Delbrook Community Association submits proposal for the Delbrook lands

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Following lengthy community consultations earlier in 2017, the Delbrook Community Association (DCA) has submitted a proposal to District of North Vancouver Council on what to do with the Delbrook lands site.

The two buildings currently on the site are now largely closed with much of the previous activity being moved to the new Delbrook Recreation Centre on Queens Road.

In an extensive and expensive community consultation process in the spring the community concluded the land should not be sold, that it should have a large component of parks in new plans, and that a portion of the property should be used for non-market housing.

District Staff are now in the process of preparing a report that is planned to go o Council this autumn. The DCA has submitted its proposal to Mayor and Council and to staff to inform this planing process.  DCA president Rene Gourley in his letter to Cuncil said,

It is our hope that this submission will help inform the development of the staff report to Council anticipated for the autumn as well as the thinking of Council itself.

The DCA believes this proposal is consistent with the principles, goals and policies of the OCP in terms of sensitively providing diverse housing and providing parks and open spaces for use by all segments of the population. It also is in keeping with the findings of the Districts extensive community consultation on use of the Delbrook Lands.

The Delbrook Community Association looks forward to participating in these discussions on this important project for our community.

The DCA proposal calls for the south parking lot area to be used for ground oriented housing with the sale of the properties restricted to first responders working in the District. Appreciation of the value of the units would be limited to ensure when sold the units would continue to be affordable by first responders.

The DCA’s full proposal is shown below.

Submission to Mayor and Council

District of North Vancouver

Regarding Future Development of the Delbrook Lands Site

June 2017

The District of North Vancouver is in the process of determining the future use of the Delbrook Lands. We believe the future use of this property offers the potential for both the long-term use of the community and the immediate needs of the community for both family based, ground oriented housing offering homes to people offering important services in our community.

The District undertook an extensive community consultation on this property involving both local residents and residents of the broader District. We anticipate any forthcoming bylaw proposals pertaining to these lands will reflect the principles articulated by the community.

Specifically,

none of the land is to be sold

  1. most of the land is to be retained as green space
  2. limited non-market housing is to be provided at no cost to the District

The January 17 Staff Report to Council on the results of the Public Consultation Process identified the following:

the south parking lot is dedicated to housing

  • the balance of the lands being reserved for parks and green space.

The Delbrook Community Association welcomes the long sought park / green space for the community along with limited non market housing as an appropriate blueprint for any proposed re-zoning bylaws.

 Delbrook Community Association Proposal for

Non-Market Housing on Delbrook Public Assembly Lands

 In this context, the DCA favours a non-market housing model which would not only provide perpetually affordable housing at no cost to the District and preserve the District’s propriety of the land, but would also enhance public safety.  Effectively, we support a restricted sale and restricted price model as per the Whistler Housing Authority.

In its simplest terms, our proposal includes the following:

the DNV would provide leased land at a minimal cost on which two and three bedroom ground oriented townhouses would be constructed; ground level housing is in extreme demand for families and helps create community among neighbours

  1. Units would be constructed in what is ow the south parking lot of the property.   We envision a small number of low rise units built along Queens. Units would be attractive to families and would be offered for sale only to District firefighters as well as paramedics, nurses and police officers who work in the City or District of North Vancouver.
  2. Such purchasers would also be
    1. Canadian citizens or permanent residents
    2. could not own another home
    3. and would work for a minimum of 20 hours per week in the District or City.

In the event of a natural or man-made catastrophe, first responders would already be in our community thereby addressing some of the concerns recently expressed by the public and by some members of Council.  In addition:

Through purchasers’ mortgages, the capital cost of construction could be quickly recovered.

  • A covenant requiring the owner to sell his/her home to another similarly “qualified” person within 6 months of leaving employment in North Vancouver would also be in place.

The appreciated cost of these units would be determined not by the free market, but by the Core Canadian Consumer Price Index. The price of such non-market homes would always be in reach of middle income earners while simultaneously providing the owner with the opportunity to build some equity.  Furthermore, the District could, if necessary, re-purpose the land in the future by purchasing units as they came available for sale.

Finally, the DCA affirms that the proposed use of the Delbrook Lands in general, outlined above, is consistent with the principles, goals and policies of the OCP in terms of sensitively providing diverse housing and providing parks and open spaces for use by all segments of the population.

Details of the manner in which the Municipality of Whistler operates its restricted sale and restricted price program is available at www. Whistler Housing Authority .ca.

 The Delbrook Community Association thanks you for your consideration of this non market housing proposal.  We are confident this proposal meets and in fact, exceeds the expectations of those who participated in the intensive consultation process.  Ground level, non market housing with the DNV retaining ownership and with families and inhabitants so essential to our well being is a win-win for all residents.  We welcome the opportunity to discuss any questions you may have and offer our support as the DNV plans the future of the publicly held Delbrook Lands.

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Community Association calls for more broadly based review of District of North Vancouver OCP

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The District of North Vancouver is in the process of reviewing its Official Community Plan. In the following letter to Council, the Delbrook Community Association calls for a more broadly based community consultation on this important issue.



Mayor Richard Walton and Council

355 W Queens Rd,

 

Dear Mayor and Council

I am writing on behalf of the Delbrook Community Association to offer our input on the review of the Official Community Plan that is currently taking place.

We encourage the District as part of the review to include the following:

  1. A formal community satisfaction survey to be conducted by a reputable polling firm. This survey would specifically focus on elements of the OCP to determine levels of community satisfaction with its implementation. The results of such a survey would help guide the District in OCP implementation in coming years.
  2. The distribution of a mailed card to all DNV residents inviting them to participate in a separate online survey. This would provide a valuable addition of information to the formal poll.
  3. The development of measurable goals to help us set benchmarks for further reviews in the future.
  4. Ensuring that the review of the OCP is broadly representative of the whole community and not largely focused on new Town Centres

We recognize the cost involved in such an exercise but believe it would be well worth it. While the District has not conducted a Community Satisfaction Survey in recent years it is a common practice in other local governments. To name a few, such surveys have been conducted in the Cowichan Valley, Maple Ridge, Oak Bay, Coquitlam, West Vancouver and Elkford. They are also common in municipalities in other provinces.

Such an exercise would be in keeping with the commitment to public involvement shown by the District in the discussion of future use of the Delbrook lands While the Delbrook lands are important, surely our OCP is equally important.

Thank you for this opportunity to present our views.

Yours Sincerely,

Rene Gourley, Chair

Delbrook Community Association

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District one of Metro Vancouver’s priciest communities – and getting more pricey

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The Van City Credit Union has published a report this month that looks at affordability and changes in affordability for housing in Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley and southern Vancouver Island.

They find that while nowhere is cheap, the District of North Vancouver is expensive and getting more so.

The report can be found here:

https://www.vancity.com/SharedContent/documents/News/Vancity-Report-Housing-affordability-in-BCs-hottest-markets.pdf

Among their highlights Van City found “the overall affordability of residential properties sold in the city of Vancouver worsened 2.9% in the 12 months ended February 28, 2017, but other municipalities saw more dramatic declines: affordability dropped 38% in North Vancouver (district), 31% in Delta; 29% in Langley (township) and 23% in Maple Ridge.”

“The widespread decrease in affordability came despite a cooling of sales in the Metro Vancouver market in the latter half of 2016 following the introduction of a 15-per-cent property transfer tax on foreign nationals’ purchases of residential real estate within Metro Vancouver.”

The two most affordable communities found were Chilliwack and Sooke.

The search for affordable homes is pushing people into the Fraser Valley. the report found “Delta and Langley (township), for example, saw median sale prices increase 32% and 30%, respectively, similar to the 30% increase  that detached homes in Vancouver saw.”

The report found the DNV was the fourth least affordable community for detached homes, apartments and attached homes.

The report looked at foreign ownership as a potential cause of high prices but did not examine issues of domestic property speculation.

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Hey Delbrook zone 2 – reasons not to take away your green waste (or your garbage)

People in Zone one of the DNV have had their new garbage and green waste carts for a while now. This of us in zone two get them this week. And we will soon be the recipients of the little green tags telling us why they are not taking away our garbage or green waste.

The following pic is from a bag or green waste I ran into in zone one today.

green waste