UPDATED: June 28, 2013
You’ve seen the signs around the neighbourhood, the pamphlets in your mailbox, and the emails in your inbox. As public consultation regarding the implementation plan for Lynn Valley’s town centre intensifies, a range of views are being expressed from North Vancouver District, informal citizens’ groups as well as individuals, and Mark Sager on behalf of Bosa Devlopments.
Exchanges amongst fellow citizens range from enlightening to heated. Well-presented opinions have the undecided amongst us swinging from one perspective to another and back again. Less helpful are those people who are taking up a post at the entrance to the NVD open houses and encouraging attendees to sign their anti-high rise petition even before they’ve had a chance to go inside and research the information for themselves. (This was the subject of one recent presentation to council by LV resident Dan Ellis.)
At LynnValleyLife our position in this whole process has been to encourage two things: first, that people get engaged in learning about the options and expressing their views; apathy isn’t the path to a healthy neighbourhood. Second, that people engage in debate that is constructive, not inflammatory. Anger is rarely the path to a creative solution.
To that end, we asked our readers to give us their response to the earlier implementation plans that included mixed housing, including high-rise towers, and a variety of public amenities. We published all the responses we received; they were well thought out and make for good reading.
Now that a new consultation round is under way, there are a range of individuals expressing their considered views. Two very different perspectives are expressed by longtime Lynn Valley community volunteer John Gilmour, whose recent email describes why he sees the proposals as a great chance to create a “multi-use lifestyle centre,” and by the anonymous author of this tract, which is being distributed online and around the neighbourhood and calls the proposals a form of gentrification.
The “StopHiRises” citizen activist group is decided in its views and its eagerness to get more signatories to their petition, which demands a cap of five storeys on future building in the valley. Recently, a supporter of the tower-inclusive development proposal published his views on a “Lynn Valley Revival” website of his own; it includes a page of letters from other residents supportive of building up, not out.
Fortunately, amongst the divergent voices there are some resources available that will help you make up your own mind. The North Vancouver District “Identity” website has been made easier to navigate in the past view days, and includes a “Frequently Asked Questions” document that gives an excellent background to the debate (and explains why more homes need to be built in the first place).
The Identity website has links to the display boards and models from the open houses, and to an online feedback form that is available until July 5. Under Step #4, they have also linked relevant documents, such as the aforementioned FAQ as well as the recently released Lynn Valley traffic study that will show the impact of density on traffic flow in the neighbourhood.
At time of writing, there is one more DNV open house at which to see the models in person and to ask questions of the District planning staff. We’ve been to two of the four open houses, and are pleased to see that they seem to have been well attended by a mix of people. The last one is at Argyle Secondary on Wednesday, June 12 from 6 to 9:30 p.m.