North Vancouver District Council members sat in front of a packed house at their first regular council meeting since the Christmas break.
Most people in attendance at the Jan. 7th meeting were there to demonstrate their interest in the future of Lynn Valley as envisioned in the Lynn Valley Town Centre Implementation Plan. While a number of open houses, surveys and other feedback events had been held during the plan’s development – a fact of which the audience was reminded on more than one occasion over the course of the evening – the inclusion of high-rise buildings in the planning department’s ultimate proposal was largely to account for a recent rush of activity amongst some local residents.
As expressed in letters to the North Shore News and self-published leaflets, their concerns include potential changes in traffic patterns and neighbourhood character that would accompany the high-density residences.
LynnValleyLife publisher Jim Lanctot described the tenor of the evening as being orderly and respectful. “The District council and staff were clearly willing to listen, and to go the extra mile to make sure people have the chance to express their views. At the same time, they’re being clear that town planning is a joint District-citizen responsibility. They want people to suggest realistic solutions to the issues at hand, instead of just veto-ing everything they don’t like.”
Local resident Dan Ellis is the chair of the Implementation Committee, a citizen-based body that helps engage the community and monitors the implementation of the Official Community Plan in NVD neighbourhoods. At the council meeting, his presentation spoke to the importance of citizen involvement at all stages of the planning process, and the trade-offs that must be carefully considered in decision-making.
Town planner Karen Rendek gave a brief PowerPoint history of Lynn Valley’s town centre planning to date, which included the recommendation that Council direct staff to engage in further intensive community consultation activities over the next few months, with the goal of creating a draft plan by the end of April. Council approved this recommendation. For video clips of the meeting’s highlights, or the entire recorded proceedings, click here.
LynnValleyLife encourages all local residents to think about the planning issues thoughtfully, and to learn more by reading the background material along with views from a diverse range of citizens and professionals. The Lynn Valley Community Association offers an excellent Sustainable Communities speaker series that brings in expert speakers on a range of topics, and we have a reader-friendly, encapsulated history of the town planning process on our Front Porch blog.
Once you’ve had the chance to think through some of the issues at stake, we invite you to submit your own opinions and comments to share with other LynnValleyLife readers. Please click on this post for our submission guidelines.
Stay on top of the town planning consultation process by reading our blog and Events Calendar, becoming a member of the Lynn Valley Community Association, and visiting North Van District’s Identity website regularly. Given this newly extended consultation period, there’s no excuse to stay uninvolved!