Tuesday, February 05, 2013

I moved to Lynn Valley in the 1960's.

For those who didn't wade through 85 comments
 - here's one worthy of thought and discussion.
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 original 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 accept you.

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


Anonymous said...

It's called democracy. Parallel between the City of Vancouver and North Vancouver District.

There's a simple answer to those who don't like how Vision Vancouver is running the city: don't vote for them. Or, more to the point, given abysmally low voter turnout during municipal elections, get off the sofa and vote for someone else. This is true for any voter who disagrees with any party at any level of government.

Vision's decision to slam through a new funding formula for community centres over the strong objections of long-serving volunteers should surprise no one. Whether it's bike lanes, or density or its transportation plan, the Vision method is to announce a radical change, give residents almost no time to process the information and then vote it through despite protests. It's a lousy way to run a government, but especially a city, where a responsible government should want residents to feel like they have a democratic influence over their community.

But this kind of non-inclusive, we-know-best-now-shut-up government is everywhere. The B.C. Liberals are no better, with their HST, carbon tax and smart-meter policies, among others. And the Harper Tories have an our-way-or-the-highway approach to ruling. Vision is in good company.

It's no wonder citizens feel alienated and angry. Governments have forgotten that in a democracy they are there to serve and listen to citizens - not dictate to them.

What do you think? Email a brief comment, including your name and town to: provletters@theprovince.com.

© Copyright (c) The Province

Read more: http://www.theprovince.com/news/Vision+autocrats+good+company/7924930/story.html#ixzz2K8F8YyPB

Anonymous said...

DNV Council is listening. Just not to a vocal minority.

Anonymous said...

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.
Margaret Mead

Anonymous said...

She must have missed the collapse of the USSR.

Griffin said...

I'm sorry, Anon 5:38, but I see no connection between your comment and the one above it. It was indeed a small group (relatively speaking) of committed citizens that toppled the communist regime. It was the same everywhere in what has come to be known as the Communist Spring. The majority was content to wait for instructions from somewhere on what to plant, when to harvest and then wait for someone to take it to market rather than leaving it up to personal initiative and/or skill to determine what was appropriate. The small group was responsible for changing the status quo. Your comment seems to fly in the face of fact and totally ignores history.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Well Giffin, if you had been there you would have seen a widespread albeit slow-motion economic collapse stiking everyone from the lowest streetsweeper to the political elites - including a slow stangulation of the capability of their mighty military.

The collapse was hardly the result of a small group of thoughtful citizens and my observation is historically accurate.

My comment stands.

Anonymous said...

Your description may apply more closely with the decline of Russia. The collapse of the USSR is often traced back to the shipyards in Gdansk, Poland and the Solidarity movement. A small group of dedicated people.

Anonymous said...

An entire economic system that collapsed imploding upon millions of people and certainly not driven by a small group of thoughtful people.

Anonymous said...

Meanwhile...back in Lynn Valley...the thoughtful people for increased density are locked in s struggle to the bitter end with the thoughtful people against higher density.

The next municipal election should be interesting. Last time around the results were pretty well business as usual.

If the same thing happens next time then I think that higher densification is pretty well a no brainer.

Anonymous said...

Densification is already a done deal. I think the object is to get the word out to the masses that this doesn't have to continue at this rate.

The developers are making mega bucks and they all live in single detached homes far away from their development neighbourhoods.

The spokesperson for the developer(s) involved in the Seylynn project said at Monday's DNV council meeting that the project is "green."

I also noted that there are more car stalls than units. Unacceptable.

Building permit passed unanimously.

Anonymous said...

The whole point of the town centres is to keep more green space by building up on major transportation routes to keep people out of their cars and on public transit. If this new development facilitates cars it goes against the entire logic behind the "town centre" model and adds to road pollution.

Anonymous said...

The city managers and senior staff are making mega bucks and they all live in single detached homes far away from their development neighbourhoods.

Anonymous said...

Weird point re city managers and staff. City managers and staff make almost identical salaries in every municipality in the Lower Mainland.

They must follow direction as approved by council and have council's confidence or they will be dismissed. Staff cannot block a council decision. Council makes the decisions and staff implements those decisions - that is how local government works.

If you don't like the decisions of council then elect new councillors to send staff in a different direction.

Staff makes the same salaries whether or not anything is built or not built.

Put the senior staff conspiracy theory to bed - it's getting stale.

Anonymous said...

Come on folks do your research. In a multifamily development, the DNV requires 1 car stall per unit. Additionally, it requires a certain number of visitor parking stalls (This is a ration and the numbers will increase with more units being built). In addition to this, where the development is mixed use, there will be parking requirements for the commercial and other uses. These numbers are all clearly listed in the DNV zoning bylaws. So, obviously, there are going to be more parking stalls than units. It isn't some big mystery or conspiracy. The question to ask the DNV is 1 stall per unit too much? Many municipalities require fewer stalls per unit.

On the flip side, single family homes are required space for two cars per unit(while there are often more cars per home than just two). Single family homes occupy more space and utilize more energy to service than does multi-family. If a person is truly interested in conserving energy and resources, they would move to a multi-family development.

Start understanding the process in your own District before you spread a bunch of misinformation.

Anonymous said...

The parking requirements are in a state of flux.

According to Part 10 (p535) of the consolodated Zoning Bylaw, officially multi-family units are supposed to have "1 space per unit plus 1 space per 100m2 of gross residential floor area (to a maximum of 2 spaces per unit inclusive of 0.25 per dwelling unit designated for visitor parking.)"

The rough calculation is usually about 1.6 stalls per unit, not including visitors. The District has varied the parking requirements to as low as 1.2, but it really depends on the neighbourhoods, the style of parking garage, the layout of ground floor units, rental policies of second parking stalls etc.

For example, the Branches developement on 27th is built to an ample 1.6 per unit, but there always seems to be a parking problem on the street. In that case, the tenants with ground floor units have exterior entrances and tend to prefer parking on the streets. There are plenty of excess underground spots, but not because people are riding the bus, instead the vacancies are because people are preferring to park on the street.

Barry Rueger said...

For example, the Branches developement on 27th is built to an ample 1.6 per unit, but there always seems to be a parking problem on the street. .. There are plenty of excess underground spots, ... the vacancies are because people are preferring to park on the street.

Please explain how you determined this cause and effect relationship? Have you collected licence plate numbers and checked registration on cars? Canvassed the Branches residents to ask where they park?

Or are you just pulling more nonsense out of the air?

Anonymous said...

Perhaps you should look at yourself in a mirror and paint at Hitler 'stash on your upper lip.

Anonymous said...

It is time all municipal staff have their wages frozen,
including the Police and Firemen. Property Assessments
are down and there will be a 2% or 4% tax hike. the average wage earner is not getting a pay increase.

Oh well, when our 4sq. miles in the City runs out of
land how will all these City stafferjobs be justified.!!!

It won"tbe long.

Anonymous said...

The City of North Vancouver while labelled a democracy is really nothing more than a dictatorship. City manager the tail wagging the dog city council.

Senior management has been handpicked by the city manager to support his agenda and vision. Senior staff that object are terminated often with a healthy payout courtesy of the taxpayer. Majority of council is oblivious.

If it is a democracy run it like a democracy, not a dictatorship using tax money to finance the city managers vision through hidden subsidizes and skullduggery.

Anonymous said...

Between the Hitler comments and the conspiracy theories on this blog one would think the North Shore is populated with imbeciles. Thankfully, day to day communication with functional members of the City and two Districts proves otherwise.

Sadly, for the folks who genuinely have something to say against development, the peanut gallery on this blog isn't doing them any favours.

Anonymous said...

"Or are you just pulling more nonsense out of the air?"

I toured the adjacent property with its owner and its facility manager. They said that their building Evergreen (which was part of the Branches development), had the same problem.

The full street/empty underground was self evident.

Anonymous said...

The empty underground parking may be a result of condo dwellers having fewer cars and not needing all of the provided parking.

Anonymous said...

To the municipal conspiracy theorists:

1. Salaries. All salaries are ratafied by council in every municipality. The 4 main NV salary streams are the RCMP contract, the fire union members, CUPE union members and senior staff. The smallest group by far is senior staff. The largest is CUPE. This is bad news for NVC as the mayor's profession is BC Ambulance CUPE member, Keating is NDP (in bed with labour) and most of NVC politicians took union contributions for their election campaign.

The RCMP contract is subject to negotiation provincially and between the munis and will never be "frozen" as the RCMP will simply pull out of the province if they can't fund their operation.

The CUPE and fire unions negotiate with each of their municipalities. Their strategy is that they often have one union go forward and actively negotiate salary while the rest wait. If one union gets a good deal then the rest go to their city and sign what is called a "me too" contract. If the one union can't get a good deal they will agree to binding arbitration and have the arbitrator make an award based upon pay raises in other provinces, particularly Ontario, then the rest sign the "me too".

If the council of a muni refuses to sign a "me too" contract as it is too rich then the union will take that muni to arbitration and the arbitrator will award exactly what everyone else in the Lower Mainland received whether council likes it or not (see Delta a few years ago). Again, some little place like NVC is never going to differ from the salary base of the rest of the region, even if they had the will, but as most have accepted union funding that will is highly unlikely.

Finally, non-union (aka senior) staff. Their salaries are loosely based upon what their profession (engineer, accountant, CEO of a mid-sized unionized coporation etc) might receive in the private sector plus sensitivity to ensure that low level exempt are making slightly more than the senior union members (if they didn't do that no union member would apply for a management position which is where many of the exempt originate). So even if the private sector equivalent profession average salaries go down due to economic hardtimes, the public sector exempt staff has a base below which they will not fall (that is the highest level of the union contract).

Ergo, to put a leash on local governmennt pay packets the entire region of munis would have to negotiate for salaries as one entity for the large union (CUPE and fire) as to do otherwise will just result in the "ratcheting up" of comparing one locale to the one that got the best deal and then going to arbitration for the imposed same agreement. If the union contracts were tamed then senior staff will follow as they have a relationship to the union agreements.

Once again unlikely to happen as egotistical councillors think that they know better in dealing with their local staff than a regional approach which, of course, is music to the union's ears.

2. Unilateral city manager running amok and not following council's direction. This is a fairy tale and no matter how many times you repeat it it will not come true.

Council has the authority (and has fired their manager - see DNV Gord Howie). Senior staff has authority over junior staff period. They are required to give advice (when asked) to council. Council is free to ignore their advice (fairly common - especially if council is cozying up to a special interest group for future vote consideration). Council makes all policy, budget and big picture decisions and staff, at all levels, implement those decisions.

This is how it really works. The info may not work well with the conspiracy folks, but it is the actual way things are.

Barry Rueger said...

Damn! I figured out what these folks want!

a) Classic 1970s suburban lifestyle, characterized by two things: A large central shopping mall, surrounded by acres of parking lot; and single family detached homes in subdivisions with no services or shopping.

b) Nobody driving cars anywhere, ever.

Hmmm.... what could possibly go wrong....

(I'll acknowledge that there's probably also an undercurrent of "Keep out Renters and Poor People", but we won't speak of such things.)

Anonymous said...

Good post, Anon 9:40 AM. I'll bet that most (if not all) of these conspiracy folks have never even bothered attending council meetings. They just latch onto to sound bites that appeal to their particular neurosis and repeat them. Repeatedly.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Anon 10:17. I got a bit worried about 6:48 musing that the N. Shore is populated by imbeciles and so thought a factual post might be in order.

I suspect that "the facts will never stand in the way of a good story" for those conspiracy folks.

Anonymous said...

Good post 9:40,

You've nailed the system fairly well, with one exception.

The old regional bargaining system consistantly produced contracts well above inflation. 3%, 3%, 3.5%, 4%, and 4% over the last five years. The 'egotistical councillors' approach, is already producing contracts in the 1.25% to 1.75% region.

Time will tell, but regional bargaining was just as susceptible to pattern bargaining and whip sawing.

Anonymous said...

Enlighten me. Whose idea is it to turn the Lonsdale corridor into a wireless zone courtesy of Shaw EXO? The city manager or council?

In essence this will provide all Shaw customers free wireless up and down Lonsdale. For those that live in the city and do not subscribe to Shaw you will be subsidising the Shaw subscribers.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:06AM, why don't you stop by City Hall or Shaw and ask?

Anonymous said...

Thanks 8:19.

The old regional system worked only as long as the egotistical councillors didn't fool with it.

The hideously rich 5 year contract that you have illustrated compounded on itself each year and resulted in an increase of more than 18% over five years. I think that we both agree that this is excessive in lean times.

The reason for that increase was that Richmond council broke ranks with the regional bargaining system and arrived at a wildly rich agreement. (You may also recall that Vancouver and DNV joined ranks in trying to hold back the increases - NVC predictably didn't join - but Van and DNV were overwhelmed). The rest of unions hopped on board and demanded "me too" contracts with the Richmond agreement. Whipsaw accomplished.

The latest lower agreements are simply a reflection of the economic times.

United we stand divided we fall.

Anonymous said...

It only makes sense that the municipalities bargain (at least) wages regionally.

There could also be an additional set % of the wage difference figure so that each muni has flexibility to bargain those issues that are unique to that jurisdiction.

That way we get away from the whipsawing that resulted from the excessive Richmond agreement (Anon 8:19) that established the base for the rest of the region while allowing sensitivity to local issues.

Far preferable than letting one council (no local input or control) establish the wage rates for the rest of the cities in the Lower Mainland.

Anonymous said...

"Egotistical Councillors" aren't the problem. Bought and paid for councillors are. (Yes, I went there).

The old Labour Relations Bureau, which set the wage and term mandate for the region under the old system, was responsible for the 18.76% increase over the last five years. A majority of the members of that body were directly funded by cupe. Two members received over $30,000 in 'donations' from CUPE during the previous election. And yes, I have their financial disclosure statements to back it up.

Regional bargaining only works if CUPE sponsored politicians are restricted from the bureau.

Barry Rueger said...

Two members received over $30,000 in 'donations' from CUPE

Ah yes, when all else fails, break out the "scare quotes" to make ordinary behaviour seem evil.

I have heard that some councillors have had 'lunches' and 'dinners' and even 'a few beers' with anti-development people. Some even exchange 'Christmas cards.'

Anonymous said...

Must take exception to:
"most of NVC politicians took union contributions for their election campaign. "

NOT true of Bell, Bookham, Clark and Heywood (four out of seven). The remainder (Buchanan, Keating, Mussatto) totally funded by unions and developers.

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:51. You are absolutely correct. I recalled Clark's prior campaign contribution disclosure instead of the 2011 election disclosure. i apologize and stand corrected (and wish the other politicians would either cease taking union funding or cease ratifying wage increases for those unions that have paid them).

Barry R. - sniggering sarcasm does not do you credit. If (and I mean if) LRB members set the public sector wage mandate then Anon 10:23 is right in that members setting such a mandate should not have conflict by receiving such money.

I tend to think that the regional system of bargaining utilizes professional negotiators from Metro (formerly GVRD) Vancouver who go into negotiations with a goal in mind as does the unions.

Prior to ratification the LRB reviews public sector collective agreements more for legally binding form than content. I don't think that the LRB has any authority at all over the amounts of the negotiated agreements and so I'm not so fussed about their review.

Councils review and ratify the document under that system as the final step for the employer and the unions take the agreement to their membership for a ratification vote.

A better system than independent local bargaining by far - just ask any public sector union executive member and they will tell you that they strongly support local direct bargaining.

Anonymous said...

Councils that were members of the LRB could only 'ratify' an agreement that was already approved by the LRB. The LRB established the Wage and term of the mandate, and LRB/Metro Staff were the ones authorized to sign the collective agreements, not the councils.

The Letters Patent that delegated that authority to the LRB are still technically in place, but they are essentially parked for the time being. If the region wants to go back to the LRB system, they can certainly do that, but it is unlikely to occur during the next few cycles.

Anonymous said...

So we've come full circle.

The jurisdiction that settles early for the most generous contract terms will be cherry-picked by those unions that don't settle early and are waiting for the best deal and if their local councillors don't give it to them (ratify) the arbitrators will.

Unhappy news for taxpayers and councillors that might be trying to hold down labour costs.

Anonymous said...

Fair comment about the scare quotes, but you can't honestly be equivocating a $30,000 campaign donation and a lunch.

It is very clear in the mind of the Union/developer/corporation why they are giving money to that person, and what they expect, but politicians like to feign ignorance and pretend like it doesn't unduly compel them to make a decision that is favourable to the union/developer/corporation or whomever.

I fully support the Federal accountability act being duplicated at the provincial and municipal level.

michle john said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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