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There are lots of new developments in the past 24 hours that affect the pace of growth in the District of North Vancouver, provincial funding for affordable housing and what is going to happen to the Delbrook Lands.
Starting from the last point, at the end of last night’s Council meeting (November 21) it was announced that on December 12th Council will hold a workshop on what will happen with the lands and how it will affect the Delbrook community.
On the affordable housing issue, today the provincial government announced just where they will be funding affordable housing projects. Some people have suggested that this provincial funding could be used to develop affordable housing on the Delbrook Lands, however, none of the communities on the North Shore were chosen for any of the 2,900 housing units provided at a cost of $516 million.
In fact, Metro Vancouver with half the population of the province and with the province’s most critical housing affordability issues will get less than 45 per cent of the new units. Burnaby gets 202 units, Richmond 160, Surrey 326 and Vancouver will receive 611 units.
The province’s press release can be found here:
Last night Councilor Lisa Muri opened an important discussion at DNV Council on that rate of change faced by residents of the DNV. She presented a four-page report to Council on issues faced by the community and moved a motion calling for a “high level review” of the Official Community Plan which was passed just before the 2011 local elections.
She raised the issues of traffic, affordable housing, the loss of industrial/employment land and changes in communities and suggested that letters being received by Council were reflective of a community at odds with its local government. While not included in her motion she said that, “Council needs to understand we need to have a pause in accepting any additional applications in order to address the issue that may arise during this high level planning review exercise”
All members of Council except Roger Bassam supported the high level review. Bassam said he felt there had not been enough progress on the OCP since 2011 to justify such a review.
Despite not being included in the motion much of the debate centered on whether there should be a pause in approval of new development applications. Councilor Bond said that only 1,300 of the 3,000 new housing units anticipated in the OCP had been built. Councilor Muri responded with a list of more than 2,500 approvals Council had already agreed to which were waiting to begin.
Councilors acknowledged ongoing stress in the community from the pace of development. Councilor Hansen said the residents saw a link among issues like transportation, housing affordability and deletion of industrial/employment lands. He suggested Council needed to fix its attention on where we are now.
Other Councilors suggested the greater need was to look at long term issues. Councilor Hicks said that there was no frenzy of development and that “I think the people who are living here now have to accept the fact that were going to have a lot more people coming here, a lot more challenges of affordability.”
Mayor Walton said “I am a resident of Edgemont and have taken the brunt of traffic diversions. Edgemont is an absolute mess. It’s a construction zone. It will be finished in two years and we have to suck it up and get through it.”
Council agreed further discussions were necessary and have slated a workshop for November 29th.
The entire meeting is on line at the URL below with the discussion starting about one hour and 25 minutes into the meeting.
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