If you find this article interesting, please use the buttons at the end of the article to share it with your neighbours on social media.
The District of North Vancouver is proceeding with plans for a five storey complex on the Delbrook lands with four storeys of apartments and respite care for seniors on the main floor. Please consider coming to the meeting. There are questions that need to be answered.
On May 30th from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at the new Delbrook Community Centre the developer, Catalyst Community Developments, will be holding an open house on the project. This is good news and overdue. The Delbrook Community Association raised a number of questions about the project with the DNV and asked for a written response. No response was provided.
The letter below was sent to the DNV and Catalyst on May 24th. The questions deal with the project itself and the impact on the community during and after construction.
Some of the key points raised in the letter are:
- Why are fewer than 30% of the apartment units proposed being provided for families? Does this meet the actual needs of the District?
- Why are they building a five storey complex when this size is out of character for the neighbourhood?
- The units are characterized as non-market rather than affordable. What’s the difference and how much will they charge?
- Will District residents get the first opportunity for the units?
- Including redevelopment of the rest of the property, how many years will the community face construction?
- There will be a lot of trucks and a lot of trades people working on the site. What are the plans for parking and for staging of the trucks? Will this be on residential streets?
- There are fewer parking units for the complex than there are apartments. Where will these people park? Residential streets near the property?
These are some of the key points in the 26 questions in the following letter.
Rendering of the project provided by Catalyst
Letter To Catalyst and the District of North Vancouver
While we recognize this is not a BC Housing project, one of the minimum requirements for BC Housing projects is “a Needs and Demand Assessment or Market Study that clearly establishes present and future needs and demand for affordable rental or ownership housing in the target community.” In a meeting between Catalyst and the Delbrook Community Association in August 2017, we were told “the project will be steered by District requirements that reflect specific needs of District residents and balances unit composition with the desired rates of affordability.” We note that in the proposed Emery Village Project, 48% of market rental units are two bedroom or larger and in the affordable housing component 60% are two bedrooms or larger.Given that fewer than 30% of the housing units in the proposed Delbrook Lands building will be suitable for families (2 or 3 bedroom), was a market study done on the needs of our community? If so, will this be made public?
Will any of the units be specifically made available for people with special needs? What provisions will be made to support these units in terms of rent support (subsidies) and services?
Originally, we understood the first floor services would also include 35 child care spaces, particularly for infants and toddlers. Is this no longer the case?
We believe a five storey building is out of character for the neighbourhood. This would be the only five storey building in the Carisbrooke, Delbrook, Norwood Queens and Upper Capilano area. Five storey buildings are even rare on Marine Drive.Does permission to build a structure of this size set a precedent for other areas in these neighboring communities and for other communities in the District?
Catalyst describes the apartments they are building as non-market, rather than using the term affordable. The District’s “Rental and Affordable Housing Strategy” calls for “the expansion of the affordable rental housing inventory through the implementation of the OCP and other relevant bylaws and policies…” Canada Mortgage and Housing says, “In Canada, housing is considered affordable if shelter costs account for less than 30 per cent of before-tax household income.”What is the difference between “non-market” and “affordable” housing?What is the proposed rental cost for each of the different configurations (studio, one, two and three bedroom)?For each of the different configurations (studio, one, two and three bedroom) how many of the units on the Delbrook Lands will meet the definition of “affordable housing”?For each of the configurations, what percentage below market will the units be? How will Catalyst ensure that this will margin below market will be maintained over the long term?
In 2016/2017, the Province announced the new Provincial Investment in Affordable Housing Program. Over the next five years, the Province is committing a total of $355 million to create upwards of 2,000 new affordable housing units under the Provincial Investment in Affordable Housing.What is the involvement of the provincial government or its agency BC Housing in this project?
Will the units in the proposed development be offered first to current District or North Shore residents?
The proposal suggests 60 parking spaces for the 80 housing units and another 8 visitor parking spaces which appears to include visitors to the respite care facility. We anticipate this will create a significant parking overflow onto neigbouring streets.What are the current assumptions being used by Catalyst with respect to parking numbers? What are these assumptions based on?Will there be a charge for parking?Is the District considering parking permits to control parking in the area?
What provisions are being made in the project for bicycle parking? Will there be a charge for this?
The child care centre currently on the Delbrook Lands has a lease until 2023. Does the District plan to continue this lease?
What will be the new zoning for the south parking lot? What will be the actual height of the building both at the front and the back? What provisions will be made to transition to the 12 m maximum in PA 1 and PA 2?
What changes are planned for transit along the Queens corridor and when?
Where can we view the plans for the park?
Who will own the Care BC facility?
Will the tennis courts remain lit after the proposed development opens?
In a meeting with the Delbrook Community Association in August 2017 we were informed that construction of the project would take 20 to 22 months. We also understand this will be followed by demolition of at least the North Building. What is the projected date for the development of the park and riparian area as this will require further excavation to demolish the parking lot? When will the park be built? Does this mean the community will see three to four years of continuous construction traffic?
Has a construction mitigation report been completed?What is the maximum number of heavy trucks you anticipate will access the site on a day including removal of debris (concrete from the current parking lot and material dug out for foundations and parking lot, cement trucks etc.?What plans have been made for staging and parking these heavy industrial trucks? Which streets are anticipated to be used for this purpose? What route will the trucks travel to get to the site? Will there be assigned parking for contractors / construction workers and if so where will it be? What are the staging plans for the cranes?Which streets are planned for use as access to the construction site?
At a maximum, how many people do you expect to be working on the site on a day?What plans have been made for where these people will park?
The South building on the site is currently being rented out for movie shoots which is already causing parking pressure in the neighbourhood. Will it continue to be used for this purpose during construction of the new facility?
A number of streets adjacent to the Delbrook site are used by significant numbers of children both to attend schools and for recreation. In addition, the area immediately north of the site is used by the Little Rascals daycare. What steps will be taken to ensure the safety of these crossings and the environment during heavy construction traffic?
Queens Road is a major traffic arterial. It is also a transit route. It is the future site of a Future Frequent Transit Network. What steps will be taken to ensure Queens Road is not disrupted by construction and to avoid lane closures and loss of parking? When will the bike lane on Queens Road be installed?
Construction on the site will be close to the riparian area of Mission Creek, a salmon bearing stream. What steps will be taken to ensure this area is protected from dust and other pollution during construction?
What safety improvements will be made to the intersections of Windsor and Stanley (site of a pedestrian-vehicle collision in 2015) and Windsor and Delbrook to mitigate construction traffic, and afterward?
Will the tennis courts remain open during construction?
What will be the construction hours?
Given the consultation was District-wide, why have notifications of the public information meeting only gone to those properties within 100 m?
Follow the Delbrook Community Association by subscribing to this page, or
Following us on Facebook at Delbrook Community Association, North Vancouver, or
Following us on Twitter @delbrookca