Thursday, June 13, 2013

District lays out plans for Lynn Valley Development

Options A, B, C, or D for Lynn Valley Densification Plan.
Vote for an Option:

Lynn Valley residents' to have their own meeting against the DNV options.

— to stop the District’s densification plan —

(Frederick & Mountain)


Mocrael said...

How far are people willing to go with this fight? Before I go on, I wish to state I am not in favour of higher density and gridlock for Lynn Valley.

This plan for density has pretty much been engraved onto Metro Vancouver's grand plan to to "create compact urban areas"! Therefore, density is going to be forced onto us. Although the powers that be state we will be helping to "Save Mother Earth from evil carbon emissions", we know that isn't so. Nothing is what it seems.

Blame Metro's membership in ICLEI (UN's "International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives") and Metro's "INTERGOVERNMENTAL AND ADMINISTRATION COMMITTEE" (of which all muni's in Metro are "members".)Both Mayors Mussatto and Walton sit on this board as directors. Come hell or high water, they are going to create "compact urban areas" (number one goal). We are no longer standing up against our own Councils, but the whole of Metro Vancouver. Look at Seylynn.

Once again, how hard are we willing to fight the "inevitable", folks? All the way to the directors at Metro? I, for one, am not holding my breath. I have seen too many folk run the other way when the going gets really tough. All I can really offer is: "Good Luck!" And add my "JH" to the petition. Take care.

Barry Rueger said...

I wrote about this pretty extensively back in November when the Stop Hirises group last blanketed us in leaflets. In a nutshell, 90% of what they claim just isn't supported by facts.

I'm really very impressed by the turnout at local meetings this month - the room at the Library was jammed by people of every stripe, all of whom seemed to be taking a lot of time to really look at and consider that options being proposed.

What really interested me though were the results to date from people responding via the Metroquest on-line feedback.

Average ratings for the four options are:

Option A 2.88
Option B 2.50
Option C 2.79
Option D 2.30

Which pretty much puts to rest the idea that there's a gigantic majority of people who hate buildings taller than four stories.

Although the tallest proposal is least popular, there are still a lot of people in Lynn Valley who like the looks of it. And Option C, the sixteen story proposal, is the second most popular choice.

Inevitable? Of course not. We could just let the mall die completely, one store at a time, turn to rubble, sink into the ground, and be reconstituted as park land.

Or the Stop HiRise group could go to the bank, borrow a few tens of millions of dollars, BUY the land in question, and build whatever they like.

Within the limits of the OCP anyhow.

alex said...

Hi Barry;

you forgot to mention that only option D only received 55 5 star votes, option C only 60 5 star votes, option B got 49 5 star votes and option A as the best of the ugly received 147 5 star votes. Averages mean nothing...

Bye, bye high rises!


Barry Rueger said...

Alex: I'll ask the same question again: What would you build on this site that would make you happy, and would offer enough return to make the people paying for it willing to build it?

Or, alternatively, how much of your own money are you willing to invest to BUY the land and build strip malls?

John Sharpe said...

Several letters in today's North Shore against the 'doubling of density' in the Lynn Valley Centre. Many good points are made.

Barry Rueger said...

I'd say that few good points are made - just usual FUD about traffic gridlock, and people pining for a "village" atmosphere that arguably has never existed inside of a shopping mall.

John Sharpe said...


Since Lynn Valley is mostly a destination for people commuting as opposed to a being a corridor, are you going to argue that there will not be decreased livability in the area due to increased traffic congestion, noise, air quality issues, crime rates, increased competition for local businesses, community profile aesthetics (unless you find high rises appealing), etc.?

The contraries I'm hearing are 'affordable housing'(good one), property taxe increases curbed (choke), environmental benefits (cough!), less traffic (uhuh), etc. All sounds like typical politician promises to me. How does this add up when you add 5000 more people to a relatively small area that was never planned for this sort of growth?

Either way, the community should have the last word. A referendum as suggested in one of the NSN letters is an acceptable idea.

Barry Rueger said...

John - almost everything you bring up was discussed, and largely refuted during this exchange back in November.

Between my work, that of commenters, I call BS on most of what the stop hirises crew are claiming.

Traffic has been studied to death by people far, far more qualified than anyone here or at stop hirises. Given the choice I'll trust the options of professionals over some guy sitting in a lawnchair on his front porch.

TRAFFIC IS NOT NOW, NOR WILL IT EVER BE A SIGNIFICANT PROBLEM IN LYNN VALLEY* That doesn't mean people won't complain, or believe that the extra 45 seconds to get from Save-On to Grand Blvd is somehow a great imposition.

Referendum? People voted in elections. Repeatedly during the whole OCP process. They attended public meetings - arguably many more than were needed. They wrote letters. They wrote letters to the North Shore news. They handed out pamphlets. They stood up before Council and spoke their minds.

No-one can say that they haven't had a chance to speak, or to be heard.

At the end of the day the decisions may have turned out different from what stop hirises would prefer, but there's no way they can claim they were railroaded.

If the stop hirises group is so large, and so influential, why aren't they putting up their own money to just buy the land in question?

* Although every time that another store closes in the Lynn Valley Mall, it means more traffic driving to and from Lynn Valley to buy stuff that can't be found here.

alex said...

Hi Barry;

It is not the traffic in Lynn Valley that is the concern here it is the traffic across the bridges and the lack of transit that connects to the Lower Mainland.
There is no commitment of the transit authority to change this in the next 15 years. It is not even on the radar.


alex said...

Another fact about why stores close:

The HST was introduced and it cost 7% extra on a lot of stuff.

Nobody got a 7% wage increase to make up the difference. So if you have no money you can not shop.

Thank goodness the HST was repealed again, but people adjusted and it will be very hard to get people back in spending money in the local stores again.


See-More-Sam said...

You cannot reason with unreasonable people and sadly, Alex seems to fall into that category. Businesses fail because they are trying to sell something that nobody wants, or there is not a sufficient customer base to support the operation. In the case of Lynn Valley Mall, the closure of a major retailer like Zeller's could certainly result in that situation, and I sense that visits to the mall are down drastically. So I vote for Door #2 as the likely reason for businesses closing if that is in fact the case. Although I wouldn't know because I haven't been there since about two months before Zeller's closed!!!

As for the HST being responsible, that is a bunch of hooey. On most retail transactions, we already paid two taxes which just got combined into one with the HST. And it only got repealed once...not again!

Translink is another issue completely. The only way you get increased frequency of service is for Translink to be assured of a certain minimum ridership. And that comes from --ta da -- more people living in a community.

So these highrises, however high they eventually are, may be the answer to both problems.

I think all the naysayers are a dying breed, frankly. Smart growth in designated town centres is the way to protect the character of the rest of the community, and I don't think that what is being proposed for the (current) Lynn Valley mall area is going to bring the rest of the place to wrack and ruin. Quite the opposite actually because with a vibrant retail community nearby, people will choose to shop closer to home rather than get in their cars and cross the bridge, as Barry alluded to above. You can't have it both ways, folks.

John Sharpe said...

John - almost everything you bring up was discussed, and largely refuted during this exchange back in November.

Refuted by whom Barry?

Lynn Valley Revival said...

Refuted by whom Barry?

Um - facts.

John Sharpe said...

A bunch of hooey? Not exactly. The HST did and would have continued to cost each of us hundred of dollars per year. Hundreds of extra $$ without extra services or goods to show for and of course less money in our pockets. I.e; Lynn Valley stores sell less because people have less $$ to purchase with.

Personally when I knew the HST was at least temporarily inevitable, I adjusted my spending budget down to compensate. I'm sure many other people were forced to do the same. Less spending = less purchasing = less employment = a vicious cycle.

For many reasons I'm glad the HST is history.

Having said that, now that the HST is gone perhaps any negative effects it had on LV Mall will start to reverse.

It would be nice to see another business go in to Zeller'sr because a closed shop is never good for the morale of the strip.

If another business doesn't come along, why couldn't the whole stretch down to the old library be developed into low level townhomes and condos?

See-More-Sam said...

Don't get me wrong - I'm glad the HST is gone, however, at the retail level, I really do not believe that the HST had much effect because on the vast majority of non-food purchases, people were already paying two taxes that got combined into one. Where things went off the rails was in restaurant meals where all of a sudden the cost went up by 7%. So they suffered. Then there were haircuts, an extra tax on hydro and other services.

Having said all of that, I really don't think that an extra $100 or so over a year was particularly burdensome on most NS residents. Divided by 12, it's less than $8.50 and two people can't eat particularly well at McDonald's for that.

Where things got expensive is if you wanted to sell your house - an extra 7% on top of existing fees was a bit pricey -- realtors are glad it's gone.

So yeah, I'd say it was a bunch of hooey if people are going to blame the demise of stores in Lynn Valley Centre on the HST.

John Sharpe said...

Your facts on the $$ per year is wrong. It was not $100 per year, it was upwards of $500. Lynn Valley mall has hair dressers and lots of restaurants and food services. Let's not forget Winners.

I talked to one prominent food merchant in the LV Mall yesterday and they said their business traffic is up as well as general mall traffic.

Lynn Valley Revival said...

One of the hairdressing places is now shuttered. Bringing the number of empty retail spaces to three, plus Zellers.