Mark Sager given mandate to gather public planning views

Last fall, Canada Safeway and Bosa Development sent North Vancouver District some preliminary applications for a newly imagined Lynn Valley Mall area. Their plans called for high-rise towers that got the ‘thumbs-up’ from some residents, but also resulted in an immediate outcry from many people who were concerned about traffic, densification and a change in neighbourhood character. 

There was enough concern, in fact, that North Vancouver District Council voted to re-engage the public in a discussion about redevelopment options for the Lynn Valley town centre area.

Now we’ve learned that Mark Sager, founding partner of Sager LLP and former mayor of West Vancouver, has been given the mandate to be the sounding board for the residents of Lynn Valley. He’ll gather feedback, engage in conversations, listen to questions and concerns, and help Bosa come up with a new proposal that is in line with what the neighbourhood wants while being economically feasible for the developer.

“I am really, really honoured to be given this opportunity,” he said over a coffee in Delany’s. “Bosa is one of the most respected builders in Western Canada. They’ve said to me ‘Go out, and then tell us what’s the right thing to do here.'”

Nat Bosa, he says, lives on the North Shore. While leasing the old Zellers space to Target might be an easy economic answer, Mark says that Nat wants to build something with more neighbourhood appeal.

Mark and a team of students are inviting local residents to visit them in the mall, where they will be setting up a storefront where the pet store used to be (across from CIBC). From Saturday, May 4 to 25, hours will be Monday to Wednesday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursday and Friday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday 1 p.m. to  4 p.m.


You’ll also find them at Lynn Valley Day on Saturday, May 25, and Mark is also hoping to snag some tickets for the virtually sold-out May 24 Gala Dinner.”At the end of the day, we have to do something that makes economic sense,” says Mark. “But Nat is completely open to hearing a range of ideas.”

Mark has introduced himself to the neighbourhood via this letter that was mailed out to 7,000 Lynn Valley homes this week. If you’re not able to pop into the mall, he invites you to email your comments to him at mark[at] (We’ll also be sure to post any of his team’s feedback forms or community information here on LynnValleyLife, so keep an eye on our Front Porch blog’s Town Planning section.)

Mark says that since his letter hit the streets, the response has been fantastic. “I’ve had many very thoughtful emails in just the first two days,” he said.

While Mark doesn’t want to give his own opinion regarding the best direction for Lynn Valley’s future development – he’s keeping an open mind as well – he does say that many residents seem to want more of a ‘village centre’ feel than a ‘town centre’ feel, one in keeping with our mountainside location. He’s very familiar with our community, he says, having lots of friends here and a penchant for our YYoga studio, and he knows it’s a place where a great many people choose to raise their families.

Mark himself was born and raised above the family shop in Dundarave, where he says his father planted flowers down the middle of the street. “I grew up always being aware of the things that make a community,” he says. He enjoys the challenge of consensus-building, loves listening, and has a reputation as someone who is patient and thoughtful – all qualities that stood him in good stead when he was the West Van mayor, and will no doubt play a major role in his new post as Lynn Valley town planning confidante!


What does future hold for the Black Bear Pub?

Ever since the Lynn Valley town planning process first got under way, queries and rumours have been floating around regarding the neighbourhood’s favourite ‘local.’

What, people wonder anxiously, will become of the Black Bear Neighbourhood Pub if redevelopment proposals for Lynn Valley mall and its parking lot are eventually approved?  It isn’t an idle question – the establishment commands a fiercely loyal following, and has been voted the North Shore’s favourite pub in the North Shore News Readers’ Choice Awards ever year since the watering hole opened its doors.

People are climbing the walls wanting to know what will happen to the Black Bear Neighbourhood Pub if town centre redevelopment proposals go ahead.

Today we received another email asking us if it’s true that the Black Bear will be shutting down once its lease with Lynn Valley Centre (owned and operated by Bosa Developments*) is up. We thought we’d get the low-down straight from the horse’s mouth.

“I am often asked by people if the Bear will be closing when/if redevelopment of the centre goes through,” said pub comptroller Sue McMordie.  “The Bear is not going to close, and is firmly in support of these applications. If and when the redevelopment is for the land that the Bear is on, we have a relocation clause in our long-term lease that will move us to a new and just as good or better location within the new development.”

So there you have it! Rest easy, your place at the bar will be kept warm, and Monday Trivia Nights will continue unabated (psst! The answer is ‘Istanbul.’)


 * In the original edition of this story, we incorrectly stated the owner of the land was Safeway Canada. The Black Bear management corrected us and stated “We are tenants of Lynn Valley Centre, which is owned and operated by Bosa Development. We have no connection at all with the Safeway, their land or their development. Bosa has a proven track record of excellent community developments and we look forward to the plans for the future.”

Public hearing held for 27th and Mountain Hwy

Polygon, the developer behind The Branches residence across from Safeway on 27th Street, has proposed another multi-family complex on the corner of Mountain Highway and 27th Street.

An open house to discuss the four and five-storey buildings was held on June 21, 2012, at Kiwanis Lynn Manor. The next step is a public hearing on Tuesday, Jan. 22, at which residents can address Council regarding the proposal.

Information and reports about the proposed 108-unit development can be found here. Council will decide whether or not to reject the application at a later date.

North Vancouver District Hall is located at 355 W. Queens Rd.; the meeting will begin at 7 p.m.





Your views: citizens weigh in on town planning

We recently reported on North Vancouver District Council’s January 7 vote to extend the community consultation period regarding Lynn Valley town planning proposals. LynnValleyLife invited readers to familiarize themselves with the relevant issues and background information and then to fill out a feedback questionnaire for possible publication. We appreciate the responses we’ve received, and welcome them on an ongoing basis. 

The letters below may have been edited for clarity, grammar, length, and suitableness. We have made it clear that we wish to provide a forum for discussion that is both passionate and productive; inflammatory accusations may fulfil the first of those requirements, but rarely the latter. 


Town centre proposals will make for a vibrant community

From Darlene Clarke

1. What is your personal history here in Lynn Valley? I have lived in Lynn Valley for 14 years. I am married with two teenagers. We live close to Westover School (one of the reasons that we chose the house that we did). When my children were in their primary school years, Westover was closed due to declining enrolment. We love the Lynn Valley community and especially love living close to Lynn Canyon for hiking and walking.

2. How familiar are you with the town planning process? Did you get involved in any workshops or open houses, etc? Somewhat familiar. I have attended all the workshops and open houses that I was aware of and available to attend. Unfortunately, I did not hear about all of them so missed some that I would have liked to attend.

3. What are some of your greatest hopes or specific wishes for the Lynn Valley of the future? A vibrant, multigenerational and multicultural community with its roots in and support for the environmental amenities on the North Shore. A community that thinks like a Village within the larger North Vancouver and North Shore.

4. How well do you think the currently proposed town centre plan would fulfill those hopes? From what I know I think the impact of the proposed town centre plan would be positive. I would like my children to be able to find a home that they could afford within the community. When I am older and have to move from our single family home, I would like to have a choice to be able to stay in Lynn Valley.

The densification that the town centre would provide should give our community the economies of scale to be able to receive much more effective transit.

I think the Lynn Valley Centre/Village is the heart of our community. Currently Lynn Valley mall is slowly decaying. Once Zellers leaves, the mall will go downhill even faster. The town centre plan would allow revitalization of this critical area of our community.

I support the proposed town centre plan.

5. What concerns might you have with the high rises, or other aspects of the town centre proposals? Conversely, what do you see as their potential benefits? Benefits are listed above. Concerns are solely with the issues related to increased transportation. Even with better transit, there will be many more cars and the need for more parking spaces. I would also want the new buildings to be built to LEED standards and include charging facilities for electric vehicles. I would like North Vancouver to take a page from the City of Vancouver’s development requirements.

7. Any other comments you’d like to share? I would like to be added to a mailing list that lets people know when meetings/events are being held regarding Lynn Valley development. Does such a thing exist? [Editor’s note: Yes, such a thing exists! Send a note to [email protected] and ask to be put on the email distribution list for Lynn Valley town planning.]

A friend of mine is planning to move into a condo from a single-family dwelling and would like to stay on the North Shore. Since she is planning to purchase an electric vehicle in the near future, she requires EV charging in her condo parking area. She has not been able to find a single condo on the North Shore that has electric vehicle charging capability so she is now looking at having to more to the City of Vancouver. We can do better than this!


Future requires vision and cooperation

From Janet Dysart

1. What is your personal history here in Lynn Valley? I have lived and worked on the North Shore since 1975. My children were born North Vancouver and attended school in beautiful Lynn Valley.  As an immigrant to Canada many years before, I have found friendship here and a home from home . This is a community that flourishes and cares for its natural beauty, wildlife and mostly for its people….A place such as this is very special and we must do all we can to preserve it while allowing for some change.

2. How familiar are you with the town planning process? Did you get involved in any workshops or open houses, etc.? The OCP was a huge learning process for us all, but along the way we had some laughter and gained new ideas. It was a chance to understand local politics and policies and maybe alter some of them! I attended almost every workshop and open house, and was allowed to give my views as a community member easily and without criticism.

3. What are some of your greatest hopes or specific wishes for the Lynn Valley of the future?  Lynn Valley must adapt to the future. What we have is precious, and we can keep it and value it, but we must also provide some economic, employment and livable opportunities for our younger population to give them the chance to stay here or move here to work and play. It would also be wonderful if we enabled the generation that helped build Lynn Valley to stay here, to perhaps downsize, or to move closer to shopping, and gathering/meeting places.

4. How well do you think the currently proposed town centre plan would fulfill those hopes? If the planning is done as we all hoped there will be a chance

to live well here. Public transit, road safety, road usage, and lack of cycling lanes (in what is a cycling community) are a problem and must be addressed. Environmental issues to be considered are more pervious grounds, preservation of our famous streams and ponds and urban forests, pollution reduction and accessibility for all. Green roofs, green living walls, green areas within the town centre, trees (not just deciduous but also coniferous) and less cemented parking lots will help. We do not want to see a concrete jungle as we have now again.

5. What concerns might you have with the high rises, or other aspects of the town centre proposals? I personally believe there are too many high-rises planned as the design stands today. I do understand that we need higher density, but just how much can this community accept? There has to be a happy medium that we collectively can reach.

Too much has been incorrectly stated by those people opposing any change; those who probably did not attend any of the LV Town centre design and planning workshops; and those who think that change is simply not acceptable. The developer will not build if both sides do not compromise and come to an understanding together.

6. What do you see as potential benefits of the proposed higher density residences (high rises), or other aspects of the town centre proposals? There is a huge opportunity to have a community centre as a feature of this development, somewhere that all age groups can meet, learn, share their interests/knowledge and create a focal point for Lynn Valley residents to enjoy their community. Higher density may mean our shopping area will become more vibrant with employment opportunities for all. It desperately needs modernizing and has to appeal to young and old – right now it is “boring”. I’d like to see more walking space and fewer roads in the centre!

7. Any other comments you’d like to share? Certainly have a youth centre at Karen Magnussen Rec Centre, but a seniors centre must be an integral part of the new Town Centre for accessibility, community growth, and centralization of seniors services. They need to be able to walk to shops, coffee houses and doctors, rehab etc. Show our residents that we can have it all if we become involved, cooperate instead of oppose, and above all enjoy what we have. Resistance to densification is damaging locally as we plan collectively to move forward.

My brother lives in a European town with a town centre in which heritage buildings have been preserved, but the centre is mostly composed of wonderful walking streets with big and small stores, several offices, and restaurants with tables and colourful umbrellas outside on the plaza shared by all businesses. (Photo above)

I’d like to finish with quotes from Peter Simpson and Mayor Richard Stewart (Coquitlam) in January 12, 2013 Saturday’s Vancouver Sun:

Peter Simpson: Many thousands of people will move to Metro Vancouver over the next few years, and they will need a variety of housing options. We can’t be building moats and pulling up the drawbridges.

Mayor Stewart: Metro Vancouver is in a unique position. We can draw a hard line around development, as we have, or we can continue to allow urban sprawl. But if we don’t want urban sprawl, then our neighbourhoods will have to evolve. People must understand that planning principles involve greater densities in our futures. We must respond to housing demand, and anyone who thinks we can ignore housing demand is wrong.


High rises would destroy neighbourhood integrity

 From Terence H. Winkless

1. What is your personal history here in Lynn Valley? We moved to Lynn Valley from Fairview because we were seeking a less dense, peaceful environment, close to nature and with less traffic, smog, congestion and crime where we could raise our daughter.   We chose Lynn Valley because of the limits on building further into the mountain, which meant to us, less density and more peace.

 2. How familiar are you with the town planning process? Did you get involved in any workshops or open houses, etc?  I am not very familiar with the planning process.  I was not involved with it.  I saw no advertising for it in my local press or on the Internet, my primary news source.

 3. What are some of your greatest hopes or specific wishes for the Lynn Valley of the future?  My greatest hope is that Lynn Valley can grow without imploding.   The Branches building on 27th [across from Safeway] is an excellent example of what belongs in LV.  It is discreet and exquisite.  We’d like to see more of that on a gradual basis.  Simultaneous building of many structures is a nightmare.

4. How well do you think the currently proposed town centre plan would fulfill those hopes? It would demolish that hope.

5. What concerns might you have with the high rises, or other aspects of the town centre proposals?  The proposed town centre would destroy the integrity of the neighbourhood, leave a massive carbon footprint, and create traffic gridlock beyond repair, especially considering the project at the bottom of the hill.  It portends wrecking the entirety of North Vancouver for the inability to access it.  Clearly one hand is not talking to the other.

6. What do you see as potential benefits of the proposed higher density residences (high rises), or other aspects of the town centre?  There are no benefits to putting more people into the same amount of space as before, especially considering there will be no additional road improvements.  Mountain Highway is already chaotic and deadly.   Putting five rats in a cage designed for two results in a lot of dead rats, finger-pointing, blame being laid, and elections being lost.

7. Any other comments you’d like to share?  We moved to this suburb because we wanted a suburb.  If we wanted a dormitory, affordable by young people with minimal education and money, we would have gone to Metrotown or stayed in Fairview.  We will fight these towers with every legal means available.


Town plan would foster diversity and amenities

From Barry Rueger

1. What is your personal history here in Lynn Valley? I haven’t lived here for 22 years, didn’t buy a house here in 1987, and don’t have fond memories of what Lynn Valley may have been 30 or 40 years ago.  Instead I moved here about five years ago after living in Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa, Hamilton, and Whitesburg, Kentucky.  What this means is that I’ve seen a lot of cities; rural, urban, and suburban, and can look at Lynn Valley with fresh insight.

2. How familiar are you with the town planning process? Did you get involved in any workshops or open houses, etc? Although I haven’t been part of the workshops and information sessions, I expect that my understanding of planning processes is as good or better than most people.  I’ve been part of projects in other places that involved re-inventing or revitalizing neighbourhoods, and no matter where I lived I’ve been a keen follower of local government and planning.

 3. What are some of your greatest hopes for the Lynn Valley of the future? I look at the Lynn Valley Village that surrounds the Library, and think that this is exactly the kind of development we need.  I expect that many people groused and complained as it was developed and built, but don’t think that anyone can say it is less than a great success.

In particular I look at the crowds that visit during any event or concert, and think that this is the kind of development that builds a community.  The Village offers a really nice collection of “urban”-type businesses and services – the kind of things that you won’t see in a mall. It provides a great meeting place for community events like the farmers’ markets, pet days, and concerts; and thanks to Browns and Delany’s it especially provides a destination place for coffee or dinner.

4. How well do you think the proposed town centre plan will fulfill your hopes? I’ve actually looked over the proposals on the DNV website, and I think that the proposed developments will build on the success described above. As nice as the amenities are in The Village, they also require a population that can support the type of businesses that you find there. The residential community that would be developed would be a perfect complement to the kinds of stores and services that have appeared since the Village opened, and would encourage the development of more, similar businesses.

I’m very concerned about the future of the existing Lynn Valley Mall. The loss of Zellers as an anchor tenant will likely hurt the other stores in that end of the Mall.  These are all Mom and Pop businesses, and they rely on walk-through traffic for a fair bit of their income. Once Zellers goes, some of these stores will also be forced to close. Save-On-Foods customers alone are not enough to keep all of those businesses alive.

Once Zellers has closed there will be a two or three-block stretch of 27th with nothing but vacant buildings on the north side of the street.  That is not a good  thing.   The faster those properties are redeveloped, the better for everyone.

 5. What do you see as benefit(s) that would come with the higher density residences (high rises)? Benefits would include more people, probably younger people, and a demand for the kinds of amenities that Lynn Valley lacks.  As much as I love the butcher and the baker in the Mall, the truth is that I find myself travelling elsewhere for an awful lot of my shopping because the selection of goods and services in Lynn Valley is just too limited.  I would love to see another couple of mid- to high-end restaurants, and perhaps a bar with live music.

 6. Do you have any concerns that stem from the town centre proposals? Honestly, we have a planning process in place, and a staff at the District to oversee these things.  I’m prepared to assume that they’ve looked closely at questions like traffic, parking, transit, and such, and don’t see the point in second guessing them on those things.

 7. Any other comments you’d like to share?

Two quick things:

1) Traffic? TRAFFIC? In Lynn Valley??  In an average week I travel several times from the top of Lynn Valley Road to Grand Boulevard, and from Lonsdale and Osborne across to Mountain Highway.  A two-minute delay driving from Save-On to Sutherland Secondary is not “traffic.” Traffic is 90 minutes each way on the Don Valley Parkway in Toronto. Traffic is solid grid-lock at Georgia and Burrard.  Traffic is any major freeway in Detroit, Chicago, or Los Angeles.

2) I’m baffled by the pamphlet from the the anti-highrise folks, who on one hand want Lynn Valley to stay “family friendly,” but on the other hand complain about adding more homes because schools would be “overcrowded”.  Does this mean that they only want childless couples to move here?


Studies indicate fears are groundless

From Barbara Dodimead

1. What is your personal history here in Lynn Valley? I have been a resident of Lynn Valley since 2000.

 2. How familiar are you with the town planning process? Did you get involved in any workshops or open houses, etc? I wasn’t involved in any workshops or open houses but I was aware of the Lynn Valley Community Plan and the potential for re-development in this area.

 3. What are some of your greatest hopes for the Lynn Valley of the future? Housing which is more affordable than is currently available in Lynn Valley and housing options for residents of Lynn Valley who choose to  downsize from their larger homes.  I also want a “town centre” with lots of green space.

4.   How well do you think the proposed town centre plan will fulfill those hopes? I think this development will fulfill my hopes.

 5.    What do you see as benefit(s) that would come with the higher density residences (high rises)? More green space, housing which will be more affordable than what is currently available and more housing options for seniors. While searching for a single-level condominium for my mother three years ago in Lynn Valley the choices were very limited. There were some lovely townhouses, but as they had multiple levels this was not ideal for someone with mobility challenges.

6.   Do you have any concerns that stem from the town centre proposals? I was initially concerned because many local residents felt that this project would bring greater density,  more crime, more pollution, and more traffic. But when I did my own research, I discovered that researchers have looked at higher density and crime statistics and there is no link between higher density developments and an increase in crime.

Studies have also shown higher-density developments decrease pollution. A recent study by J.S. Miller (2011) determined that “higher density actually decreased carbon dioxide emissions by about 14% per person as compared to low land use developments.”

Furthermore, high-density developments have a greater efficiency in use of public service and infrastructure. It is a common misconception that higher density increases traffic.  In areas where a transit system is already in place, traffic actually decreases. Studies in downtown Vancouver have proven this.

7.    Any other comments you’d like to share? I am frustrated that many local residents  seem to be reacting as if this project has been thrust on us with no consultation.  Council began community-based planning in the mid-1990s, leading to the 1998 Lynn Valley Local Area Plan which brought us the Library Town Square, plus changes in the housing options in the area (eg. duplexes, triplexes and apartments).

We all need to get  involved in our community by looking at the North Vancouver District website, attending council meetings, or meeting  Mayor Walton at the local library so that we can all understand the challenges faced by our community and some of the tough decisions that need to be made rather than just being critical of change without offering any alternative solutions.

Furthermore, I  applaud the Lynn Valley Community Association (of which I am not a member) for not allowing people to attend the (formerly proposed) November 21st meeting unless they were members before November 1st.  People on these and other committees have worked countless hours to make our community better, and there has been ample opportunity for people to be involved in the process.  I personally think that many of those coming to the table at this late date will not be offering any solutions, but simply will be critical of decisions proposed by those who have taken the time to try to understand and offer solutions to some of the issues facing our community.


Council votes to extend LV town planning consultation

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!



Wanted: your thoughtful views on LV development plan

For a number of years, North Vancouver District planners worked on an Official Community Plan for the municipality, which was formally approved by council in June 2011. That OCP then became the foundation for the further planning of ‘town centre’ areas of the District, including Lynn Valley.

During both processes, the District offered a large number of workshops, open houses, surveys and other citizen engagement activities to solicit the views of as many residents as possible. However, you can’t please all the people all the time, and now that proposals for Lynn Valley’s town centre redevelopment are being announced, people have expressed their views, both positive and negative, in a variety of forums.

At the Jan. 7 NVD council meeting, staff recommended, and Council approved, a further period of public engagement before another town centre implementation plan is submitted in April. See our report of the meeting here.

Our goal at LynnValleyLife has been to communicate helpful information about the OCP implementation plans, offer explanations about re-zoning processes and the path of development applications, and ensure residents have the contact information they need to ask questions, learn more, and submit their own feedback. Those articles are being posted to the Development and Town Planning section of our Front Porch blog, so that’s a good place to start learning about some of these issues.

Now we would like to launch a forum for reasoned, thoughtful discussion about the proposed town centre development and its potential impact on the community. The quality of life in our neighbourhood is crucial to all of us, and the issues being raised are important. That said, we don’t intend to publish comments that are inflammatory or accusatory – we see no benefit to conversation that is divisive instead of productive.

We continue to support the work of the District in soliciting citizen feedback as preliminary applications and public hearings unroll over the next months, and we give a big tip of the hat to the many local residents who have given their time and attention to this process from the beginning, attending forums and submitting their views.

We welcome further feedback from citizens, and ask that they tell us their views on the proposed town centre plan by answering the questions below. Just cut-and-paste the questions into an email message or a Word document, add your responses, then send them our way at [email protected]. (Prior to possible publication, we reserve the right to edit for clarity, grammar and length.)

We look forward to hearing your thoughts, and sharing them with our readers. We’re soliciting creative ideas, a variety of viewpoints, open minds, and a collegial exchange of opinions. We know you have a lot of passion for this neighbourhood, Lynn Valleyites, so let’s see what we can do when we put our heads together!


LV Town Centre Feedback Form:

ADDRESS (will not be published):

1. What is your personal history here in Lynn Valley?

2. How familiar are you with the town planning process? Did you get involved in any workshops or open houses, etc?

3. What are some of your greatest hopes or specific wishes for the Lynn Valley of the future?

4. How well do you think the currently proposed town centre plan would fulfill those hopes?

5. What concerns might you have with the high rises, or other aspects of the town centre proposals?6. What do you see as potential benefits of the proposed higher density residences (high rises), or other aspects of the town centre proposals?

7. Any other comments you’d like to share?


Thanks very much! We’ll be interested to read your thoughts, and will put a selection of comments from a variety of residents in upcoming blog posts on LynnValleyLife.



LV town centre at the preliminary application stage

At LynnValleyLife, our goal is to bring our readers easy-to-understand, but thorough information regarding all the important developments in the implementation of the Lynn Valley Town Centre plans. Last month, we wrote this blog post that provided some context to the preliminary applications submitted to North Van District by Bosa (whose application outlined its proposal for the Zellers site), and Safeway, which submitted a proposal for the redevelopment of its own property.

Then we asked you to send us your questions, about this stage of the proceedings or the town centre plans in general. One of the first queries that came in was “What’s the next step?”

To answer that, we went to Michael Hartford, NVD development planner, and NVD policy planner Karen Rendek. In regards to Bosa and Safeway’s preliminary applications, they tell us, the “next steps” are as follows:

1. These two applications are preliminary applications – there is no rejection or approval at the conclusion of a preliminary application, and District Council does not formally consider these proposals.  The District’s review of the preliminary applications pertains to issues such as community plan compliance and infrastructure upgrades.  The District is anticipating concluding each of these preliminary application processes within the next week.

2. Having reviewed the package of information provided to them by the District, the individual applicants will make decisions as to whether to proceed with what is called a “detailed development application.”

3. In this case, based on input received from the public at the preliminary stage, the District is encouraging these applicants to consult with residents prior to finalizing the content of their detailed applications.  Plans for any developer-hosted consultation have not been finalized, and this consultation would take place outside of the District’s normal application procedures.

4. If a detailed development application is submitted on these properties, District procedures indicate the need for a Public Information Meeting, hosted by the applicant. Here’s how a Public Information Meeting is conducted:

  • This meeting is attended by District staff, and is required to be facilitated by a qualified meeting facilitator.
  • The public is invited to attend this meeting, flyers are delivered to nearby properties, a sign will be posted on the property and notices will be placed in the newspaper.
  • The local community association is also notified of this meeting.
  • Comments are invited at the public information meeting as well as after the meeting, either through a comment sheet or by email.

5. Following the public information meeting, and any design changes arising from input received at this meeting, the detailed development application would be forwarded for consideration by District Council.  At that time, Council may defeat the proposal, or may decide to forward the application to a public hearing, at which residents may share their opinions directly with Council.

6. Following the close of the public hearing, Council would consider the input received at the hearing and make a decision regarding whether to approve or deny the rezoning request to accommodate the development.

In summary, for the two preliminary applications currently concluding, there will be opportunities for public input through at least two types of meetings: the public information meeting and the public hearing.  A third type of meeting, likely in a small group format or open house format hosted by the proponents, may occur prior to the detailed development applications being submitted.

Would you like more information? Visit the District’s Identity site, here, or contact Karen Rendek at 604 990-2295; [email protected]. If you have any questions you’d like us to explore for you regarding the town centre implementation plans, please let us know at [email protected]. We look forward to bringing you a variety of viewpoints on the many aspects of the plan to be considered!



Lynn Valley property rezoning process explained

Not so long ago, LynnValleyLife told readers about a public information meeting that Polygon Properties was holding to discuss a potential redevelopment of the land at the southwest corner of Mountain Highway and 27th.

The event was held in the community room at Silver Harbour Centre, and attendees could browse displays showing the proposed townhome development, ask questions of Polygon staff and North Van District community planners, and help themselves to cold drinks and gigantic cookies.

It was just one of many steps in the road that will need to occur before this development either goes ahead or is rejected by council. Polygon is no stranger to the process – they are the developers behind the ‘Branches’ complex just further down the street – but they won’t be the only company looking for opportunities to take part in the re-creation of Lynn Valley’s town centre.

That being the case, we thought it would be helpful to sketch out the ‘A to Z’ path that must be followed when developers put forward an application that requires the rezoning of a property. As you’ll see, there are a variety of opportunities for public input, ‘tweaks’ to the proposals, and consideration by District staff and council. (A big thanks to Tamsin Guppy, NVD Community Planner, for all her help!)

1. The first step occurs when the ‘proponent’, or applicant, applies for a Preliminary Application, which is a two-month process and involves a staff review, site visit, and soliciting input from the immediate neighbours and the local community association.  The results of the review are then provided to the applicant so that they can address key issues as they work on their detailed drawings in readiness for applying for a detailed rezoning and/or development permit.

2. Next, the applicant submits a detailed rezoning application to the District.

3. The Planning Department swings into action, and coordinates a review of the application by staff and advisory bodies.

4. The Planning Department alerts Council of the applicant’s intention to hold a public information meeting in the affected neighbourhood.

5. A public information meeting is organized by the applicant and held in the neighbourhood.

6. District staff prepare a detailed report on the application, which will include a summary of feedback from the public information meeting. The report recommends that Council either reject the application, or it recommends that Council introduce a rezoning bylaw and set a public hearing date. Council may also choose to request some revisions at this point.

7. If the application is not rejected, a rezoning bylaw is introduced and a public hearing is held to allow feedback from neighbours and other affected parties.

8. Following the public hearing, the bylaw is returned to council.  Council may request some clarification on issues raised at the public hearing, reject the bylaw entirely, or proceed to give it a second and third reading.

9. In a final vote, Council either adopts the Zoning bylaw and allows the development to take place, or defeats it.  (Usually, a bylaw returns for final adoption once all the issues have been addressed and the designs are ready for the Development Permit to be issues, so normally a bylaw returns for final adoption and issuance of the Development Permit.)

For a good description of what goes on at a public hearing, and tips on how you can get your views across effectively and appropriately, check out this page on the North Van District site. While you’re there, browse around and see all the other municipal tidbits that are there for the taking… previous Council minutes and presentations (video clips, too!), parks maps, upcoming public hearing schedules, updated water restrictions, dog-related bylaws, and lots more close-to-home news.




Visions of the valley await your voices and views

There was quite a buzz around the boards set up near the Lynn Valley Mall centre court today, as district planners toured visitors around several graphic displays that gave glimpses into the future of Lynn Valley Town Centre.

Since the Official Community Plan was approved last June, planners have been hard at work developing implementation plans for different town centre sites around the district. For more information about the process, and the tools that will help you contribute your own views about the latest proposals, visit the purpose-built District website, here.

The Lynn Valley plan calls for a variety of housing, street-level storefront shopping plazas, community amenities (an arts facility of some sort is under discussion, for example), parkland features and pedestrian/cycle-friendly trail networks. It promises walkers protection from our infamous local rainfall – and even a ‘rain garden’! It’s quite a change from the current town centre layout, and gives residents plenty to ponder.

If you want to give an opinion, now’s the time – don’t leave it until the last minute. If you want to shape the future, you have to pay attention to the present! The Open House will continue at the mall tomorrow (Sunday, April 29), and in the LV Village Community Room on Tuesday afternoon (1 – 6 p.m.) and at Karen Magnussen Wednesday from 1 – 8:30 p.m.

To view the displays online, go here; to fill out a “report card” with your thoughts (which can be saved or printed), check in here.


Doctor gives Lynn Valley clean bill of health

BY ANDREA WINTERBOTTOM, Contributing Writer: A recent talk by Dr. O’Connor, Medical Health Officer for the North Shore, helped a group of Lynn Valley residents gauge the health of their neighbourhood.

The talk and slide show (depicting the transformation from Esso Station to Community Square with library, coffee shops and farmers market) centered on building communities that provide healthy choices for all. To achieve that, he said, we need trees, parks, trails, green spaces, libraries, shopping centres, recreation centres, services and jobs nearby. Diversity of housing for all stages of life is another hallmark or a healthy community.

Farmers Market, Lynn Valley

After the talk, participants walked the walk to look at their neighbourhood through a healthy lens. Everybody who joined the social planners and urban planners from the City and the District kept an eye on the key components that Dr. O’Connor had talked about.

After the walk, participants indicated their findings on a ‘rate your community’ thermometer. Categories such as well-lit pedestrian walkways, wheelchair accessible sidewalks, and covered bus stops received high scores; Lynn Valley Square as a safe meeting place for all ages received many accolades.

If you look around Lynn Valley, you will notice that it features most if not all of the components needed to make it a healthy community. Most participants indicated that Lynn Valley is a friendly, bustling community that has climbed high on the ‘rate your community thermometer’ and definitely falls into the category of being a healthy community.