Saturday, May 19, 2018


Written by the late Errnie Crist in 2007.

The North American City is the product of the automobile. It shaped our lives, our culture, and our economic priorities. Land was plentiful, oil cheap and Henry Ford an American hero who turned mass production of cars into a religion.

However, the imperatives for radical change are now upon us. Our reliance on the automobile to commute in the city is past.

Whether we can make the transition to a new 21st century and human environment or not will determine our survival. Global warming is not a myth, the economic cost of single vehicle transportation is not a myth, nor is the waste of land nor is the staggering cost to our health and the depletion of fossil fuel. Change is no longer an option. It is a challenge we will either meet head on or we will suffer serious consequences.

The new 21st century liveable city is designed for people not cars, stated world renowned city planner Hans Blumenfeld on his visit to Vancouver almost 30 years ago. Indeed there are no cars to speak of and to the extent that they exist, they are the exception not the rule.

Transportation in the new city is based on mass transit. It is efficient, convenient, cheap, and pollution free. It is virtually noiseless and pleasing to the eye. It is in harmony with the city’s architecture. It is part and parcel of a new human friendly environment in which people speak to each other and relax while traveling at great speed moving to their destination. It is an antidote to alienation and comprises everything from rapid trains, noiseless street cars, to buses, ferries and mini buses.

The new city has plenty of trees, parks, playing fields, indoor and outdoor recreation and cultural facilities. Most neighbourhoods are self contained for efficiency and yes, there are high-rises. Indeed, compact developments are the rule rather than the exception while total green space is enhanced and pedestrian friendly.

However, the new proposal for high-rises in Lynn Valley is not conducive to this objective. It is the exact opposite. It is outmoded and reactionary.

Far from decreasing reliance on the car it will enhance it. Far from less pollution, there will be more. Far from generating less traffic congestion, there will be more. The reason is that the most important element of enhanced liveability, as outlined in numerous vision statements by the worlds most credible town planners, will be missing, namely a transportation system which reflects this concept and must be its backbone.

If the proposal for high-rises in Lynn Valley, in the name of motherhood and apple pie, is implemented as it will unless the people stand up now and stop it, everything which is outdated now will be worse. Any and all talk to the contrary is at best wishful thinking or an out and out hoax as was the previous densification of the Lynn Valley Core sold to the people of Lynn Valley as a “Pedestrian Oriented Town Center”.


Anonymous said...

John, bring this article up to the Public Hearing on Tuesday. If you won't be speaking, you can submit an email to Mayor and Council before the Public Hearing is likely to end that night. No more comments to the Public Hearing will be allowed after that.

John Sharpe said...

Excellent idea. One way or another this should be communicated to District Council at this time.

Anonymous said...

It should be noted that no one can predict the close of this public hearing. Until such time that all with interest on the property have been heard, it shall not close.

Anonymous said...

Ernie was partly right. Privately owned vehicles will be around for centuries to come in some form. Since he wrote that article the average car in the district has gotten bigger not smaller. I was at the grocery store yesterday and the parking lot was 50% SUVs. Since he wrote that article the mode share has not shifted one bit, despite millions of additional dollars in transit, bike lanes, and walking connections.

Face it, you can't buck human nature and we are born to be social, but in a small tribe structure not a massive faceless city of towers.

The Emery Place Mosaic proposal represents an abdication of the Mountain Village concept in the town plan.

Anonymous said...

Nice bit of fiction there anon Wednesday, May 23, 2018 9:13:00 pm. Show us proof of bribery and corruption otherwise you're just tilting at windmills.

Anonymous said...

Hate to disappoint, but I'm neither of those people. It's a shame Barry's policy of no conspiracy theories without proof isn't being upheld by John. Stop blowing smoke if you aren't going to back it up. Again, tilting at windmills. Hey, John, are you allowing fiction on this blog or are you going to start moderating this nonsense? There's enough divisiveness in politics without the conspiracy theories and fantasy.

Anonymous said...

No one wrote you were either of those people.

Wait until the first all-candidates meeting (not the one at Cap U)

Nothing stops this train!

Anonymous said...

So, if you have anything at all, why are you waiting until some meeting and not going to the police with your “proof” now? Tilting at windmills.

Anonymous said...

What rubbish.
John, why are you allowing the conspiracy theorists to have a voice after Barry established policy against this crap? Either they post proof to support their accusations, or keep it to themselves.

Anonymous said...

Allegations made specifically naming an individual in this forum risk drawing the attention of court action as "defamatory."

Allegations or "rubbish/conspiracy" as one of the posters above labels them are generally protected during all candidate meetings as an occasion of qualified privilege and immune from court challenges.

Families are fighting for their futures against certain councillors. It is a war, and there are no rules in war.

L Leeman said...

Much as I respected Ernie, this article sounds to me like he was a 'true believer' in Maurice Strong's Club of Rome objectives.
Many's the Utopian socialist/communitarian dream that found itself leaning on false footings or wrecked on the rocks of human nature.

Hope you aren't enthralled with the sirens' call John.

Wendy Qureshi said...

Wrong!j Ernie was a socialist and a Marxist, and he always moved that into communication with everybody. He knocked on every door in the DNV early on to get elected.

His prophecies are bang on.

The livability in the DNV is in the toilet.

Wendy Qureshi
Running for City Council October 20th
Kimberley, BC

Anonymous said...

Wendy is correct.

Research is showing that the densification strategy of the DNV by building up rather than out is negatively correlated to good mental health.

"The latest findings from Colin Ellard, a neuroscientist and urban design consultant at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, further support a slew of previous studies that link high-rise dominated landscapes with depression, anxiety and overall sour moods."

People living in densely populated urban areas and forced to rely on overcrowded public transportation are literally taking their own lives as they become overwhelmed with anxiety, depression etc. Never before have so many people lived with so many others and experienced so much loneliness. Research also shows declining sperm counts among men living in densely populated urban areas as well as much lower reproduction rates for women in those areas compared to more comfortable surroundings.

As we know, the vast majority of people living in building units above the 5 storey level would prefer to live on the lower floors or in shorter buildings but the homes are in short supply.

Research also shows that it is universally men that plan and design residential buildings taller than 5-storeys and that many of them design towers as phallic symbols to compensate for their own - while for lack of a better word - "shortcomings" shall we say. Research also shows municipal elected officials who promote and approve these towers are also near universally men, who may well also suffer the same "shortcomings." It would be interesting to gather empirical evidence and do a regression. My hypothesis would be a positive correlation, shown by a scatter graph with a t-test well above 0.6

Anonymous said...

"As we know, the vast majority of people living in building units above the 5 storey level would prefer to live on the lower floors or in shorter buildings but the homes are in short supply."

I'll bite on that whopper. No, the upper floors consistently go for dramatically more money than the 2nd through 5th floor. People pay a significant premium for views. Also when a building is first available its the top floors that sell first even when the lower floors are in equitable supply. First floor is different as quite often they have patios, street level parking access, and additional storage.

Anonymous said...

Wow, anon Tuesday, June 12, 2018 9:30:00 am! As an architect with female colleagues who design towers, your assumptions are pretty preposterous. Please cite the sources of this research you speak of.

Zoning dictates building height. Preservation of single family home zoning over all else dictates building height in the few areas that allow anything other than single family homes. Don't want towers? Allow medium density, multi-family housing in more areas. If people would be willing to accept medium density in a larger area, we could eliminate the need for towers in the community. But every time you protest any form of development, you're choosing towers close to the town centres and transportation corridors.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:43 pm

Wrong again! During presales higher floors sell for more, that fact is true. However at resale, the premium for higher floors completely disappears. In Canada, condo purchasers consistently buy from the ground up. IF you do not know that fact, you should not be opining. It is the ill informed like you that have gotten us to the crisis we are now in by talking through your hast at Public Hearings and the like in front of municipal councils. Next time, do research and be prepared.

Anon 7:09

Industry certification data shows that there are 2,444 architects in Canada. Of that number less than 5% are are women, and I cannot source in BC albeit I would expect there are some.

It should be noted that among people who identify as being in the profession of architecture, but not necessarily architects there are about 25 in the Lower Mainland.

I note that Canadian Architect (Mar 7, 2016) congratulated Esther Majorie Hill, thought to be first Canadian woman to graduate from architecture school (University of Toronto). I am suprised it took until 2016 and perhaps this is an error in publication date.

The following source lists all the female architects in Canada to the best of my knowledge. None are in BC.

I stand corrected so please refer me to two solely residential towers above 12 storeys in the Province of BC designed by a female, for which construction is completed and for wich all residential units are occupied or delivered to their owners, just two.

Anonymous said...

Anon Tuesday, June 12, 2018 9:04:00 pm,
Why would I give you the names of people I know on this blog? Also, you said "universally" you did not specify the Province of BC. The AIBC list of architects shows at least half a dozen female architects in the members whose surnames begin with A, alone. There are several firms headed by female architects in the lower mainland. Also, architects are hired to design towers for developers so if you have a gripe with people feeling inadequate, you might take it up with the development community and not the people they hire to design their projects.

Esther Majorie Hill entered architecture school (U. of Alberta) in 1916 and graduated in 1920 after transferring to the U. of Toronto.

You can google all you like but it's a poor replacement for actual industry knowledge and experience.

Anonymous said...


As expected there are no women in BC that met my definition.

Wendy Qureshi said...

My late husband was a registered psychologist in the province of BC. He said many times that the rearing of our children is the most important thing we as a society do.

Growing up in a high-rise is not conducive to good mental health.

These kids are, very early on, led around. They do not make their own decisions, like maybe jumping into a puddle. There are no puddles to jump into. Only elevators and rules and regs to follow and constant supervision.

Anonymous said...

"Wrong again! During presales higher floors sell for more, that fact is true. However at resale, the premium for higher floors completely disappears"

Hmm Let's see if you are correct...

1550 Fern Street (The Seylynn Tower II)

4th Flr 2 bed 2 bath $790,000
10th Flr 2 Bed 2 Bath $949,000
17th Flr 2 bed 2 bath $949,000
12th Flr 2 Bed 2 Bath $989,000
24th Flr 2 Bed 2 Bath $1,189,000

Nope, you're wrong. If they face the city there is a premium, but generally, other than the first floor, the higher you go the higher the price.

Anonymous said...

Wendy, you aren't a psychologist so you are only stating your opinion. Children are raised in apartment blocks and towers the world over. Have been for decades. If these urban upbringings were so detrimental to their mental and physical well-being, you'd think there would be legislation preventing the practice.

Wendy Qureshi said...

Anon 2:41

What kind of lala land do you live in? I hope you don't have kids.

Anonymous said...

Wendy, I'm grounded in reality. Do you not know people who grew up in downtown Toronto, New York, Chicago or other dense cities with towers and large apartment complexes? I do. They're all decent, productive members of society. You're projecting your own biases and fears on something you know nothing about. And what make you more worthy of having children than I?

Monica Craver said...

I saw how kids raised in apartments in Toronto played in stair wells for fun... Not the kind of childhood I would wish for any child. Nobody needs to live that way because so many developers want to make a pretty penny over selling politicians the goods. The Atlantic wrote about how living in small condos can create greater psychological problems...which is what the bulk of what is being built, these days:

Why stifle childhood in condo boxes?

Congratulations, Wendy, on running for Council in Kimberley. I wish you the best of luck! Glad to see you on this blog again!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

John the last comment is completely offside and may constitute harassment. Please remove it.

Anonymous said...

John, are you going to let this blog spiral into the nonsense we're seeing by anon Tuesday, June 19, 2018 9:49:00 pm? Step up and start monitoring the posts here, please. Otherwise this place is no better than facebook or twitter.

L Leeman said...

Actually, 10:18, the comment is off topic. What that kind of nonsense has to do with what means a 'sustainable' Lynn Valley I'm sure I don't know.

Take your beef somewhere else 9:49. Smearing Mathew Bond is a lot different than disagreeing with him and using this venue to do the smearing is a misuse of what we have here.

Anonymous said...

The above is clearly Hazen Colbert. These are his oft repeated talking points. Poor dear thinks he's being clever and that he's relevant.
John, are you moderating this blog? Where the hell are you? Bring back Barry, at least he got rid of the BS posts that we're seeing again.

Anonymous said...

Tired of the defamation of Monica Craver, Hazen Colbert and others?

Don't like this blog?

Try our community forum where people have to identify themselves and thus there are no Mathew Bonds around throwing mud and spitting in the face of the right to self expression and equality.

Hazen Colbert said...

I do not know specifically who posted on Friday, June 22, 2018 at 6:49pm. It does not matter.

What I do know is the post came from a resident of the District of North Vancouver.

The post made clear that LBGTQ2+ people in the DNV, no matter their name(s), are not relevant in decision making by DNV Council AND/OR any other authority.

On April 9, 2018 on the invitation of the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal I placed a submission regarding discrimination by the Corporation of the District of North Vancouver.

In that submission I identified occasions of "systemic discrimination against the LBGTQ community in the DNV." No not by municipal hall or its elected officials - discrimination in the community - that means the CDNV, the Lynn Valley Lions, NSCR, LVCA, the NMSBA,, SD 44 and the list goes on, and on, and on.

The post at Friday, June 22, 2018 at 6:49pm absolutely supports my submission. As such I have copied and will submit the post to the BCHRT on Monday morning.

"Systemic" means it DOES NOT REQUIRE ME TO IDENTIFY THE POSTER, it only requires me to prove the post occurred. And I have done exactly what is required.

If the poster was an employee of the DNV or an elected official, I have a duty to inform that the post probably cost to the DNV is $$100,000 in damages. It will take me 18 months to see the matter through the system. I have the patience of Job.

Oh and if someone wants to further disparage and defame me on this blog, the meter is running. It will cost someone $10,000 per post. So in the words of my pal Harry Wayne Caseu - Keep it Coming Love.

Anonymous said...

I guess John is no longer interested in moderating this blog. Should have let Barry shut it down when he had the chance. This place is doing nothing of any benefit to discussion of current affairs on the North Shore.

Jane Doe said...

You were framed and screwed Hazen, just as I was but not so much. I have talked to John and he is happy with the way he is running this blog.

Everybody has a right to speak their mind as long as they aren't malicious.

Keep the blog going and long live freedom of speech.

Thank God Walton is not running again.

Wendy Qureshi said...

Heaven hope Mike Little isn't elected mayor.

Anonymous said...

Wendy: The 2 other choices for DNV Mayor are far worse than you ever imagined!

Anonymous said...

Mike Little's maturity and experience from his run at the Federal level in 2015 is invaluable.

He had to campaign in Burnaby, a community that did not know him among constituents with profiles he had never encountered in N Van.

Mike learned a great respect for the diversity of the region. He also learned that the marketplace does not find equilibrium absent intervention by government.

Anonymous said...

I'm thinking it's time Lisa Muri ran for Mayor even though it's a post nobody wants to run for. Walton was elected by acclamation more than once.

John Sharpe said...

To North Van Politics Bloggers,

Please keep your comments respectful and on topic.

Hazen Colbert said...

Thank you John.

I along with some others, including Monica Craver, have found ourselves targeted on this blog and others by certain people who want to attribute every negative thing written about them on every platform solely to us. Since I cannot read minds, I do not know their objective.

Certainly their approach seems to suggest that they perceive that the vast majority of the electorate in the DNV think they are doing a bang up job, a perception which is inaccurate.

In the days before the failed First Reading of the Darwin bylaw for Maplewood there were a number of flyers and social media posts, including on this blog, highly critical of a party, that someone initially attributed to me. Fifteen minutes before the council meeting, as the person was reading to conference in, they received confirmation that the actual sources of the material were multiple parties across the DNV, none of them me.

That party then decided NOT to conference in, confused as to what to do in the face of so much opposition to his position.

I ask others to respect that I post here using my name, and not to attribute anonymous posts to me.