Saturday, March 04, 2017

DNV Contractors as "Good Neighbours"

One of the things that District staff have struggled with in recent years are the number of residential construction projects happening within our town.  It's one thing to plan and orchestrate a big project like Seylynn, but keeping an eye on the dozens of single family homes being built or renovated is another thing altogether.

Monday evening at 7:30 District planning staff will present a report to Council called "Single Family Home Renewal Initiatives Update," which is a good indication of the ways that the District is trying to balance the desires of builders with the needs and concerns of the people living in the surrounding neighbourhoods.  Read it here before commenting please.

The District did an on-line survey, with a special focus on Upper Capilano.  The top six themes identified by local residents were:

  • New house size and impact. This category includes concerns about height, placement, building coverage, and setbacks.
  • Loss of trees and vegetation. Comments include loss of green space, gardens, and mature plants.
  • Transportation. Examples of comments include truck traffic, parking (during construction and overall supply), road closures, and delays.
  • Garbage, debris and piles. For example, dust, materials stored on streets, debris, and garbage on or near construction sites.
  • Noise. This includes comments on hours when construction noise is permitted, and general complaints about construction-related noise.
  • Change in neighbourhood character. Comments reflected unease about changes to the look, feel, and loss of older houses. 
As far as solutions, there will be a revision of the existing Good Neighbour package for builders, but more interesting suggestions include adding a maximum principal building size to RS-1 zoning, and examining whether there is a need for a look at "impacts of basements construction including tree and vegetation loss, potential slope stability, and groundwater impacts."

I'd be happy if they could just get construction crews to listen to something other than "Classic Rock" on their DeWalt radios.


Anonymous said...

I see they snuck in a Monster Homes discussion. I have seen otherwise reasonable people get stuck in this debate and the longer you listen, the more it just sounds like envy or xenophobia.

What are they up to that they need such a large house? They must be cheating on taxes, they must be running a boarding house, they're turning North Van into (insert foreign country), its probably going to be a group home for child molesters and HIV positive drug users. As absurd as the last one sounds, it was recently sent around as a notice to neighbors of a proposed group home in Seymour.

I heard a member of the Lynn Valley Community association decry large 'monster' homes on Mountain Highway and in the same breath support same sized duplexes as a better way to do things. He wasn't opposed in any way to the massing of the building just that undesirable rich people might live there.

Stop worrying about what other people are doing.

Anonymous said...

The meeting was more or less a staff update with no firm numbers presented. It looks like they are going to take the average house size for a zone and double it to set the max for the RS1 zoning. What that means is that for Upper Cap, the average house size is about 3,500 sqft, so the Max for the RS1 zone is 7,000 sqft. I don't think it affects many properties and other limitations (setbacks, eave heights etc) still apply, so maxing out a property is hard to do.