Category Archives: Delbrook Lands

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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Vancouver asks, should we abandon park space for housing? How about the DNV?

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For those of us who live in the District of North Vancouver, and particularly in the Delbrook area, these thoughts about Vancouver sound familiar:

Vancouver is designed to have neighbourhoods with parks, community centres and schools on large historic sites that make communities walkable and sustainable. These amenities and open green spaces will become even more critical as the city densifies over time, as they are the heart and lungs of the city.

However, rather than being protected, they are increasingly under threat of being sold or redeveloped for housing. Astonishingly, we are moving in this direction now.

Those thoughts come from a September 8th article in the Vancouver Sun by Elizabeth Murphy, a private-sector project manager and was formerly a property development officer for the City of Vancouver’s Housing and Properties Department and for B.C. Housing.

The whole article can be found here:

Opinion: Are amenity spaces destined to become housing development sites?

This question arises in the DNV where the District is committed to building housing the the former Delbrook Recreation Commission site. While housing was supported by the commuity, the idea that got the most support was park space. On the subject we have not heard a word from the District.

The article also calls for more involvement by community associations, another idea we might wan to examine.

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Is an 88 unit five story building a good fit for residents or the Delbrook Lands?

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The Globe and Mail carried an interesting article August 20th on housing density that should be of interest to the District of North Vancouver in their thinking about what to do with the Delbrook Lands.

Current plans call for one story of of services to seniors and children with up to 88 units of housing on four stories above. The average size of the units will be just above 500 feet.

The article noted that in Vancouver, apartment buildings with more than four stories made up only 16.7% of the total.

The article continued:

Andy Yan, an urban planner and director of Simon Fraser University’s City Program, said this type of density – more than, say, 40-storey towers – helps foster a good balance of scale, neighbourliness and connection.

“I think it’s the connection to the ground, and how the building is related to the streets, that really gives people a sense of place,” Mr. Yan said.

“A building is only as good as its interface to its urban context.”

The District is not talking about a 40 story building, but the proposed five story building will still be the tallest building in Norwood Queens, Delbrook, Edgemont Village and Upper Delbrook. It will also be taller that almost all the buildings on Marine Drive and with 88 units it will also be high density.

The whole article can be found here:

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/developing-densified-vancouver-into-a-designer-metropolis/article36039290/

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Delbrook project needs to consider environmental issues

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The following is a really interesting presentation on environmental issues touching on the Delbrook site from long time Delbrook resident Keegan Casidy

Keegan tried to post this as a comment on an earlier blog post, but due to the mysteries of technology, it didn’t work. Perhaps its just as well. This deserves a posting on its own.

 


Hi DCA,

I was at the council meeting yesterday evening, and I am following up to gather more insight with regards to this post’s comment that “most of the land is to be retained as green space.” In particular, what exactly will be done to protect one of the last wild stock Coho & Steelhead streams left on the North Shore, Mission Creek (aka Thain Creek)?

There was little to no mention with what was going to be done with “most” of this land, being that it is proposed to be “Green Space.”

Furthermore, I find it troubling that following a review of the preliminary report, the only mention of Mission Creek was the following:

“Environmental Impact:

Mission Creek riparian area will be protected and enhanced.”

In my volunteer works with the Federal Government’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans, the Squamish Nation, BCIT River’s Institute and other parties – It is extremely important to consider the ecological, economical, and human health values of this creek.

There is a massive opportunity to engage children and give them the opportunity to witness in their back yard one of nature’s most impressive feats, the returning spawning salmon. Something many of us probably took for granted growing up in such a beautiful area that has seen many changes over the decades.

Mission creek.jpg

The District has recognized this creek’s value on occasion, with the $1.4M removal of the culvert under Westview drive in 1999, and again most recently with the replacement of the culvert on Windsor Road.

With such significant investments in the past I would hope to see that the right steps are taken to improve what is literally one of the last pieces of “Green Space” left on this creek.

Additionally, I would like to invite you all to the website I have created to read and see the true value of Mission Creek and it’s importance to not only the Delbrook residents, but to all of the residents on the North Shore.

http://mosquitocreeknv.weebly.com/

 

Keegan Casidy

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DNV Council hears Delbrook Lands proposal and presentations

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District of North Vancouver Council has had its first discussion on what to do with the Delbrook Lands site.

On Monday, May 24, Council received a preliminary proposal from staff that would see a five floor complex, one floor of community services with 80-88 units of not-for-profit housing above on four floors.

More information on the proposal can be found at the Delbrook Community Association (DCA) blog post here: https://delbrookca.wordpress.com/2017/07/23/preliminary-report-on-delbrook-lands-calls-for-5-floor-complex-first-floor-services-with-80-88-apartments-above/

There was a consensus among DNV residents on the need for the services that would be provided on the first floor – child care, adult day care and overnight respite. There was less agreement on what to do with the residential part of the project.

Councillor Mathew Bond questioned the idea of locating the project in the south parking lot on Queens Road suggesting it would be difficult for residents to live on an arterial road. Relocating the site would push it further into the residential neighbourhood.

Councillor Roger Bassam reiterated he had always wanted a much bigger development taking up the site to permit the sale of homes to subsidize any services. This would directly contradict consultations that had called for much of the property to be used for park space.

DCA executive member Jim Gill addressed Council asking why a DCA proposal for the site to give priority to first responders who live in the District to ensure they would be here at a time of emergency had not been considered. More details on the DCA proposal can be found here: https://delbrookca.wordpress.com/2017/06/21/delbrook-community-association-submits-proposal-for-the-delbrook-lands/

DCA executive member Keith Reynolds spoke to Council saying that while the DCA had not taken a formal position on the project there were a number of questions and concerns. Two of the most important concerns were the size of the project and the lack of consultation so far. At five floors, the project will be the only five floor project in Delbrook, Norwood Queens, Carisbrooke, Edgemont Village and Upper Capilano. He suggested a project of this size in a residential neighbourhood might be contentious. The entire presentation is printed below.

Monday’s Council meeting will be rebroadcast on Saturday morning on Shaw Cable. The discussion on the project is early in the meeting. The issue will be considered further in the fall.

Presentation to District of North Vancouver Council

24 July 2017

Your Worship and Council, thank you for the opportunity to speak with you this evening about the preliminary report on the development of the Delbrook lands.

My name is Keith Reynolds and I am on the executive of the Delbrook Community Association. While we only saw this report four days ago and have not at this point taken a formal position as an executive, we do have a number of questions and concerns that we hope you will consider in your deliberations.

We also express out thanks to your staff who met with us on Friday afternoon to discuss some of these issues.

  1. The DCA submitted a proposal with ideas for the use of the property. We understand staff was not able to include this proposal in their considerations. We hope it will be considered going forward. Another member of our executive will speak to this.
  2. Catalyst and Care BC have been proposed as partners for this project. We would like to view some successful examples of projects delivered by Catalyst and think it might be useful for Council to do the same. Can we know about these examples?
  3. The proposal anticipates a broad range of tenants including those based on income and those with other needs. What will be the level of support, particularly for tenants with special needs? Will there be a full-time manager on site?
  4. What will be the composition of the tenants in the building? We understand this will be a decision of Council. This will affect the composition of the units. Delbrook is a family neighbourhood and we hope a substantial portion of the tenants will be families. The current proposal anticipates an average of just over 500 square feet per unit. Family units with three bedrooms would take up more than 1,000 square feet. A few larger units might even be required if we were to anticipate units for refugees with larger families. If we have these family units a significant number of the units will be reduced to 250 square feet or less.
  5. What will be the catchment area for tenant? Will BC housing manage the selection and if so will they draw from the entire metro area?
  6. There are currently 95 parking spaces in the entire south parking lot. Presumably, the footprint for one floor of underground parking, which we understand is the target, would be smaller. Given the services on the first floor and the possible selection of tenants, a number of these would be larger, handicapped parking spaces. Presumably, there would also be some visitor parking. The Queensbrooke Building next door has 26 parking spaces for 22 units. Clearly, available parking may not meet demand pushing residents and guests onto neighbouring streets. Will this lead to permit parking in the neighbourhood.
  7. Finally, we are concerned about the decision to recommend a five-floor building. To the best of our knowledge, this would be the only five floor building in the Delbrook, Norwood Queens, Carisbrooke, Edgemont or Upper Capilano area. They are at least rare in Lynn Valley. We are concerned this size does not fit with the neighbourhoods and question if it would be used as a precedent for other developments. Council may find this is the most contentious issue they must deal with.

Again, the DCA recognizes this is a preliminary proposal and we will have more to say in the future. But these are important issues we hope Council will consider. We also hope that the level of consultation with the community will happen in a more timely way as this process continues.

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