Sunday, January 27, 2013

Lynn Valley as the new Metrotown?

Ideal Non-Hirise Residential Development
The anti-development voices have launched a website called  The banner headline reads:
Protect Lynn Valley
Another Metrotown?

But is Burnaby, much less the Metrotown development  a reasonable thing to compare? Let's put that to test - DNV vs Burnaby, in a development slapdown. A battle of the suburban titans!

  • DNV has a population of about 84,000.  Burnaby approaches 225,000, or about 2 1/2 times as big.
  • DNV covers 160 sq/km; Burnaby 90. About half as much space.
  • How crowded? DNV has 525 people per sq/km; Burnaby nearly five times as many at 2400.
  • DNV population grew by a paltry .3% between 2001 and 2005; Burnaby's by 4.6%. (that's 15 times as much growth!)

Some other numbers:

  • Median earnings - DNV $33,426; Burnaby $25,377
  • Family Size - DNV 3.1; Burnaby 2.9
  • Percent of population who are immigrants: DNV 31%; Burnaby 50%
At a glance I'm prepared to say that it's pointless to compare Burnaby and the District of North Vancouver.  They're entirely different, and the likelihood of DNV ever looking, feeling, or being like Burnaby approaches zero.

Oh but those towers!  Surely if we allow towers Lynn Valley will be EXACTLY like Metrotown!!

Again, let's step back and compare what's proposed:

Metrotown's Station Square development proposes five towers, as do the Safeway and Zellers proposals for Lynn Valley, but that's about where the similarity ends.

Metrotown is buildings towers ranging from 35 to 57 stories, with 1800 residential units.
The Lynn Valley proposals have asked for two 6 floor towers, one 14 floor, and two 22 floor buildings, with just over 600 units.

It's pointless to compare the two. They're simply so different that there's nothing useful to be learned from the designs. And of course, the middle of Burnaby is entirely different from Lynn Valley anyhow.

Oh! But the OCP, and City Council in the back pockets of developers!  They're all lying to us!

There's no point in debating conspiracies or hypotheticals.  I'd rather look at what's on the table and see how to make it best fit the future of this town.

Once you've thrown out the silly Metrotown comparisons, you're left with a reasonable set of questions, and probably with what District staff have been looking at.
  • What can you build to replace the empty Library building and the empty Zellers building?
  • What is going to happen to a very old, very small, and probably slated for closing or redevelopment Safeway?
(Of course, the unspoken question is what's so bad about Metrotown?  An awful lot of people like to work, shop, and live there.)

One More Note: in order to get the DNV density to match Burnaby's 2,463/ we would need another 310,000 people to move in - 3 1/2 times the current population.  And we would need to build nearly 100,000 new residential units to house them.
Pre-notification letter for the existing Safeway store
Pre-notification letter for Lynn Valley Centre

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

Monday, January 07, 2013

January 7 DNV Meeting to see discussion of Lynn Valley Centre Development

7:00 p.m.
January 7, 2013
Council Chamber, Municipal Hall,
355 West Queens Road, North Vancouver


8.3.        Community Engagement on the Lynn Valley Implementation                           

File No. 13.6480.30/002.002

THAT staff be directed to undertake an intensive and focussed community engagement initiative in early 2013 to seek further feedback to shape and refine the Lynn Valley Town Centre Implementation Plan.

Friday, January 04, 2013

Pancakes and Politics with Jim Hanson BC NDP MLA for NV-Seymour

 A lively morning of good food and community conversation.                     

Pancakes & Politics & Live Auction This Sunday, January 6, 9:30 A.M. to NOON

Special guest speaker: Spencer Herbert MLA Vancouver-West End



Tickets $25. Call to reserve your seat @ 604 880 5936. Children under 12: Free