Tag 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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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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Preliminary report on Delbrook Lands calls for 5 floor complex – first floor services with 80-88 apartments above

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District of North Vancouver Staff comes back to Council Monday night (July 24) with a preliminary proposal for up to 88 units of housing in a five-storey complex on the Queens Road side of the Delbrook lands.

In a meeting on Friday, DCA executive members were informed that it was anticipated that there would be 45,000 square feet of rentable space available for the 80-88 units of apartments. This would come to an average of between 510 and 555 square feet per unit. However, staff said decisions had not been made on how many of the units would be larger two to four bedroom units for families. This would decrease the size of the remaining units. Council will make the decision on the mix of housing to be delivered on the site for low and moderate income people and for people with other needs.

The preliminary report anticipates a five-floor complex co-locating child care, adult day care and respite care on the main floor with four floors of non-profit housing above and parking underground.

This is the latest development in the process that led to the construction of the new Delbrook Rec. Centre replacing the former Griffin Recreation Centre complex. The process involved an unusually intense consultation that invited all residents of the District to participate. The consultation ended with a day long meeting with members of the public calling for the property to be used for parks and open space, community services and for non-market housing if it could be done without expense to the District.

In January Council directed staff to “begin discussions with non-profit housing providers and non-profit community service providers to explore options for the site and to develop a concept plan, cost estimates, and a funding strategy.”

The report says “The co-location of the two projects on the south parking lot allows the other tenants (Capilano Community Services and Little Rascals Child Care) on the Delbrook Lands to remain in place to the end of their leases.

The report says that local and District-wide residents are continuing to be engaged and will have further opportunity to comment on the proposed non-market housing and community service project through the OCP amendment and rezoning process. However, the DCA and Delbrook residents were not contacted for input into this preliminary report.

So far, the only involvement from the Delbrook Community Association has been creating and delivering an unsolicited proposal to Council in June which is not mentioned in this report. The DCA proposal had recommended using the land to provide non-profit housing for first responders (fire, ambulance and police) who work in and serve the District. The DCA proposal can be found here: https://delbrookca.wordpress.com/2017/06/21/delbrook-community-association-submits-proposal-for-the-delbrook-lands/

Staff say they will engage with the community association and the wider public on the preferred concept for the site, and will present this information to Council in 2018, including cost estimates and a funding strategy. Work on the site is expected to commence no later than 2019.

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Delbrook Community Association submits proposal for the Delbrook lands

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Following lengthy community consultations earlier in 2017, the Delbrook Community Association (DCA) has submitted a proposal to District of North Vancouver Council on what to do with the Delbrook lands site.

The two buildings currently on the site are now largely closed with much of the previous activity being moved to the new Delbrook Recreation Centre on Queens Road.

In an extensive and expensive community consultation process in the spring the community concluded the land should not be sold, that it should have a large component of parks in new plans, and that a portion of the property should be used for non-market housing.

District Staff are now in the process of preparing a report that is planned to go o Council this autumn. The DCA has submitted its proposal to Mayor and Council and to staff to inform this planing process.  DCA president Rene Gourley in his letter to Cuncil said,

It is our hope that this submission will help inform the development of the staff report to Council anticipated for the autumn as well as the thinking of Council itself.

The DCA believes this proposal is consistent with the principles, goals and policies of the OCP in terms of sensitively providing diverse housing and providing parks and open spaces for use by all segments of the population. It also is in keeping with the findings of the Districts extensive community consultation on use of the Delbrook Lands.

The Delbrook Community Association looks forward to participating in these discussions on this important project for our community.

The DCA proposal calls for the south parking lot area to be used for ground oriented housing with the sale of the properties restricted to first responders working in the District. Appreciation of the value of the units would be limited to ensure when sold the units would continue to be affordable by first responders.

The DCA’s full proposal is shown below.

Submission to Mayor and Council

District of North Vancouver

Regarding Future Development of the Delbrook Lands Site

June 2017

The District of North Vancouver is in the process of determining the future use of the Delbrook Lands. We believe the future use of this property offers the potential for both the long-term use of the community and the immediate needs of the community for both family based, ground oriented housing offering homes to people offering important services in our community.

The District undertook an extensive community consultation on this property involving both local residents and residents of the broader District. We anticipate any forthcoming bylaw proposals pertaining to these lands will reflect the principles articulated by the community.

Specifically,

none of the land is to be sold

  1. most of the land is to be retained as green space
  2. limited non-market housing is to be provided at no cost to the District

The January 17 Staff Report to Council on the results of the Public Consultation Process identified the following:

the south parking lot is dedicated to housing

  • the balance of the lands being reserved for parks and green space.

The Delbrook Community Association welcomes the long sought park / green space for the community along with limited non market housing as an appropriate blueprint for any proposed re-zoning bylaws.

 Delbrook Community Association Proposal for

Non-Market Housing on Delbrook Public Assembly Lands

 In this context, the DCA favours a non-market housing model which would not only provide perpetually affordable housing at no cost to the District and preserve the District’s propriety of the land, but would also enhance public safety.  Effectively, we support a restricted sale and restricted price model as per the Whistler Housing Authority.

In its simplest terms, our proposal includes the following:

the DNV would provide leased land at a minimal cost on which two and three bedroom ground oriented townhouses would be constructed; ground level housing is in extreme demand for families and helps create community among neighbours

  1. Units would be constructed in what is ow the south parking lot of the property.   We envision a small number of low rise units built along Queens. Units would be attractive to families and would be offered for sale only to District firefighters as well as paramedics, nurses and police officers who work in the City or District of North Vancouver.
  2. Such purchasers would also be
    1. Canadian citizens or permanent residents
    2. could not own another home
    3. and would work for a minimum of 20 hours per week in the District or City.

In the event of a natural or man-made catastrophe, first responders would already be in our community thereby addressing some of the concerns recently expressed by the public and by some members of Council.  In addition:

Through purchasers’ mortgages, the capital cost of construction could be quickly recovered.

  • A covenant requiring the owner to sell his/her home to another similarly “qualified” person within 6 months of leaving employment in North Vancouver would also be in place.

The appreciated cost of these units would be determined not by the free market, but by the Core Canadian Consumer Price Index. The price of such non-market homes would always be in reach of middle income earners while simultaneously providing the owner with the opportunity to build some equity.  Furthermore, the District could, if necessary, re-purpose the land in the future by purchasing units as they came available for sale.

Finally, the DCA affirms that the proposed use of the Delbrook Lands in general, outlined above, is consistent with the principles, goals and policies of the OCP in terms of sensitively providing diverse housing and providing parks and open spaces for use by all segments of the population.

Details of the manner in which the Municipality of Whistler operates its restricted sale and restricted price program is available at www. Whistler Housing Authority .ca.

 The Delbrook Community Association thanks you for your consideration of this non market housing proposal.  We are confident this proposal meets and in fact, exceeds the expectations of those who participated in the intensive consultation process.  Ground level, non market housing with the DNV retaining ownership and with families and inhabitants so essential to our well being is a win-win for all residents.  We welcome the opportunity to discuss any questions you may have and offer our support as the DNV plans the future of the publicly held Delbrook Lands.

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DNV council divided on delbrook lands recommendations

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Forty Delbrook community residents turned out to a District of North Vancouver Council workshop Tuesday evening January 17th to hear Council discuss a staff report on the potential future of the Delbrook lands. The residents heard a council that is very divided about whether or not to accept the results of an expensive community consultation process.

The Delbrook lands currently house a recreation complex, a childcare centre and facilities for community serving agencies. The recreation component is planned to be moved to the new Delbrook recreation complex (formerly the Griffin Recreation Centre) due to open sometime in the next few months. It is generally agreed the Little Rascals Daycare centre will remain in place while the community agencies are planned to move to a new complex near Lions Gate Bridge.

In 2015 the District paid Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Dialogue to conduct a consultation on what Delbrook residents and residents in the broader community wanted to see happen on the Delbrook site. The consultation included on line surveys, a January 2016 “high level” discussion including mainly Delbrook residents and a June 2016 day long workshop where half the participants came from outside the Delbrook Community.

The June workshop concluded that the community wanted a park, community serving amenities for children and seniors and non-market housing on the site, providing that the non-market housing was not paid for by the District. Both the January and June consultations were firm that they did not want to see the property sold or used for market (for profit) housing.

The staff presentation to Council Tuesday night closely followed the recommendations that came from the community consultation. The presentation outlined options for a significant amount of park space, for the continued presence of the tennis courts and child care centre, for a community services facility and for 40 units of non-market housing to be located in the current area of the Queen Street parking lot.

The recommendations are far from a final plan but they received support in principal from three members of Council who spoke to the report. Jim Hanson said he felt the report reflected the will of the community, particularly with the presence of “open, public spaces.” He acknowledged there might be some cost involved but said community governing was about balancing financial and other needs. Mayor Walton said he had been pleased to see the redevelopment of the Griffin recreation complex because he felt the western part of the District which had not received the attention other parts of the District had. He said he was a great believer in parks and said the District needed to work with the community on the issue. Lisa Muri said the District had the finances available for the site, especially since previous borrowing for other projects had been paid off.

Three other councilors took a different position. Matthew Bond questioned whether 40 units of non-market housing was enough. He suggested the possibility of for profit housing being used to support the non-market housing. He asked if a 100 unit development would pay for the 40 units of non-market housing. (Note: if 40 units would be placed in a four story building, 100 units might be a ten story complex, close to one of the original ideas floated for the property of a 12 story complex.)

Robin Hicks said the District had borrowed $28 million for the replacement of the Griffin recreation complex and that if development on the Delbrook site were maximized “we would be debt free.” He said the complex would be healthier if there were an element of market housing. He suggested any park space be limited to only 25% of the Delbrook Lands.

Roger Bassam said the original decision to borrow money for the Griffin redevelopment had been based on an “equity transfer” for money from the Delbrook lands. He too asked how much for profit housing would be needed to support non-market housing. He said he had grown up in the area and never found a shortage of parks. He said the District had a surplus of tennis courts and that there were lots of for-profit child care providers in the neighbourhood. He said the area was “rich in facilities and services.”

(Note: The Discussion Guide for Delbrook lands consultations created for the DNV said, “the Delbrook neighbourhood is well served by District, Natural and Community Parkland, but lacking in Neighbourhood Park-land.”  The DNV’s Parks and Open Space Strategic Plan says the recommended minimum size for a neighbourhood park is 2 hectares or 4.9 acres. The entire Delbrook site is only 4.3 acres. One quarter of this would be a meaningless park area.)

Several members of the public were allowed to speak at the close of Council’s deliberations. The first speaker who described himself as a developer said the property was a great opportunity to provide housing.

Diana Bellhouse, a long term member of the Delbrook Community Association described her 50-year fight for parks in the community. She stressed there were no passive use parks in the community and no place for the community to gather.

Other speakers made the following points:

  • Council’s policy says that public assembly land may only be sold for the purpose of acquiring more public land.
  • In the coming years as the District become denser it will need public spaces for the people in denser housing.
  • Other developments in the District, such as the Lynn Valley Library and Parkgate were built without being tied to “equity transfer” from other property in the community.
  • What was the purpose of the long and expensive community consultation if Council intend to ignore the results?
  • Resources for children and seniors are of critical importance.
  • The number of members of the public who showed up to this meeting shows a deep commitment and attachment to the consultation process. “That’s what filled the room.”

One final comment from Lisa Muri. “If we want affordable housing we need to stop tearing down affordable housing.”

You can watch the two hour workshop at this URL: http://app.dnv.org/council/default.aspx?filename=20170117cc&type=MP4&start=0&end=6951

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January 17: DNV to hold critical discussion on the Delrook lands site.

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The consultations are over. The staff reports have been written. On Tuesday, January 17 at 5:00 pm the District of North Vancouver Council will hold a workshop to begin its plans on what it wants to do with the Delbrook lands.

We encourage Delbrook residents to come to the workshop to ensure the Council knows this piece of land is important t us.

This has been a controversial process with the District’s opening position that it might build a 12 story apartment building on the site and possibly sell 70% of the property to developers.

The Delbrook Community Association and other people in the community pushed back saying this was a once in a lifetime opportunity to make the area a community serving hub of park and services to serve what will become a denser community in the coming years. The District plans to add 10,000 housing units by 2030.

A key development was a day long consultation in June that came to the key conclusions that property not be sold, that more green space was needed and that if any non market housing was allowed it should be paid for by other levels of government.

These conclusions have been carried forward in a staff report to inform the Council workshop Tuesday. The report can be found here: http://app.dnv.org/OpenDocument/Default.aspx?docNum=3097562

workshop.JPG

One area where we still have some disagreement? The staff report calls for a “neighbourhood park” on the site. A neighbourhood park is defined as “A localized park providing limited active and passive recreational opportunities and intended to serve primarily the residents within safe walking distance (10 minutes). Could include playgrounds, sportsfields, tennis courts, trails, waterfront access, sport courts. May also contain a local watercourse, greenbelts, trails and significant natural areas.”

We believe we need a park to serve the Delbrook community which is under-served by parks, not just for those in a ten minute walking area.

This is a unique opportunity and we call on the District to involve the whole Delbrook community in planning and building a park to meet our needs and the needs of coming generations. The additional 10,000 housing units targeted by 2030 will mean a critical need for parks that is not currently met.

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Meeting cancelled – Save the new date for meeting on delbrook lands

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The December 12 District of North Vancouver Council workshop to discuss plans for what ill happen to the current site of the Delbrook Recreation Centre has been cancelled.

The tentative new date for the report back on the Delbrook Lands is January 17th at 5pm. Save the date.

In other news, at the November 29 Council workshop on a review of the Official Community Plan Mayor Walton promised community associations would be consulted. Community Associations, look for your invitations in the mail.

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