Sunday, October 27, 2013

North Shore density the most important issue of the year

Chief Editor of the North Shore News Martin Millerchip talks on  "Ask the News' on the North Shore News website. Scroll down to the second video.

Watch the video


Anonymous said...

Mr. Millerchip must know that even the people who are against all this densification have a voice, contrary to the talk about us being anti-development, anti-progressive, and really aren't thinking long-term about our municipality's growth strategy.

We are the ones who are and our only vested interest is in our community, not mega $$$ to developers with threats about our taxes going up if we don't agree.

Anonymous said...

Please explain what will happen to our taxes if the current level of services is maintained while the population remains static.

Barry Rueger said...

OK, I'll flat out say it - the stop hirises brigade really are "anti-development, anti-progressive, and really aren't thinking long-term about our municipality's growth strategy."

On top of a closed Zellers space, and five other empty retail spaces in the mall, (soon to be six) we now hear that the Irly lumber store is shutting down too.

Dominoes people. Once you lose a certain number of businesses the decline accelerates. Once that downhill trip has started it can be very hard to stop it.

If I had heard of even one of the anti-development crowd propose an actual plan for saving Lynn Valley's commercial center I might have some respect for their opinions, but that has not happened. Not once.

I repeat: NOT ONCE.

Moan, groan, complain, bitch, whine, then moan some more. And yet not one single positive idea.

Meanwhile the commercial core of Lynn Valley is dying a rapid and accelerating death.

Which suggests that not only do the anti-development crowd have no positive ideas, they also don't even shop here.

And finally - there is no way that suburban shopping mall surrounded by a massive parking lot qualifies as a "mountain village atmosphere."

Anonymous said...

I would like to talk about the constant reference to the "dying mall" and the fact that "revitalization is needed."

Bosa owns the Lynn Valley Mall and as such has control over who leases its property. It is no accident that some leases were not renewed and that the "uncertainty" of the mall does not bode well for new tenants.

I also know for fact that when these leases expired the ##$$s went through the roof so the tenants moved planned by Bosa.

To use the supposed failing mall (and it is not, Kin's is always packed, as is Save-on-Foods and the BC Liquor Store, and others) as an excuse for highrises makes as much sense as the dilapidated site was used to approve the old Whiteley Court development on 27th Street in 2007. There is always a FOR SALE sign up there.

Anonymous said...

There is a single positive idea Barry Rueger. Why don't you write about things you know about not things you think you know about. know everything about everything.

John Sharpe said...

Geez Barry,
All Millerchip really said was that density was the biggest story. That in itself is very revealing. Why such a big hissy fit against your so-called 'anti-progressive' folks. Y'know, they have a voice and an opinion that's allowed. If they don't want hi rises and a lot of density then that's their prerogative, just like it's yours to have all kinds of 'progressive' development.

I respect Mr. Millerchip's view on issues in this community. He often speaks eloquently on community issues especially at election time such as 'getting out the vote'. I highly respect his views and reporting.

Maybe many people like Lynn Valley the way it is for the most part, maybe that's why they live here, maybe there are many reasons. Maybe your'e just not listening to them. There are opinions for the community to go the direction that you espouse as well and their voice should also be heard. But I agree with the anon who says, that the mall is not 'dying'. Many of the aforementioned core stores plus others do well. One of them is the meat shop, the owner who I know says, that is as busy as ever.

I used to know the owner of 'Valley Florist' very well. He complained of the rents being astronomical and that was 5 years ago. You may have noticed that it's a pizza fast food place now. Now that's progressive, a pizza place instead of a flower shoppe. :)

Barry Rueger said...

OK - I'll ask one more time: Can anyone describe a plausible, profitable (because that's the cold hard reality) scenario that would bring the centre of Lynn Valley back to life?

How many buildings? What kind? What sort of tenants? And, most importantly, how will you pay for that development?

Anon - please name the "tenants" you claim to know, and tell us how much rents were raised.

Anonymous said...

Bosa will make a profit with 5-storeys and 8-storeys. It's just not as much as they would like to make. These developers are GREEDY, and that's why they are successful.

All they have to do is stifle their greed a bit and both they and the people who live in Lynn Valley will be happy.

Anonymous said...

Many leases were not renewed because of prohibitive increases with little knowledge or plans as to what will be happening. Will they sign a lease and then construction take place soon on their very site?

Leases not renewed because of large increases include The Dollar Store, HairMasters, and the Pet Store.

Anonymous said...

I have a question...

How did Irly Bird survive all those years when there were FEWER people in Lynn Valley. How did a LESS DENSE Lynn Valley support the businesses that have thrived for many years including Zellers. It isn't like Zellers changed dramatically. It posted a profit or would have been closed prior to its sale to Target.

I generally shop in the mall on a daily basis and I note that the parking lot is more crowded than ever... so SOMEBODY must be serving what people want there.

Perhaps Irly is a model that would not survive despite high rises and bike lanes. Maybe.. the smallish local lumber and hardware outlet has had its day. Maybe it just couldn't compete on the north shore with a Canadian Tire, 2 RONA stores and a Home Depot just up the highway in Park Royal. It has nothing to do with high rises Barry. Stop flogging nonsense.

Anonymous said...

Bravo anon 12:21!

Anonymous said...

Irly is going under because its business model is out of date. The convenience does not outweigh the outrageous prices they were attempting to extract when I can simply hit a Home Depot or a Rona on the way home for 30 - 50% less money.

The mall is not failing. Every store that has closed on the south side of the mall has closed because their contracts were not renewed and Bosa, rightly, doesn't want to by out the extensions during it looming redevelopment. Zellers is partially an exception to that. Zellers shut down across Canada, but this store didn't have the right kind of footprint for a Target.

The mall was struggling back in the day. When the Stongs, Super Valu, and Indigo failed the mall was in pretty tough shape. It is in much better shape today.

Having said that, I still think it should be redeveloped. I have never liked having the beating heart of Lynn Valley be a big ugly parking lot.

Anonymous said...

Oh the density!!!

Census (DNV Population Totals)
1991 - 75,155
1996 - 79,865 (+4,710)
2001 - 82,310 (+2,445)
2006 - 82,562 (+ 252)
2011 - 84,412 (+1,850)

Over the last 20 years we have grown by 9,257 a growth rate of 0.61%/year.

Over the last 10 years we have grown by 2,102 a growth rate of 0.25%/year

Yes there have been many new units created in Lynn Valley, but it is only barely overcoming the losses from the reduction in people per unit in Lynn Valley.

Anonymous said...

Remember these stats are averaged throughout the DNV and if somebody dies and somebody moves in it is a NIL increase.

pb said...

Not only is density the most important issue of the year, it may be the most important issue in the next municipal election according to Francis Bula.


pb said...

Sorry my attempt to shorten the url did not work.

Anonymous said...

pb's article

Anonymous said...

Thank goodness for Anon 2:05. Someone actually posting facts - my God how dare they!

The actual population of DNV, based upon verifiable statistics, has barely budged in 20 years compared to most of the Lower Mainland.

W. Van has a similar graph.

Then we come to N.V. City. Building high rises, approving secondary suites and carriage houses and boosting density as an ongoing policy.

So where do the folks from this tiny muni go to shop, recreate, hike, mountain bike, get to and from work in Vancouver, etc? Why DNV of course.

The various anti-density groups can huff and puff at DNV until the cows come home. The stats are the stats and it's not DNV that is pumping ongoing significant higher density. It's the City and all the DNV votes in the world won't matter a hoot when the City folks re-elect the usual suspects again.

Figure it out.

John Sharpe said...

Anon 9:29,

Point well taken.

The District continues to subsidize the City in more ways than one.

Anonymous said...

Elaborate, please. Don't make statements like that, John, without actually backing up what you're saying. If you want to stop City people from using District amenities, how would it impact you if the City prevented you from accessing our amenities (including shops and services). You'd better transfer to a Safeway in the District because you can no longer work in the City!

Anonymous said...

Nasty...anon 8:38.

The most obvious ways the DNV subsidizes the CNV are the parks, soccer fields, etc., and the recreation commission.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anon 8:38. The City taxes are held down by increasing high density dwellings on small, easily serviced real estate footprints and relying upon the District with it's preponderance of single family residential dwellings on individually serviced lots to fund the lion's share of the Rec Commission, libraries, police dept, etc. Also, the City can and does access the District's 5 fire hall staff and equipment at no cost when their one fire station is overwhelmed much more than vice versa.

Every City resident has to drive on roads that go through the District to get out of the City.

Where are the dams that supply the water? Hmmm. All the traffic to service them drive over District roads. Who pays for those roads? Hmmm.

The Dist has over 100 parks and is surrounded by mountain bike trails. Who pays for the access, maintenance, protective services, foresters etc. - the District. Who uses them? Everybody.

We're not talking about shops (private sector) or preventing each other from accessing them we're talking about infrastructure paid for by District taxpayers and we're talking about density and pressure on those tax based resources and who is responsible for the ever increasing pressure.

Take a look at the increased growth and density in the City (both current and proposed) and compare it to the other NS municipalities. You'll get the picture.

Anonymous said...

You forgot to mention policing. The District pays two thirds of the cost and the city generates 50% of the calls for service. The two biggest budget items are police and fire services and both see the city heavily subsidized by the DNV.

Anonymous said...

And what of the cost of DNV sprawl? One could suggest that the DNV is getting off light for sprawling over a greater land area. More roads, more swears, a need for the police and fire departments to cover more area, etc. Which municipality is being run more efficiently?

Anonymous said...

swears should read sewers

Anonymous said...

--> Anon 2:20:00

And what of the cost of DNV sprawl?


Well ya, looks like you finally get it.

What IS the cost of City residents' recreational sprawl?

Why DOES the anti-sprawl City not run its own sewage plant rather than exporting its waste? And if CoV doesn't like being blended into the DNV's 'sprawling' police requirements, why DOESNT it just contract with the RCMP to operate a 'compact, walkable' detachment.. nay ... begin its own local police department even keeping the same moniker slightly tweaked to 'Royal Cycle Mounted Police'?

Just sayin'.

Anonymous said...

CoV should be CoNV

Anonymous said...

Speaking of sprawl. How about those mountainbikers being paid by the DNV to sprawl through our forests?

Anonymous said...

Love the "which municipality is being run more efficiently?" comment. Yes, it is always more "efficient" to have someone else pay for stuff you use.

Not that I'm necessarily opposed. It's pretty obvious that the City is "milking the cow through the fence" and riding on the costtails of the District.

It is very unlikely to change as what City resident in their right mind would ever vote to amalgamate and pay their full share through higher taxes?

So, if you can't beat em join em. I'm nearing retirement and going on pension. We are seriously considering selling our place and moving down into the City where we can enjoy lower taxes and still access the DNV amenities. After all, it's so "efficient".

Anonymous said...

The DNV has a greater land area requiring more infrastructure. More roads, more fire stations and police to effectively cover a larger area. All this comes at a cost. A cost which is shared by a lower population per area. It is the cost of low density. I suspect that if we dug down to the shared costs of policing and recreation, we'd find that the District and City have come to some sort of agreement as to how these costs are shared. I'm perplexed by the attitude that the amenities within a municipality can't be shared with people from other municipalities. Considering everyone crosses municipal boundaries to to work, acquire services and recreate, it is a petty and somewhat misguided point of view. If there is genuine disparity, then take it up with your local representatives and work toward a solution. Is the solution to close municipal boundaries to prevent outsiders from coming in? Are we to become insular, xenophobic city states?

Posters here need to realize that there is a financial cost to a community that chooses to remain low density. Costs of services rise annually, so there are three options, reduce services each year so that taxes remain the same, keep the status quo and face increased costs each year, or increase the tax base to share those increased costs. Wouldn't it be great if politicians were as careful with the public purse as they are their own and worked to prevent these annual increases and negate the need for two of those options? Not likely to happen. So if you can live with the increased taxes or reduced services, then by all means, keep your low density.

Anonymous said...

Or have your neighbour increase their density thereby keeping their taxes low but their revenue high and guaranteeing a self-perpetuating status quo until the provider is financially exhausted.

An easy example. When the underground water main that services City residents breaks on it's way from the dam and tears up a District roadway and the District waterworks repairs the pipe and the District streets rebuild the road guess who pays - the District taxpayer.

Nothing to be perplexed about. One muni holds the line on density and it's neighbour encourages ongoing growth and those in the more dense muni go to and through the less dense one at the cost of their generous neighbours.

It's interesting how those receiving a benefit often seek the moral high group and hink that it is petty of those bestowing the benefit to balk.

Good luck getting politicians onside. I wonder what the position of the City negotiators would be in such a discussion? Chances are they would look like white knights protecting the best interests of their electorate by holding the line and not paying a penny more. And really who could blame them? It's a great deal.

Anonymous said...

Oh the tax rates!!

Metro Van's consolidated Tax rate list

Here you will see that the Mill rate for the City of North Vancouver is 4.3832/$1000
and the District is 4.3019/$1000

That means that in the City an $800,000 detached house pays $3,506 in tax while a an $800,000 house in the District pays $3,441...

Wait what? The DNV home pays $65 dollars less? Even though it is sprawling, and subsidizing the City? And running 5 five firehalls and way more parks?

How can that be?

Density ≠ Efficiency

Anonymous said...

Here we go again!

The tax base gains that follow development/densification are short-term. The costs to a municipality after the projects are built are borne forever--crime, pollution, traffic problems, the list doesn't end when the developers leave with their pockets full of money and drive home to their single detached family home in a quiet neighbourhood.

Anonymous said...

Great! Now that the City's taxes are higher maybe they should support amalgamation to reduce them.