what do north shore community associations want? the Global Canadian asks

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The Global Canadian, the North Shore’s new newspaper, has focused its second issue of 2018 on what community associations on the North Shore are looking for in 2018. There are a lot of common issues among the City and District of North Vancouver and the District of West Vancouver.

The current issue of the Global Canadian will soon be online and you will be able to find it here:

http://www.theglobalcanadian.com/

globalCommunity associations from all three North Shore local governments shared many common issues including traffic, housing, development and the need for Councils to listen..

Housing was a major issue. Rene Gourley from the DNV’s Delbrook Community Association raised issues about a proposed housing complex on the Delbrook lands calling for an increased proportion of family oriented housing rather than studio apartments.

West Vancouver’s Western Residents Association talked about quality of life issues including affordable housing and traffic. City respondent Fred Dawkins spoke to the issue of the “massive condo building boom,” while DNV resident Corrie Kost said the residential building boom had meant much more development than was anticipated in the Official Community Plan. The City’s Grand Boulevard Ridgeway Residents Association talked about the loss of older, more affordable rental housing and the fact the City was already growing faster than anticipated in the Metro Vancouver Regional Growth Strategy. The Pemberton Heights community spoke to the issue of overwhelming densification along Marine Drive.

A number of groups linked rapid growth to the transit troubles. The Norgate Community Association raised concerns about traffic detouring through their community to avoid the gridlock on Marine Drive. The Pemberton Heights community also talked about cars racing through their neighbourhood while the City’s Grand Boulevard Ridgeway Residents Association talked about gridlock on East Keith Road and Grand Boulevard.  The DNV’s Delbrook Community Association called for a moratorium on major developments in the District to give the DNV time to look at traffic issues.

One other common issue was the need for Councils to listen more to their communities. The City’s Fred Dawkins called for greater transparency and the encouragement of public input.  The latter call was echoed by the City’s Amanda Nichol. The Delbrook Community Association asked the District to pay more attention to community associations and to answer our correspondence. The Dunderave Ratepayers Association called for public input to be encouraged and for all relevant information to be made available. The DNV’s Pemberton Heights said, “When you ask for our opinion – LISTEN!”

The Global Canadian has played a valuable role in giving space to community associations to share their views.

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DNV Council to discuss future housing mix and 20% population growth Tuesday

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The District of North Vancouver is holding a public workshop Tuesday, January 23, to look at the future of housing in the District. For anyone interested in the District’s future, this would be a good workshop to attend.

The workshop will examine a report by staff that looks forward to the year 2030 in the light of outcomes already approved by Council. Overall, Council is anticipating a 20% increase in population and a significant change in housing mix.

Some of the highlights of the report include the following:

Metro Vancouver is a growing region with one million more residents expected by 2040. From 2006 to 2016, the regional population grew by about 14% (346,850) to reach 2.463 million and the number of dwellings by about 15% (156,621).

and

The OCP (Official Community Plan) anticipates 20,000 more people in the District by 2030. In order to meet the challenge of accommodating these new District residents the District must address the existing backlog of demand for accessible, safe, and affordable housing, as well as the future demand anticipated with the new population expected by 2030.

This would be about a 25% increase in population.

The District is addressing housing diversity and attainability by increasing the share of attached (i.e. multi-family) housing in the District. The share of attached housing, such as townhouses and apartments, increased by 2% between 2011 and 2016. In 2011, approximately 31% of the housing units in the District were attached and 69% were detached single-family homes. In 2016, 33% were attached and 67% detached. The OCP aims for a more balanced and diverse population by increasing housing options to provide choices for residents of all ages, including the “missing generation”, downsizers, aging residents, young families, and households of moderate income.

and

The OCP lays out an expectation of shifting the 2011 ratio of attached (31%) to detached (69%) housing to 45% attached and 55% detached (illustrated below) by 2030.

The report to Council includes a graphic that spells out future directions in more detail:

housing mix

According to this graphic, the District anticipates condominium apartments will make up two thirds of new housing units while the number of single family home will decline.

The full report for Council can be found as part of the agenda here:

http://app.dnv.org/OpenDocument/Default.aspx?docNum=3455151

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North Van Chamber of Commerce pleads for action on traffic concerns

 

“One of the courier dispatchers for a service located in Delta called coming to North Vancouver ‘the seventh circle of hell’.”
On January 16th the North Shore Chamber of Commerce released highlights of a survey they had conducted in the business community about the impacts of traffic gridlock on the North Shore. The quote that introduces this article was one of the responses.
The survey was released at an invitation only summit  for local mayors, MLAs and MPs, which called on leaders to develop a bold, long-term vision for transportation in the region, and to include business at the table as solutions are being developed. Kevin Desmond, CEO of Translink, was also in attendance.
The results of the Chamber’s survey may be found here:
The survey found businesses on the North Shore had problems moving their products and with the fact that many of their employees commuted to the North Shore in impossible traffic. One respondent asked, “How can we ask people to work for our company when it takes them 2 hours to commute here?” Half of respondents reported that traffic issues raised problems attracting and retaining customers. Many of the businesses surveyed report they are considering moving off the North Shore.
Two other quotes reported in the survey were:
“All meetings and dealings with potential clients must be scheduled within a very narrow
4 – hour window or else nobody can get to where they need to be.”
and
“Timing is everything! Go nowhere before 9:30am and be off the road by 3:00pm
 The Chamber press release is here:

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DNV responds to Delbrook traffic concerns. Changes “considered” and dependent on “capital funding”

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The District of North Vancouver has responded to a November 15, 2017 letter from the Delbrook Comuity Association (DCA) raising concerns about traffic safety on Delbrook Avenue and adjacent streets.

The DCA letter raised five concerns touching on speeding on Delbrook, lack of signage, lack of speeding enforcement and the dangerous pedestrian crosswalk at Windsor and Delbrook. The DCA had also raised these concerns in 2016.

In its December 21, 2017 response the District’s traffic section said “the District is looking into installing speed limit signage to remind drivers of the posted speed limit.” The District is also “requesting that periodic speed enforcement on Delbrook Avenue be considered by the RCMP.”

With respect to the Windsor pedestrian crossing, The District is planning on upgrading some of the pedestrian crosswalks with Rapid Rectangular Flashing Beacons (RRFBs), subject to annual capital funding in 2018. The crosswalk at Delbrook Avenue and Windsor Road has been identified as one of the locations to be upgraded.”

While the contents of the letter are encouraging, they are still far from a solid commitment to improvements. “Looking into” things, a “request” that might be considered and changes “subject to annual capital funding”  leave a lot of wiggle room.

Delbrook residents have also been raising more traffic concerns. On November 16th, the day after the DCA letter was sent, a pedestrian was struck and seriously injured at the marked Delbrook and Evergreen crosswalk. Police report the driver said, “he did not see the pedestrian because of heavy rainfall and poor visibility.” The Evergreen crossing is a particular concern because of the number of children who use it to get to school.

Residents have also raised concerns about traffic on Windsor Road. One resident has already been struck by a car on the Road which is often used as a shortcut at speed by people avoiding Queens Road. As well, the jam of regular parking by movie shoots has made crossing Windsor at Stanley and St. James or turns at the intersection dangerous as parked cars from the movie industry using the old Delbrook Rec Centre site make seeing oncoming traffic difficult.

Have you got other concerns about traffic in the Delbrook community? Please share these concerns here or on the DCA’s Facebook or Twitter sites.

You can find the earlier DCA post on Delbrook traffic here:

https://delbrookca.wordpress.com/2017/11/24/the-delbrook-speedway-and-windsor-roads-dangerous-crosswalk/

You can find the police report on the accident on Evergreen here:

http://bc.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/ViewPage.action?siteNodeId=205&contentId=53312&languageId=1

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The living ecosystem in Delbrook creeks needs protection

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Keegan Casidy, who has written on this site before on environmental issues and our creeks today offers us a fascinating video of salmon fry in Mission (Thain Creek). Mission Creek is an important tributary to Mosquito Creek.

Keegan writes, “Did you know that Coho fry spend a year in their Creek/Stream before leaving to the Ocean?

“This extended rearing phase is often the limiting factor for the species success. In the Summer months the fry have to deal with hot temperatures and low flows, and during the Winter they rely on deep slow moving pools for refuge.

“Mosquito Creek like many urban streams have their challenges.
One of which is they generally have large storm drain networks that are fed by our roads. Mosquito has seen mass fish kill offs in the past from negligent residents. Low flows during Summer and Winter months make this a very challenging time for the life under the water.

“Also, many urban streams have lost complexity created by large fallen trees and the deeper pools that come with it. These deeper pools are few and far between. It is likely almost every fish within several hundred meters has come to seek refuge in this one pool, making it critical to the species success on this watershed. The challenge here is there is literally so few of these refuges that you can count them on 1 hand.

“Another challenge is that Mosquito Creek has a large off leash dog area and with it these refuge pools have become dog swimming pools. There are 4 areas on Mosquito that were created specifically to help the Salmon. 1) The channel south of the skateboard bowl (Griffin Channel) 2) The channel below HWY 1 which runs parallel to Fell Ave (Fell Channel) 3) The two Alcoves that hold deep still water, there’s one just south east of the trailhead coming down off Fell Ave hill (West Alcove) 4) The other just a few steps up from the closed trail sign from the access on 19th to the East trail (East Alcove). Although Fell Channel is highlighted at every entrance as a “No Dog” zone, many trail users ignore these signs. There is very little water that enters this channel regardless of the time of year, and very little summer and wintering refuge, so dog pressure is magnified.

“East Alcove has significant dog pressure, especially during Summer months when dog activity kicks up silt and sediment to suffocate the fry.”

Editors Note: One of the uses the Delbrook Community Association has suggested for the Delbrook Lands site would include environmental education on issues such as this.

An earlier post by Keegan can be found here:

https://delbrookca.wordpress.com/2017/07/26/delbrook-project-needs-to-consider-environmental-issues/

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