DNV sets library land sale record straight

Mairi Welman, communications manager with North Vancouver District, contacted LynnValleyLife with concerns regarding the circulation of an email containing false allegations of North Vancouver District wrongdoing in the sale of the former library property at 27th and Mountain Highway to the Bosa Development Corporation.

Marie emphasizes that these claims (including, we note from reading the email in question, that council “decided to give away a prime piece of real estate for free”) are “absolutely not true,” and that “all relevant policies, laws and regulations were followed.” She asks us to pass along the following information to Lynn Valley residents:

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New highway interchanges will affect Lynn Valley traffic flow

By Sue Ronson, Contributing Writer

There are big plans for the multitude of entrances and exits at the north end of the Iron Workers Memorial/Second Narrows Bridge. And let’s just say up front that it’s not going to be easy getting through all this construction, but in the end we think Lynn Valleyites will agree that it’s all been worth it.

This is a $150 million project. And it’s going to take five years. It’s also going to happen in stages:

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Lynn Valley organizations gather to swap ideas

From the desk of Peggy Trendell-Jensen, LVLife editor

It’s no accident that Lynn Valley has become one of the North Shore’s most family-friendly places to live – the fact is due in large part to the efforts of our neighbourhood groups, schools and other volunteer organizations who put community building at the top of their agenda.

So it was with great anticipation that LynnValleyLife helped convene a gathering of community representatives at a wine, cheese and visioning event that took place last Wednesday in the cosy wood-cabin lodge within the Laura Lynn townhouse development. The aim of the event’s steering committee (which also included Alecia Greenfield from St. Clement’s Anglican Church, and Shauna Grinke, Blair Odney and Sophia Ducey from Lynn Valley United) was to get in one room a cross-section of Lynn Valley people whose vocation – whether paid or voluntary – is to make this neighbourhood happier and healthier.

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Fireworks in North Vancouver: what you need to know

firework

We were all brought up on cautionary tales featuring misbehaving children who lost a finger or two while playing with illicit firecrackers. But humans remain fascinated by things that blow up, especially if accompanied by pretty lights and alarming noises. (For an interesting history of fireworks parties in Vancouver, check out this  Vancity Buzz article.)

While a typical neighbourhood fireworks party can’t match the pyrotechnics of the  international fireworks competition held in English Bay each summer, they do have the advantage of neighbourhood bonding, hot chocolate, proximity – and readily available Halloween candy, purloined from your kids’ bags while they’re distracted by the lights.

But there are a number of things to consider if you want your block party to go off with a bang. First off, stay on the right side of the law – check out the North Van District fireworks bylaws if you want chapter and verse. You’ll note there’s a $200 fine for setting off fireworks without a permit. You’ll also note that Section 5 reads “No person shall possess, fire, set off or discharge firecrackers” – they are illegal, period, permit or no.

Firecrackers are illegal - period.

Firecrackers are illegal – period.

Captain Ben Wilson of the North Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services team has told us that the permit to purchase, possess, and discharge fireworks will be available online mid-October and will be advertised through their website and social media streams such as their Facebook page.

He notes: “The permit allows residents to purchase, possess, and discharge consumer fireworks on private property, with the authorization of the property owner, between 6 p.m. and midnight on October 31, 2015. The discharge of fireworks is not permitted in or on public property such as parks, roadways, and cul-de-sacs. Persons discharging fireworks are required to have liability insurance as well.”

Once you’ve obtained a permit (and you have to be 19 or over to do so), you can purchase your fireworks from a reputable dealer (the kind that will only sell you fireworks if you have a permit!) Watch for pop-up shops going up in North Vancouver – they are usually well advertised in the newspaper and via billboards.

Remember that those fireworks are for you, the adult, to set off – not to hand over to your kids, no matter how much they beg. We’ve all seen kids rampaging through the neighbourhood on the night of the 31st, armed with a backpack full of pyrotechnics, dangerous not just to themselves and others but able to cause fire and property damage, as well. (Damage in Vancouver City runs up to $500,000 on some years.)

“It would be a significant benefit to all emergency responders an the safety of the community if adults would not purchase fireworks on behalf of minors. It is illegal and the individual could face significant fines,” states Cpt. Wilson.

Adults aren’t always great at following the rules that come along with fireworks either, we must admit. These safety tips are from Natural Resources Canada’s website:

PEOPLE UNDER 18 YEARS OLD who use fireworks must be supervised by an adult.

 

CHOOSE a wide, clear site away from all obstacles. Refer to the safety instructions on the fireworks label for minimum distances from spectators.

 

DO NOT FIRE IN WINDY CONDITIONS.

 

READ all instructions on the fireworks. PLAN the order of firing before you begin.

 

USE A GOOD FIRING BASE such as a pail filled with earth or sand.

 

BURY fireworks that do not have a base HALFWAY in a container of earth or sand (such as a pail, box or wheelbarrow) unless the label on the firework indicates otherwise. Set them at a 10-degree angle, pointing away from people.

 

NEVER try to light a firework or hold a lit firework in your hand unless the manufacturer’s instructions indicate that they are designed to be hand-held.<

 

LIGHT CAREFULLY: Always light the fuse at its tip.

 

KEEP WATER NEARBY: Dispose of used fireworks (including debris) in a pail of water.

 

WAIT at least 30 minutes before approaching a firework that did not go off. NEVER try to RELIGHT a firework that did not go off. NEVER try to fix a firework that is defective.

 

KEEP fireworks in a cool, dry, ventilated place, out of the reach of children.

 

IT IS RECOMMENDED that safety glasses be worn.

We haven’t yet heard of any public fireworks displays being planned in our community, but if we learn of any we’ll be sure to let you know. In the meantime, all of us at NeighbourhoodLife wish you and your family a safe and happy Halloween!

 

Brush up on voter basics at Democracy Cafe!

We have all, at times, been guilty of taking our democratic system for granted. Many citizens even forego their chance to vote, despite the fact that casting a ballot is a privilege denied to many in this world. But more and more “ordinary Joes” (and Jills) have been taking increased notice of our country’s governmental processes in past months, and the upcoming federal election is likely to bring out many people who have otherwise stayed distant from the fray.

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The Lynn Valley Library is hosting a Democracy Cafe that will help all of us – newcomers, old hands, super-engaged citizens or those just beginning to show their interest – strengthen our knowledge of how government and elections work, democratic values and current election issues, and overcoming voter apathy.

The discussion is, of course, non-partisan, but is sure to be lively and engaging nonetheless!

If you have a first-time voter at home, attending Democracy Cafe together
The Cafes, held in partnership with North Shore Community Resources and other organizations, will be held Wednesday evenings in Lynn Valley, beginning September 23:will provide an excellent launching point for some follow-up dinnertime conversation.

 

Lynn Valley Library

Wednesday Evenings | 7:00pm-9:00pm
September 23, 30 & October 7
Call 604-984-0286, ext. 8144 to register. 

The same series will be held in other North Shore libraries on different dates and times if  your local option is inconveniently scheduled. Click here for times, places and (free) registration details.

We hope to see lots of people of all ages out at a Democracy Cafe – and, later, at the ballot box!

NVD expedites homeowners’ flood repair process

The following news release was sent our way by North Vancouver District – please alert neighbours affected by flood damage!

November 18, 2014

District expedites permit process, waives fees for residents affected by flooding

In order to assist residents, North Vancouver District will waive building and electrical permit fees and expedite permit processing for property owners needing to carry out repairs to their properties as a direct result of the recent flooding.

On November 3 and 4, the North Shore experienced high intensity rainfall that lasted several hours, resulting in flooding. District staff continue to assess infrastructure damage and are working to keep culverts and drainage basins clear in preparation for future storms.

“We’re working with Emergency Management BC to ensure residents who qualify for financial assistance get it,” said District of North Vancouver Mayor Richard Walton. “Waiving permit fees and putting these people at the front of the line in our permit process is just one way we can help residents recover as quickly as possible.”

Residents affected by the flooding may be eligible for financial support under British Columbia’s Disaster Financial Assistance (DFA) Program. Assistance is available to qualifying homeowners, residential tenants (renters), small business owners, and charitable organizations that incurred more than $1,000 of uninsurable damage during the recent flooding. For more information, contact Emergency Management BC at 1-888-257-4777, or email dfa@gov.bc.ca, or visit www.embc.gov.bc.ca.

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Lynn Valleyites run for school trustee post

Last week we posted some profiles of our Lynn Valley neighbours who have taken the plunge and are running for (re)election to North Vancouver District Council. Now we’re introducing you to three Lynn Valley residents who are running for the post of school trustee for the North Vancouver School District.

We’ve received permission from the candidates and the North Vancouver Teachers Association to post their completed questionnaires submitted to the NVTA.

So, after a brief introduction from us, we’ll let the candidates tell you, in their own words, what they see as the top issues for public education in North Vancouver. Be sure to learn about the candidates for all municipal posts, and come on out to vote on November 15th!

Shane Nelson tells us that his connection to Lynn Valley goes back to the late ’90s when he first met his wife here and took her for a walk near the suspension bridge. Says Shane: “We were both living in other provinces at the time and it took us until a couple years back to move here. We’re a short walk from the mall and love the neighborhood. Our kids make great use of the fields, parks, library and pool. I love the area: it provides a perfect balance of access to the city, a walk-able neighborhood and access to the forest trails and all they have to offer.”

Learn about Shane’s views on education here, and on his campaign website.

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Heather Skuse is a lifelong Lynn Valley resident and Argyle grad who is a teacher in the Burnaby School District. A parent to three children, Heather has been president of two elementary school Parent Advisory Councils, and is currently on the North Vancouver PAC executive. Read Heather’s questionnaire here and visit her website here.

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Jessica StanleyJessica Stanley’s husband, Martin Buhler, grew up in Lynn Valley and the couple decided to raise their own family here. Jessica calls Lynn Valley “a beautiful place with a genuine sense of community.” Jessica and Martin have three young boys between the ages of two and seven.

Jessica is an active community volunteer and has a history of involvement with the Lynn Valley Parent Participation Preschool and the board of the British Columbia Council of Parent Participation Preschools. She is currently am a member of the Ross Road PAC where her oldest two sons attend school.

Learn more about Jessica’s life in Lynn Valley and her views on education here, and on her campaign website.

 

 

Lynn Valley well represented in municipal election

Every year is a good year to get involved in municipal politics – after all, it’s often local-level  decisions  that have the most immediate impact on our day-to-day lives.

2014 municipal electionBut this year is an especially good year to take notice, thanks to the number of Lynn Valley candidates who have stepped up to run for councillor in the District of North Vancouver. Having attended a number of public hearings and other council events, we can attest that this is often a challenging and thankless job – so hats off to you all!

In order to get to know our Lynn Valley-residing candidates better, LynnValleyLife contacted Roger Bassam, Mathew Bond, Hazen Colbert, Linda Findlay, Robin Hicks and Glenn MacKenzie, inviting them to answer some questions about their decision to run (or re-run) for council, and their goals should they be elected.

Hazen Colbert and Glenn MacKenzie declined to participate, citing their decision not to accept what they would consider to be a campaign donation from a real estate-affiliated business. The other candidates’ responses are linked below, so please have a read of these Q&As and, above, all, be sure to vote on November 15!

Vote

For lots of good election information, including the full candidate list and their contact/website information, polling stations, voting eligibility and more, please visit the District of North Vancouver’s municipal election pages.

LV’s Mathew Bond: DNV councillor candidate

LynnValleyLife asked each Lynn Valley-residing DNV council candidate to respond to a set of questions designed to help readers become acquainted with their views. Read about candidate Mathew Bond, below, and see our original story for links to all the candidate profiles.

What  prompted you to run for election?

The dream my parents’ generation had on how the world ought to be is becoming more and more difficult for my generation to fulfill.

We need a new dream for North Vancouver. A dream that both honours and respects the legacy of family, community and the high quality of life that North Vancouver’s citizens have worked hard to establish. A dream that adapts that legacy to today’s reality and provides us all the option to embrace our role in the community. A dream that enhances that legacy and allows us all to provide that same opportunity to our children. I want to work with you, the citizens of North Vancouver, to make that dream a reality.

Mathew BondWhat experience do you bring to the job that you believe would be valuable?

I’ve worked in the family business, the private sector and the public sector. For the past six years I’ve travelled all across British Columbia, analyzing complex, multi-faceted transportation problems and implementing practical solutions.

As a Professional Engineer, it is my duty to hold paramount the safety, health and welfare of the public and our natural world. This duty defines my character, which I have proven through consistent action in my personal life, my professional career and my dedication to community service.

From 2008 to 2013, I was President of the North Shore Mountain Bike Association (NSMBA). During my leadership, the organization blossomed. What started as a group of struggling volunteers with too much to do, too little time and no money became an organization with full time paid staff, over thirty funding partnerships with the business community and local government, and an engaged and active membership. The NSMBA is now regarded around the mountain bike world as a phenomenal success story. My leadership in setting a vision (and sticking to it), building the right team and nurturing the relationships and partnerships necessary to get things done was a key component in bringing the NSMBA to where it is today.

I offer you my well-rounded perspective, whole-systems way of thinking and passionate commitment to guide our community through the changes ahead.

What do you appreciate about the manner in which DNV council currently conducts its affairs?

I find that even though current members of council have their own views on the issues, they work together to make the tough decisions needed in our community.

What would you like to see change?

On November 15th, you have the opportunity to choose your “dream team” of candidates that you think will provide not only a voice for your issues, but the best perspective on the future of our community.

I hope to offer you a fresh perspective on council on three specific issues. I am an Intelligent Transportation Systems Engineer, implementing new technology to improve both the safety and efficiency of our transportation system, and I offer you a professional perspective on council to address our transportation challenges.

I am one of only two candidates under the age of 40. I understand firsthand the challenges that youth, young adults and families face and offer that perspective for the next generation of Lynn Valley citizens. No one person is going to solve our community’s concerns single-handedly. I offer a perspective for community engagement because it will take an effort from each one of you, contributing your own unique voice, passion and strengths to build the best community for us all to live in

Lynn Valley’s town planning process was long and, in some respects, divisive. What was your experience with this process, and what did you learn?

My wife and I are starting our family in Lynn Valley and I was intensely interested in what options we may have in the future for housing that will be appropriate for our needs as our family grows and changes over time.

I participated in the public process and what I found most valuable was having frank discussions with my neighbours and sharing not only our concerns, but our hopes for the future. I learned that we need more engagement, more opportunities for people of all ages, incomes and background to sit down and discuss the issues together with compassion. Each person brings a unique perspective, and only by promoting dialogue and understanding across all generations will we be able to develop the best solutions to make our community a better place.

What do you think is the most difficult challenge councillors have to face in their work?

Balancing the diverse needs of the community and making tough decisions when there is no clear best course of action is one of the more difficult challenges for council.

When emotions run high, citizens are passionately expressing their personal stories on both sides of an issue and none of the options available to the community are ideal,  a decision still needs to be made.

What do  you appreciate most about the Lynn Valley community?

I’ve volunteered in our community for 15 years (since I was 15 years old) and appreciate the strong feeling of pride, ownership and sense of community that the citizens of Lynn Valley share.

I moved here specifically to enjoy all the amazing outdoor recreation opportunities Lynn Valley has to offer. Within minutes I can be on a trail and enjoy the splendor of nature that sits just outside our doorstep. I appreciate always bumping into someone I know on a walk to the mall, but also the convenience of having the amenities of a big city close by.

What would you like voters to know about you?

Transportation, cities and sustainability are my professional passions and I spend a significant amount of my personal time attending courses, lectures and researching what the best cities around the world are doing to tackle the challenges we all face.

I am an outdoor enthusiast and an active and responsible advocate for outdoor recreation. Mountain biking is one of my passions and I strongly believe in giving back. I’m currently leading a group of Capilano University students to maintain and upgrade the Circuit 8 trail just 1km up the road in the LSCR.

I am committed to openness, transparency and accountability. I am proactively disclosing all contributions to my campaign on my website. You can go there right now to see who has contributed to my campaign, how much they have contributed, and how I am spending that money.

LV’s Linda Findlay: DNV council candidate

LynnValleyLife asked each Lynn Valley-residing DNV council candidate to respond to a set of questions designed to help readers become acquainted with their views. Read about candidate Linda Findlay, below, and see our original story for links to all the candidate profiles.

What prompted you to run for election?

Community issues have always been a focus in my life and running for Council has always been on my “to do” list.

Linda FindlayMy husband, Doug, and I have been lifelong residents of the North Shore, raising our two sons here and for me in particular, establishing my career here.    My motivation for running for Council of the District of North Vancouver is my passion for the vitality and sustainability of our community. I support a collaborative and multi-dimensional approach to solving problems and overcoming issues so that all stakeholders are acknowledged, recognized and included.

What experience do you bring to the job that you believe would be valuable?

Lynn Valley has been our home for the past 26 years…having volunteered endless hours to the Lynn Valley Soccer Association and the Lynn Valley Little League, which I’m sure many of your readers can relate to!

I have always had a sense of community service and over the years have been involved with many local organizations.  I was passionately involved with the Upper Lynn Parent Advisory Council for 12 years, serving the last two years as President.  I served the youth of the community during my 6 years with Scouts Canada as a leader, a trainer, and on executive.  I continued my commitment to young minds when I volunteered with Junior Achievement during my long career in the financial services industry.

For the past 10 years, I have committed myself to the Royal Canadian Legion and the veterans who so proudly served and those who continue to serve our great country and the community at large.  From these experiences I have gained much and feel that I can bring leadership skills to the roll of Councillor.  I will also bring honesty and integrity to the table and the tenacity to get things done.

What do you appreciate about the manner in which DNV council currently conducts its affairs?

There are many challenges to being on Council.  There is never a “one size fits all” in any situation, no matter if the issue is transportation, housing, development, infrastructure, rezoning or contract negotiation.

The current DNV Council takes much into consideration when rendering decisions based on factual information supplied by District staff, input from the public at large, consideration of effects on budgetary alottments and overall practicality of the offering/issue.  From observations  made from attending council meetings or watching online recordings of the same, this Council does its best to weigh all factors and listen to all participants that are engaged to provide the best outcome possible.

What would you like to see change?

More active community involvement in issues, council meetings, public hearings, etc. is required.

To actively engage in community issues is not easy and takes commitment.  It would be good to see more communication from the DNV to the community at large informing them of upcoming/ongoing issues and the meetings/hearings that would be available for the public to attend.

Engaging the public at large, not only through print media and DNV webpage, but incorporating twitter, Facebook, and other forms of social media to inform a wider audience and generate involvement, is critical.  Community associations, community websites, like LynnValleyLife, and local service clubs also contribute to spreading the word and we need to encourage more of this in other communities throughout the District.

Lynn Valley’s town planning process was long and, in some respects, divisive. What was your experience with this process, and what did you learn?

Yes, the Lynn Valley town planning process was long.  I was involved from the beginning when it started in the 1990s.

It went through many transformations.  This was a direct result of the community becoming involved and letting the municipal government know that we were engaged.  We let the previous and existing Councils know that we were concerned about the liveability of our community.

Although it took nearly 20 years, the overall OCP for the Lynn Valley area addresses most of the concerns of the citizenry and those who wish to develop within our boundaries.  The overall community voice was heard by the DNV.  Concessions were made by all to contribute to the greater good.

The Bosa development of the Lynn Valley Centre Mall is the right fit for that particular property.  The developer listened to the community and presented a project that, although outside the guidelines of the OCP, reduced height from what was allowable for that piece of property, addressed community amenities, park space, traffic issues and aesthetic values.

We have seen many new developments over the past ten years within Lynn Valley.  River Rock, Dakota, Laurels, Highgate, Craftsmen Estates, The Evergreens, Branches, Lynn Valley Private Hospital, Balmoral and Sunrise have all been built and absorbed into the fabric of Lynn Valley life…and our Library and Town Square, a hub of family and community activity.  That equals one development per year.

In-fill housing, townhouses, multiplex (duplex/triplex) units are also a concern in Lynn Valley.  Aging homes on larger parcels of land have been rezoned over the years to allow for more density.  This has been primarily market-driven as Lynn Valley has become an extremely popular place to live and raise a family.  We are not alone; this has been a trend in most communities in the DNV.

A slowing in the pace of development, of not only multi-storey development but also the rezoning of residential lands, to ensure that new builds blend in with the overall aesthetic of the affected neighbourhoods and to ensure that infrastructure and transportation issues are addressed as part of the overall solution.

Through this entire process the people of Lynn Valley have demonstrated that they are a passionate bunch.  And I am proud to count myself as one of them.

What do you think is the most difficult challenge councillors have to face in their work?

The most difficult challenge Councillors face is balance.  Balancing growth with infrastructure.  Balancing infrastructure with funding.  Balancing funding from all sources, such as Provincial and Federal Ministries, Metro/Translink, developers and taxation.  Balancing the needs of the few (special interest groups of all kinds) with the needs of the many (the population at large).  Not an easy task.  A collaborative and multi-dimensional approach to solving problems and overcoming issues so that all stakeholders are acknowledged, recognized and included can achieve much.

What do you appreciate most about the Lynn Valley community?

The thing I appreciate most about the Lynn Valley community, is just that, the overall sense of community.  From the very young to our most compromised seniors, Lynn Valley is a family.  Lynn Valley citizens are supportive, understanding, inclusive, vibrant and caring.  We celebrate and laugh together, and we mourn and grieve together. We care about each other. There really is no other place that I would rather live.

Learn more on Linda’s campaign website.