Saturday, February 08, 2014

Lynn Valley Redevelopment Round Two. Or Three. Or....

Bosa and Chris Dikeakos Architects have applied to the District of North Vancouver with a revised development proposal for the Lynn Valley Centre site.

Given that yet another storefront has gone empty in the mall, it's probably important that this application be made a priority.

The new application fits within the guidelines established last year for the redevelopment of this property, and reflects the long term goals found in the DNV Official Community Plan.

On an aesthetic standpoint the proposal does a nice job of continuing the "Mountain Village" feel found in the Library complex, and recent developments on the opposite side of 27th Street.  It will be nice to lose the 1970's shopping mall to an updated look that fits our outdoor oriented locale.

And of course the residential buildings are capped at only twelve stories.

A Public Meeting is scheduled for Wednesday February 19th. (Meeting Notice and background)

Wednesday, February 19, 2014
7:00-9:00 pm (Presentation at 7:45 pm)

Meeting location: 1175 Lynn Valley Road, North Vancouver within the former Zellers store at the Lynn Valley Shopping Centre (Enter from exterior at west side of building)


Anonymous said...

"And of course the residential buildings are capped at only twelve stories."

Do your homework. It is capped at 8 stories in preordained areas. The maximum is 12 given a whole lot of persuasion to DNV Council on a case-by-case basis.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Anon Monday, February 10, 2014 8:58:00 am, are you 12? What is boring to you may be of interest to others. Are we to post only to satisfy your selfish interests?

Anonymous said...

It's like the BC Libs putting out a press release on Friday afternoon before a long weekend.

Par for the course.

Anonymous said...

What does that have to do with the topic?

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:46
Sure looks like an interest to others. Thanks to my "boring" comment same old B.S. Barry got a response and none of it to do with the topic.

Anonymous said...
In summary:

"The rezoning application as submitted includes 399 market residential units in six buildings with a range of heights from four to twelve storeys.

New commercial space proposed is approximately 50,000 square feet, located in a podium beneath four of the proposed buildings. This space includes a single large grocery store of approximately 3,809 m2 (41,000 sq. ft.) as well as smaller “storefront” retail tenancies. The net change in commercial space is a reduction of approximately 20,000 square feet, as the space occupied by the previous “Zellers” store (approximately 70,000 square feet) is proposed to be demolished."

NOTICE: from the rendering and the description of four residential buildings as sitting ON TOP of a "podium" of commercial space, the actual heights for the 12-storey buildings will exceed 12 storeys by at least the height of the commercial spaces beneath. Given typical ceiling heights in most major grocery stores on the North Shore, I would expect the actual height to be somehwere around 15 storey

Anonymous said...

That would just be wrong if they end up at 15 storeys in equivalent height. Looks like we'll have to go back to the District council to keep them to their word.

L Leeman said...

"if they end up at 15 storeys in equivalent height. Looks like we'll have to go back to the District council to keep them to their word."

Well of COURSE we will. The huge loophole in the 'nothing bigger than 5 stories ...except on a case by case basis as adopted by council is a slither around. So not only do they get to build higher than agreed upon, but people will have to keep protesting height and density time after time, Council (and the senior staff who are densification zealots) knew full well when that proposal adopted that people with jobs and family to raise will not have the energy for a continual repeating sustained battle.

The REAL problem is not high rises but the growth targets in the OCP that DEMAND either high rises, multifamily construction or infill (carriage housing).
This is the real issue and now that the Provincial government is backing off the transit referendum, there is an opportunity to put that OCP and its growth targets to referendum coincident with the municipal election. That's what's required.

Anonymous said...

Welcome to the blog L Leeman!

Barry Rueger said...

The word from people who actually know:

"The short answer is the highest building is 11 floors of residential over the one floor of commercial. The one floor of commercial is higher than a floor of residential but not much considering most buildings first floor is usually higher with lobbies etc. "

Anonymous said...

C'mon Mr.'bought in to the whole high rise issue Barry R.'

Who is it that "actually knows?"

Do us a favour and move away to metro Town or some where else that doesn't seem to care about its community.

Anonymous said...

The entire process is flawed in favour of the developers.

L Leeman said...

I think it is worth reading the actual wording of the 'Fleible Framework' for future redevelopment of Lynn Valley Town Centre.

It's pretty short and can be viewed on the District website at:!.pdf

It is a cleverly crafted piece of deceptive doublespeak that reads like the 'no hirise' groundswell was listened to, by setting a soothing 'predominately five stories' tone but quickly opening up the possibilities to a disturbing but still conciliatory 8 stories. No sooner was that layed out, it was 'bait and switched' to be 12 stories and.....

all within the same sentence! Bravo!! and kudos to Plannring Dept Wordsmith Level II. It doesnt take a rocket scientist to see what the objective is.

So yes. We think we stopped hirises but we didnt. We think the council is listening, but, for the most part, it isnt. It is committed to growth and densification by any means, including weasel
The proposal by Bosa may or may not be the correct answer for the mall.. but it is a very dangerous precident and first step in creating the urbanized environment in Lynn Valley that we never asked for. That's what a 'Town Centre' means in planning speak as opposed to a Village Centre. Lots more people.

So.. the battle is yet to be fought and it is now time to choose the correct battle. It isnt about high rises. It is about an official community plan that intends to urbanize the District. It is about allowing govenrnment to follow a plan, the OCP, whose key points, in particular unpopular GROWTH targets, SHOULD have gone to public referendum prior prior to its adoption.

Anonymous said...

Hear, hear L. Leeman!

Anonymous said...

But the growth target in the OCP is 1%...

At ~90,000 people in the district a 1% growth rate is 900 people per year district wide.

For Lynn Valley, an area with over 30,000 residents the growth (at 1%) would mean 300 people per year or ~6,000 people over the 20 year life of the plan.

This was discussed very publicly for two full years before the adoption of the OCP.

Anonymous said...

The public have short memories, or didn't participate in the discussion to begin with. And, typically, only start complaining once adopted.

L Leeman said...

Just to be accurate, a growth RATE of 1 percent is 6600 not 6000 people and their associated vehicles and 3000 residences. It's a lovely 300 people per year you paint, but unfortunately...I have been to Lonsdale lately. I know what I see and it aint pretty. I have seen the drawings for the 'mountain village' at Seylynn and it aint pretty. It's 'vibrant' hirise towers and traffic jar with your '300 people per year, why you'll hardly notice'.

From the OCP:
"The land use policies fOr Lynn Valley Town Centre serve to accommodate approximately 2500 new units within the timeframe of this OCP."
(OCP Page 97). And that's at least 5000 more people and their vehicles and their ... uh.. residences.

So..the growth target for LYNN VALLEY TOWN CENTRE (a designation which by OCP definition implies concentrated development and densifcation) is 2500 residential units OR MORE. And it isnt JUST the mall. It's all around the mall too.

This single proposal amounts to 499 units right of the gate. Now that's not really in line with your 300 people per year fairy tale. That's about 1000 people plus 'mixed use' business traffic and it is only the beginning. The council has to approve another 2000 residences to be 'sustainable'.
Further, the BOSA proposal leaves alone the existing parking in front of today's SAVE-ON. However, the OCP does NOT. That parking space is designated COMMERCIAL/RESIDENTIAL mixed use....JUST like this proposal by BOSA.

There may nothing really wrong with this proposal on its own, if that were the end of it, but combined with the VISION laid out in the OCP and future proposals, you can expect at least another 5000 or more people and their vehicles jammed into the area the OCP calls Lynn Valley Town Centre if the CITY of North Vancouver is any indication, you can expect it to go forward FAST rather than slowly.

Now this is a developer's wet dream. But for those of us that like our mountain village we purposely moved to, it is more of an urbanizing nightmare.

Worse, the OCP and these targets and 'Urbanization' are not something people in this valley asked for. My sense is that most people,including the new family with 2 kids next door to me, moved here to avoid urbanization. We didnt ask to become a Town Centre and to densify until Upper Lynn becomes Lower Lonsdale. We didnt ask for a small city to arise here but more importantly, neither were we asked.

Therefore, it is time, with an upcoming election, for the council to ASK and to put the OCP and its growth targets, and urbanizing concept to a PUBLIC REFERENDUM if for no other reason than to acheive democratic legitimacy. Better late than never.

ANd shame on the council and the 'Sustainability' densification planners for not doing just that a long time ago.

Anonymous said...

The City is attempting to grow at 3% per year or higher.

Despite your hyperbole, it is still a 1% growth rate over the 20 year life of the plan. The plan is now 3 years old and the council has approved what? Less than 100 units in all of Lynn Valley? If they were keeping track with the OCP they would have approved over 450 units by now.

Looks like they have some catching up to do.

Anonymous said...

The plan is based on a 2030 projection. There is no hurry.

Anonymous said...

2030 is only 16 years away. How much has density/population changed in the last 16 years?

Anonymous said...

There is a meeting at the old Zeller's site tomorrow night, February 19th at 7PM regarding the BOSA development proposal. All Lynn Valley residents who are concerned about this development proposal should be or be square.

L Leeman said...

Well then, 'despite my hyperbole' it should be an easy matter to get the thumbs up to this OCP in a referendum.
And since you figure council is already going slowly, it'll hardly be noticed if it waits until AFTER the people agree with their plans to densify. Or not.

Anonymous said...

Way to turn off a thread.

Anonymous said...

The OCP already got the thumbs up... That's why the councillors who voted for it topped the polls in Lynn Valley in the 2011 election.

The OCP would pass a referendum, keep in mind, the vast majority of the district is remaining quite low growth, it is only the Town Centres that will be densified, and many of those people stand to gain from the densification.

The problem with using a referendum is that any changes for the proposed OCP would legally only require a majority of council, but the social license would effectively require another referendum even for small changes.

Anonymous said...

Anon. 3:51

Topped the polls--only 21% voted

Not true that the remaining is low growth. There is a new development being built or in the works on almost every street in the DNV

Since developers donate to municipal campaigns, it should be up to the public to decide level of densification projected.

Anonymous said...

"There is a new development being built or in the works on almost every street in the DNV"

That is so laughable I don't know what to say. There are renos happening in lots of places, but there have only been about 10 subdivisions in the last year. There have also only been about 10 rezonings.

Every street? Wow.

The public donate to campaigns to, so maybe it should be up to the pets.

L Leeman said...

"The problem with using a referendum is that any changes for the proposed OCP would legally only require a majority of council, but the social license would effectively require another referendum even for small changes."

So I see what you're saying... much better,instead, to have BIG changes without social license.

I think you are really dragging the desperate bottom with that one sustainonymous. Ya I gave ya a name since you wont provide.

You know full well that there is a need for social license on big matters like DENSIFICATION, designation of a neighbourhood as a developable town tentre or, say, banning cars outright. As long as the further changes are not BIG changes then the one referendum should suffice. It does have to receive a YES vote however. This kind ofa thing is quite common in the USA where citizens are freququently required to vote on a variety of matters at election time. It think it's a good thing.

Anonymous said...

Yes, look what referendum voting has done to the State of California. Municipal elections are the process by which the public gets their vote. They also get to have their say during the public hearing process for any rezoning application. There is no shortage of opportunity for public input and no real need to waste tax dollars on referenda. You may be made of money, but I'm not.

Anonymous said...

It's called Direct Democracy and there are a lot of grass-roots people around the planet pushing for it.

It works very well in Switzerland.

Anonymous said...

Separating legislators from the legislation is a bad idea, California is just one example of that.

Just look at the HST referendum, ok the people hate taxes, no shock there, but now we have a situation where the legislators have a very limited mandate to adjust the taxation model in the Province. S even though they have a legal mandate, there is now a new social license criteria that did not exist in the past.

The growth rate is inline with the historical growth rate of the district, the difference is that instead of having no plan for the density the OCP focusses the density in the town centres. Same number of people, but focused in the town centre.

L Leeman said...

Back round the circle.

"the difference is that instead of having no plan for the density the OCP focusses the density in the town centres. Same number of people, but focused in the town centre."

Just like a time in Lynn Valley that I remember, I think it was the late eighties, when there was a 'plan' and it was not well known to the public . wIt as even kind of stealth, and it was to densify the bare banks of the Lynn River from the suspension bridge to the mouth of the Lynn. LOTS MORE WATERFRONT HOMES! Everyone thought Lynn Canyon was a park until that 'plan' leaked out. That was when the public learned that only a small acreage around the suspension bridge was actually a protected park. The rest was slated for single family homes ( the glass towers equivalent of the day). In its unquestioned wisdom, that was dreamt up by plannersdevelopers and approved by elected council, Twin trails down to the bridge crossing? nope. Hiking by the river? Nope. That property would be private dwellings... no trespassing.
People had to rally together and resist in order to sidetrack that nightmare too. Yet it was a plan.

So you see, it isnt that there was never or hasnt until now been a plan. Developers and planners and political types and zealots well they make plans all the time.
No, it is that there has never been and even now hasnt been a plan that the bulk of residents ASSENTED to.
And no. My vote for or against a particular councillor is not enough. Councillors that do a lot of things well can still be herded by developers and environmentalsts and sundry other influences and they sometimes are capable of making very big mistakes. For the BIG questions, I think their big plans need vetting and assent by those who will be affected. And no, 'community input' as lovely and necessary as it is, is not a substitute for community ASSENT.

The OCP and the whole 'network of centres' concept with Lynn Valley being a 'Town Centre' needs to be put to referendum before any further major projects are approved. The next municipal election is in November. Just add it to the ballot.

Anonymous said...

Referendum or not Lynn Valley has been our town centre for 100 years.

The City Hall used to be on the Lynn Valley lodge site. It was the busiest commercial area in the district until the recent rebuild of Marine Drive and Main street. There are towers already including a 17 story tower about 40% taller than what is proposed in the mall site.

Anonymous said...

Don't befuddle the angry newcomers with facts.

Barry Rueger said...

For those in a hurry, Leeman's arguments in short.

I didn't like the outcome of several years of wide public consultations and municipal elections, so I demand yet another vote on the OCP.

And if that referendum doesn't turn out the way that I want it, I'll stamp my feet and demand another one!

I'll be blunt: you fought the battle, and you lost. Move on to something productive.

Anonymous said...


Your implication here is that all citizens should give up their causes just because of a few roadblocks. This is not how democracy works. Quitting is not an option.

Anonymous said...

Nor is democracy about mob rule.

Anonymous said...

What "mob" are you referring to?

Anonymous said...

The mob who aren't getting their way and behaving like petulant children, of course.

Anonymous said...

You mean the development-driven planning people.

Anonymous said...

Uh, no. I mean the NIMBY's.

Anonymous said...

Oh, you mean the traffic congestion deniers.

Anonymous said...

12:40 pm, that made no sense.

Anonymous said...

The essential problem with the OCP (both City and District) is that they were presented to the public as a community consensus and are being treated by developers as an opening of discussions.

I attended nearly all the DNV OCP meetings and I never once heard any kind of consensus that an FSR of 3.5 would be accepted by residents anywhere in Lynn Valley but that's what District staff rammed through and Council accepted.

Mark Sager (acting for Bosa) is declaring that their proposal is a LOT less than what they could have built if building to an FSR of 3.5 - 3.5 on an area the size of the Mall could easily have gone beyond 22 stories if averaged over the whole mall.

This is why I am skeptical of FSR as a concept that the community should be asked to approve.

The Lynn Valley question is all about height - and Council made it quite clear that 12 stories would only be accepted in "exceptional circumstances".

The first proposal since then demands TWO 12 storey towers not one and they wonder why people are cynical about whether Council intends to stick to the OCP?

Anonymous said...

The Bosa proposal is for 2 over 12 storey buildings. They have just changed the definition of storeys to not include the "podium" which houses the businesses. This is unheard of. A storey is a storey.

Anonymous said...

Check again. I'm pretty sure their proposal includes the podium in their storey count for a total of 12. Not 12 plus podium.

Anonymous said...

The Bosa exceeds the 8-storey maximum height (not 12) prescribed by Council except under special consideration on a case-by-case basis.

If you count the stories on the picture at the front of this thread, you will count more than 8 storeys.

Anonymous said...

I thought council granted them 12 storeys during the last hearing.

Anonymous said...

The "special consideration on a case by case basis", specifically identified the Bosa site as being potentially allowed up to 12 storeys.

So yes, council said that it is allowed on this site.

Anonymous said...

"Under special consideration"

Anonymous said...

12 storeys from grade would be acceptable as stated in the frame work. But this Bosa proposal ends up being 14 or 15 storeys once you add the 'podium' and the slanted roofing. Unacceptable. Stick to 12 storeys from grade. Simple.

Anonymous said...

The Bosa proposal is 12 stories from grade. Their storey count includes the podium. The peaked roofs are, I think, a nice design element. More in keeping with the Mountain Village everyone keeps going on about. Nicer looking than the typical phallus with a flat roof we see built everywhere else.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:04,

You are in correct. And you couldn't have been at the Bosa meeting at the old Zellers's site. Even Mark Sager said at the meeting that the tower will exceed the 12 storey from grade limit because of the podium and roofs. I like the roof design too, all I'm suggesting is that they keep to their height promises. Check your facts,it usually helps in an argument, rather than just being a carte blanche LVCA supporter of the project which the meeting was stacked with.