Sunday, December 22, 2013

Gambling Issue on the North Shore rears its head yet again

In consideration for a pitch to its Waterfront, the City of North Vancouver Council has requested a Staff report so they can more deeply study the issue. North Shore News columnist Trevor Carolan writes about this issue and others sensitive to the North Shore.

 Christmas wishes and worries


Anonymous said...

Ironically, gamblers and "Ninja Turtle wannabees" are very similar in nature. Both take risks, but only one group is to be held accountable for damaging our natural environment via their "gamblers'" addiction to mountain biking and trail building.

Our "not very wise" politicians keep enabling those gamblers, ecological vandals, and big developers milking us all with costly sardine canned highrise density for the almighty buck. Those politicians believe that there is lots of revenue coming from it all --- but at what high cost when the final tally is counted? Both human and nature?

Heck, the world is going to hell in a hand basket, anyhow. Why should we care in 2014? Let our children and grandchildren worry about the mess we are leaving them, eh? Very few people are proactive, and only react when it is usually too late. Happy New Year!

Anonymous said...

DNV is, once again, trying to force a square peg into a round hole -

Sat. Dec. 28 Vancouver Sun News

Richard Walton
Mayor, North Vancouver District

Goal: Make headway toward clear commitments and timelines for key investments in public transit and highway interchange infrastructure in North Vancouver. Focused investment in these areas is critical to the economic and social health of the region and depends on local governments and the province working closely together. It is important for our residents that the constricting highway interchanges at the Ironworkers Memorial bridgehead are redesigned to remove choke points, and increase the length of merge lanes to accelerate bridge flow rates. An additional east-west connector route free of highway queuing is required, as well as upgrading both transit exchanges and additional transit across the North Shore.

Then it all goes Poof! One or two accidents on the bridges and the whole of the North Shore becomes backed up all the way to (you fill in the rest). We are being choked! DNV/CNV planning is a joke! (includes DWV planning)

A letter in Friday's NSNews confirms it -

After reading your Dec, 15 story, NV City to Grow 42% by 2041, I felt compelled to write you. What troubles me is that there is no mention of the roads.

You talk about "high density" buildings, but what about the streets? Marine Drive, Third Street and Keith are already choking most of the time.

What about bridges to go over town? There should definitely be discussion on that. Just two bridges is not enough! And where to put the third or maybe fourth bridge?

I have lived on the North Shore most of my life, right now in Lower Lonsdale and have noticed the population"explode" in the past threeyears. I know for a fact that I am not the only one who has noticed this, and a lot of people besides me are worried about this.
Is this just the City of North Vancouver or is the district included as well? Just wondering.

Elizabeth Soden
North Vancouver
- See more at:

Anonymous said...

Right on. Check out the NSN digital edition for Dec. 22, page A17.

There is a 1/14 page ad paid for by us, the DNV citizens, apologizing to us for the traffic problems.

They have actually had to admit that the Emperor does not have his clothes on.

Anonymous said...

It should read 1/4 page ad and the DNV is apologizing but actually loading all responsibility on senior levels of government.

".....We didn't contribute to this problem. We are doing our best. It's everybody else's fault. We are here for you! Talk to us!"........

Hopefully the voters will talk to you at the next election and boot out your incompetence.

It is your zealous approval of densification that has caused these horrendous problems in getting around.

Anonymous said...

“Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell.”
― Edward Abbey

Anonymous said...

"It is your zealous approval of densification that has caused these horrendous problems in getting around."

I'm going to hang that doozy on the wall. Development that has been approved, but not built is the cause of the traffic woes... and not simply because the lanes have been closed for construction in Burnaby.

Anonymous said...

Anon. 9:05

You make no sense.

Anonymous said...

Another possible homicide in Surrey. This is what happens when the growth supersedes the input of community-driven planning. Is this what we want for North Van?

Anonymous said...

"This is what happens when the growth supersedes the input of community-driven planning"

It probably has more to do with the socio economic conditions in Surrey relative to the region. Plus, they have significantly more 18 - 28 year old males which skews the stats.

Anonymous said...

Hope Anons 9:05 and 4:23 have been partaking of Operation Red Noses' service this holiday season.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:10 PM, those two were the only ones speaking rationally. I hope you are the one who is getting assistance with your driving!

Anonymous said...

Great editorial in yesterday's NSN:

Freeze it

It comes around like clockwork, the pledge to improve.

When a set of stairs starts to resemble the Grouse Grind and previously loose fitting pants look like body paint we know it's time to make a change.

This is the reason that January is a very busy time in fitness locations as truant bodies are marched into gyms in an effort to rediscover long-neglected muscles.

We face a new year with ambition and head down a path towards selfimprovement. Starting is easy, staying committed is another story.

The situation with our municipal bodies is not so different.

Over the course of time, decisions get made that result in bigger budgets and instead of tightening the belt another hole gets punched. The next time that belt feels tight again it becomes easier to reach for the hole punch instead of trying to work towards a slimmer waistline.

Greatly increased density plans may put more tax dollars into the pot, but they create a bulge in other areas. Our already overloaded road system cannot handle the additional cars spilling out of more and more highrises. Intergovernmental planning - including the Squamish Nation - is required to get things moving. So far it appears that we are just getting the highrises.

Until realistic traffic solutions that include a Seymour overpass and pushing the Low Road through to Ambleside are instigated, further major developments should be put on hold.

A new year is a great time to make the conscious choice for change. Let's hope our civic leaders are up to the challenge.

© Copyright 2013

- See more at:

Barry Rueger said...

A couple of timely points:

1) Mayor Walton has been fielding endless calls and e-mails for several months since the Upper Levels traffic became such a problem last year.

By all reports he's pulling his hair out trying to find solutions, and has been hammering away at the provincial folks that ultimately are responsible for the mess.

Let's put the blame where it belongs: on the province, and its regional whipping boys at Translink.

2) Gambling - I don't go to casinos - have no interest whatsoever.

What I'm still looking for, and haven't hey seen, are some real scientific basis for the gambling addiction horror stories that the anti-casino groups always trot out.

In other words, reputable, published research from someone other than anti-gambling and anti-casino organizations.

Until I see something concrete I'll put all of the anti-casino claims in the same box as the cel phone towers cause cancer stories.

3) I checked with Bosa, and there are no plans to build a casino in Lynn Valley.

Anonymous said...


It's not just the traffic on and around Highway 1, it's all through the DNV, especially on Mt. Seymour Parkway, Lynn Valley Road, Mountain Highway, often gridlock around Sutherland School, and then there's the Marine Drive corridor. It's a mess and can only be blamed on municipal densification approvals.

Anonymous said...

We can't keep building for density when the market isn't there, nor can we keep building like Surrey when we are also at the mercy of our two bridges (one substandard, with only three lanes). Mayor Walton can keep pulling his hair all he wants. It is pure foolishness building for density on the North Shore. There is enough building going on up the Sea to Sky area as it is.

Anonymous said...

If the "market isn't there", why are homes selling on the North Shore and commanding stable prices?

Anonymous said...

The condos aren't, yet they are being built like crazy. There is a shortage of suitable homes for young families who don't want to live in multi-unit buildings. They are moving off the North Shore. Also, reasonable rentals are being torn down to build market condos.

Anonymous said...

They're moving off the North Shore, not because of a shortage of single-family detached homes, but because the prices are now out of reach. Supply and demand dictate.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:42 is correct.
Strata properties are dropping in value, while single-family home prices are rising. No surprise there. I have heard so many Strata Council horror stories coming from friends, it is no wonder. And the price of a 500ft condo is absurd. People want to live in a home with a nice yard for the kids to play in, not in stairwells and hallways. There is no market for these condos, is what Sager told me, and the reason why BOSA cannot give us a timeline for all his building plans in LV. LV Mall may become a construction zone for a few long years if that is the case. And the height will rise.

Anonymous said...

The first Seylynn tower sold %70 of its units in the first sale weekend... No demand? Really?

Anonymous said...

Yes, just wait for huge condo repair assessments in
a few yrs., better to own land!

Anonymous said...

Which repair assessments are you speaking of?

Anonymous said...

Following along from the "freeze" opinion last week, strong words from retiring Editor Martin Millerchip:

Anonymous said...

It's a sad day for democracy because the Kamloops daily paper is shutting down. I wonder if they considered going 3 times a week as has been handled excellently by our North Shore News.

Local newspapers are the "pulse" of our communities. Since Martin Millerchip has retired, I question the viability of our North Shore News. 3 times a week is good. Keep it up!

John Sharpe said...

I would be interested in what others have to say about the 2014 BC Assessment received recently. It seems property values for condos has dropped dramatically from last year.

Anonymous said...

Make it a topic and see.

Barry Rueger said...

It would be interested in what others have to say about the 2014 BC Assessment received recently. It seems property values for condos has dropped dramatically from last year.

Our strata went up by a fair bit. As always, it depends on location and the local market.

John - where have condos, or any real estate in the Lower Mainland, "dropped dramatically?"

Anonymous said...

My 2-BR, 2 bath, F/p, 1000 sq. ft. condo in Lynn Valley has dropped in appraised value by $20,000. over the last 6 years.

Anonymous said...

Is that reduction in the the value of the land or the improvements?

Anonymous said...

This is really scary:

LAND: 244,000
BUILDINGS: 103,000

LAND: 266,000

Anonymous said...

Not scary at all. The trend for land in metro Vancouver is it remains relatively stable or increases in value. However, the improvements on that land depreciate in value, just like any other manufactured item. A new house or condo will be worth more once construction is complete than the same building(s) 15 years down the road. Especially if the improvement isn't well maintained. What you're seeing is the depreciation of the building in which you live. You might see in increase in that value if you were to make improvements to it, such as update the bathroom and kitchen. But to see that assessment increase, you'd need to report it and subsequently see your property taxes increase. Ultimately, assessed value and the price you'd realize if you sold aren't likely to be the same.

Anonymous said...

There is a lovely balance on this blog. Those that don't seem to really understand what is going on around them and those that do.

A comprehensive graph of the assessed values of all regions of BC was published last week in the Province. The average assessed value of all properties (including detached, attached and multifamily reeidences) in both North and West Vancouver decreased this year. Simple as that.

North Shore residences tend to command a higher price than comparable residences in other areas of the Lower Mainland as the Shore is viewed as a desirable premium area in which to live. Simple as that.

Real estate prices are self-regulating. The more desirable the area and the fewer homes available on the market the highter the price and variables to the contrary the lower the price. Simple as that.

A cautionary comment. Your taxes can still increase even if your assessment decreased. Your council will soon decide this year's "mill rate". That is the number by which your assessed value will be multiplied resulting in your property taxes owing. So if council increases the mill rate sufficiently your lower assessment will not prevent a tax increase.

Finally, there are numerous other charges all rolled in with your property tax invoice - examples: school and transit taxes. Last year these increased hugely. So even if you had no property tax increase at all the overall invoice may have increased considerably compared to the prior year due to regional and provincial charges.

John Sharpe said...

Well Barry, I suppose "dramatic" is a matter of perspective, but $56,000 seems a pretty dramatic drop to me in my case.