All posts by renegourley

I'm first and foremost a Dad to two adorable children and husband to my awesome partner. I live in North Vancouver, Canada, which is the best part of the best city in the world. I enjoy my work, managing software development. Yeah, I might be the luckiest person alive.

Annual General Meeting – DCA calls for smaller, family oriented housing project and action on park

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The Delbrook Community Association held our AGM on Thursday, September 28, as promoted through our newsletter and email list.

Tom Walker and Carol Sartor of the North Shore Safety Council lead a discussion about traffic safety.

Assisted by Suzy Lunn, community planner at the DNV, Rene Gourley lead a discussion about the proposals for the Delbrook Lands.

We made the following resolutions:

Be it resolved that the 2017 Annual General Meeting of the Delbrook Community Association endorse the following two principles:

  1. Because a five story building is out of keeping with the community, the building including both services and housing to be located in the south parking lot of the Delbrook Lands should be limited to a total of three stories.
  2. Because the Delbrook area is a family oriented community, at least 50% of housing units in the Delbrook Lands complex should be designed to be occupied by families.

Moved by Keith Reynolds, Seconded by Sharlene Hertz

 

Be it resolved that the 2017 Annual General Meeting of the Delbrook Community Association endorse the following principle:

  • Because the idea of park space on the Delbrook Lands received the most support of any ideas in community and district wide consultations, the District of North Vancouver should without delay begin a planning process for this park space that would involve consultation with the Delbrook community.

Moved by Diana Belhouse, Seconded by Keith Reynolds

 

Be it resolved that the DCA Annual General meeting request council in consultation with the DCA to organize and host in the fall 2017 public engagement opportunities for the community to be informed and to discuss and indicate their preference for the following housing models for the south parking lot of the Delbrook Lands:

  1. DCA proposal for first responded family housing based on the Whistler housing model.
  2. Catalyst proposal

Moved by Sharlene Hertz, Seconded by Jim Gill

 

That the executive of the Delbrook Community Association seek amalgamation with the Norwood Queens Community Association.

Moved by Rene Gourley, Seconded by Jackie

We also re-elected the following to the DCA executive:

  • Rene Gourley (chair)
  • Diana Belhouse (treasurer)
  • Keith Reynolds
  • Keith Colyer
  • Leslie Grundy
  • Jim Gill

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The Delbrook lands strategy laid bare

Perhaps I am a little too suspicious.  Perhaps the District is not so strategic.  Perhaps we should recognize that the District is merely playing a part in a national conversation.

But doesn’t it seem a little more than coincidental that exactly one month before the Delbrook Lands workshop, the District released a survey on affordable housing?  Could this be designed to raise the question of affordability to the top of our consciousness?

Asking if you would like to see more affordable housing in the District is akin to asking if we should keep drunk drivers off the road.  Of course we want more affordable housing!  We want places where young families can afford to raise our grandkids; we want homes so our senior friends can continue to live in our community; we don’t want to lose our neighbours to Langley just because they got a divorce.

The Delbrook Lands questionnaire is bullish on non-market housing, and I expect the facilitators will be too.

The most important factor to consider when evaluating this idea is:

Affordable non-market housing is identified as an important community need in the Official Community Plan

It would provide up to 40 units of lowrise apartments for low- to moderate-income households

The project could not happen without the District contributing land

The site is within walking distance of schools, parks, recreation facilities, and shops, and is located on a public transit corridor

The Province wants to partner with municipalities on affordable housing projects

A rezoning and Official Community Plan amendment would be needed, as the site is not zoned for residential and is not in a town centre

It could not proceed without external funding for capital and operating costs, which is not guaranteed

So there is a real danger that the workshop on Saturday is going to be designed to ride this wave of affordable housing, and the result will be a recommendation for some of the site to be set aside for this use, even though it will not solve the problem at all.

Of course, the only negative factor in the question about affordable housing lays out the next step: we can proceed with non-market housing only if we find capital and operating funds to pay for it.  So, if you want to use a portion of the site for non-market housing, then you will also sign up to develop the rest of the site for market housing.  The sale of the asset will pay the capital cost of construction, and the tax revenue will pay for the operations.

At the end of the day, if the District and developers have their way, we will get half-a-dozen non-market bachelor suites in the basement of a monstrous complex of foreign-owned empty mini-palaces.

I’m sorry, but I had really hoped for more.

Delbrook Lands: not for housing

Jackie Wong wrote in recently with a plea to support low-income housing in Delbrook, implying that we should use a portion of the Delbrook Lands for non-market housing.  While I agree that there need to be options for those who cannot afford a million dollar home in Delbrook as in the rest of North Vancouver, I don’t feel that the Delbrook Lands are the right place for them. 

The Delbrook Lands, while a large parcel of land for development, are small relative to the district as a whole.  Even if the whole area was allocated to low-income families, it would be a drop in the bucket compared to the need.  The District needs a strategy for supporting families that covers the whole District, not just 4 acres.

We already have plenty of land devoted to housing.  Indeed almost the whole district is devoted to housing.  If, as in Vancouver, we relaxed the rules for secondary suites and coach houses, we could hope to increase the density across the district. Some of these options will support families, and most of it will be appropriate for lower income families.  

When the District realizes that punctate increases in density do not result in real improvements in capacity or affordability, they will surely follow other municipalities and not only allow but encourage increased density within our existing residential fabric. Hopefully, they take a systems view to it and also improve the transportation mix to support the increasing density. 

When we have this increased density, we will have even greater needs for educational and recreational programs, green space and meeting space than we have now.  If we turn the Delbrook Lands over to housing today, we will never have space for the infrastructure to support the people who are inevitably coming to our community.  

So, while I agree that we need to support the majority of families who will never be able to buy a side-split in Delbrook, to employ the Delbrook Lands to do so would be short-sighted.  

Protect your neighbourhood and save Evergreen Park Watershed area!

A good post from Norwood Queens about more activity in Calder Forest.

norwoodqueens

Protect Evergreen Park Watershed ” group is actively working to preserve our neighbourhood – please read – it’s our shared responsibility to be aware of what’s happening in our neighbourhood and understand how we can make a difference together!  See ACTION STEPS BELOW!!

Save Braemar & Stop the Sale of Public Assembly Land

Reduce Traffic Congestion that Endangers Children

Stop Development in the Evergreen Park Watershed that can cause erosion, sinkholes, flooding and landslides.

We have extended our territory to now include the greater community of the Evergreen Park Watershed area.

We do not think it is wise to be buildling in this watershed and removing trees that can cause landslides and erosion.

Braemar School had a sink hole last year that poured mud down the hill taking out trees and running on to Everglade.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

  1. SIGN THE PETITION: http://www.change.org – District of North Vancouver  Mayor and Council  Save…

View original post 106 more words

Overhanging Trees

Keith Colyer reports that he has found the District to be remarkably responsive when he has called regarding trees that overhang the roadway. If you have noticed a problem tree overhanging the roadway or sidewalk, you might try talking to the owner. Failing that, you can call the district at 1-604-990-2311, and ask to have the tree trimmed.

Public Meeting on Capilano Water Main Project

Date: Tuesday, March 31, 2015
Registration: 5:30 – 6:00 p.m.
Meeting: 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Location: Canyon Heights Church,
4840 Capilano Road, North Vancouver

The Capilano Water Main project is going to result in a closure of upper Capilano road, and detours onto Delbrook.  At this meeting, you will:

  • Learn about the construction plan and schedule
  • Hear about how Metro Vancouver will manage traffic, including detour routes
  • Learn about property access on Capilano Road during construction
  • Have an opportunity to share your comments and questions.

Monteray School Tentatively Sold

Monteray School has been on our radar for a while. It was tentatively sold to Morningstar Developments late in 2013, and will be redeveloped as single family homes. While we missed the public meeting at Braemar on March 7, 2014, we have contacted a number of neighbours in the vicinity of the school.

Those we have contacted confirmed that they are looking forward to the redevelopment of the site as it has become run down and is used for nefarious purposes. While it surprises us that the neighbours would support the sale of public assembly land that could be made into an asset to the community, we also support their desires. So, the Delbrook Community Association will not be intervening to attempt to slow down this development, provided it is in character with the neighborhood.

If you feel otherwise, please let us know. Fire back in the comments or over email.