home is built or not built in N. Van yet there are those that believe that "staff" (whoever they might be) are somehow enriched (or perhaps sadistically sated?) by approving development that exceeds zoning (not to mention that this can only be approved by council).

Complete rubbish conspiracy theories yet we hear it again and again.

Anonymous said...

If it is so much rubbish, why do you pay attention to this blog?

Anonymous said...

To consider the opinions of the functional folk.

Anonymous said...

An ad from Lynn Valley Life from Facebook, it is operated by developers and real estate agencies as part of their business.

Not a neutral opinion on development the part of the problem.

LynnValleyLife.com

Tired of losing out on great real estate deals? Join the LynnValleyLife Network and hear about them BEFORE they hit the MLS!
Like · 945 people like LynnValleyLife.com.

Barry Rueger said...

Well, you know what? Lynnvalleylife.com is the kind of thing that should encouraged.

Yeah, they sell real estate, but 80% of the site is true blue community stories and information.

Like Community news.
Like info about upcoming planning meetings
Like promo for Lynn Valley days.
Like lists of Clubs & Associations.

A lot of work has gone into that site, and Jim and Kelly deserve kudos for doing it.

That's the kind of community spirit that actually makes Lynn Valley a better place to live.

Sorry Anon, when you've contributed that much to the community you'll have earned the right to whine.

Anonymous said...

Well said, Barry.

Anonymous said...

Nobody is whining except all the pro-development people. They don't like that they have a team against them that is slowly but surely convincing the apathetic citizens in Lynn Valley to pay attention.

Anonymous said...

One more time, who is this team that you are speaking for? Please enlighten us. Is this the same team who is accusing Dan Ellis of having a conflict of interest? Is the whole group as incapable of communicating as you are? If so, I don't think the pro-development crowd has a whole lot to be worried about.

Perhaps you should actually start attending the public presentations and listen to what is being said. Study the hows and whys of urban planning and educate yourself about what works and what doesn't. It will help you to not spread the myths and misinformation that you tend to frequently do here. An educated and informed critic is far more powerful than one who does nothing but repeat incorrect sound bites and myths about development. Arm yourself and come here to have meaningful, intelligent discourse, rather than your standard run of petty games and childish behaviour.

Anonymous said...

You are whining. And you commented under anonymous. You are an hypocrite.

Anonymous said...

stophirises.com

Barry Rueger said...

Ah yes, the web site that instructs people to:

EMAIL: one for each petitioner. Or use a 'dummy' email to fill the space. Its private and not in the petition petition. It will keep you posted.

Barry Rueger said...

Ok, more English usage:

HIRises

That's not a word. It's not an abbreviation. It's illiterate and meaningless.

Perhaps they meant "highrise?"

Biddut Debnath said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Stophighrises.com was already taken as a domain.

Stophirises.com was available.

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