Friday, October 4, 2013

Will DNV Council move Lynn Valley Ahead next Week?

Next Tuesday's meeting represents an important opportunity for DNV Council to start the Lynn Valley Revitalisation rolling.

Although they won't be actually approving any new projects - in large part because no applications have been made - they will be voting on having District staff "Develop a Planning Framework to guide decision-making."

Here's my letter of support.  Click here to send yours.

October 4, 2013
Mayor Richard Walton
District of North Vancouver
Municipal Hall
355 West Queens Road,
North Vancouver, BC
Re: Lynn Valley Town Centre
Alternative Implementation Planning Directions
Dear Mayor Walton and Council,
I would like to urge you to approve Option Three, titled “Develop a Planning Framework to guide decision-making (generally based on a 5- storey height limit with maximum 8 storeys at strategic locations; additional height considered on a case-by-case basis).”
Surely the District has invested enough time, energy, and money in seeking out the opinions of those opposed to re-developing the Lynn Valley Centre area. I cannot see that anything more is to be gained by hosting more meetings, gathering more opinions, or encouraging more letter writing.
Lynn Valley Center and the area surrounding it are in desperate need of renovation. Delaying this work will do nothing but damage the District, the property owners, and the people of Lynn Valley.
I especially encourage you to make it a priority to find a redevelopment plan for the Bosa property. The mall is losing tenants on a regular basis, and time is of the essence. With their latest designs Bosa have demonstrated that they are prepared to create a development proposal that addresses both community concerns and their needs as investors and developers.
Now is the time for Council to begin to move this work ahead.
From the perspective of a Lynn Valley resident, I am particularly interested in seeing the District maximize the impact from Community Amenity Strategy (CAC) items. These are the things that will make the Lynn Valley Town Centre a lively and successful place.
I would especially urge you to make the development of cultural and arts facilities a priority in the Lynn Valley development. You need only look at the tremendously successful Kay Meek Centre in West Vancouver, or the Shadbolt Centre in Burnaby, to see how lacking the District is in essential cultural infrastructure.
Every time that I visit the Shadbolt Centre I'm overwhelmed by the breadth of their programming – visual arts, dance, music – and wish that we had something similar on the North Shore.
Every time that I attend a concert or event at the Kay Meek Centre I am frustrated that the District has no public facility to match it.
You now have an opportunity to create a similar institution in Lynn Valley, a place where students and performers can gather; where artists can work and show their work, and which will allow our young creative artists to train and work in the District instead of traveling to Vancouver or Burnaby.
Surely these facilities are at least as important as playing fields, bike paths, and skate parks.
Over the last several years we have seen municipal elections,the lengthy Official Community Plan process, the many Lynn Valley specific planning events, and thousands of hours of staff and Council time invested into defining the future of Lynn Valley.
The District has studied traffic, has projected population and demographic changes, has commissioned studies, and has examined best practices from other locales. Surely you have learned enough that you can now make decisions
Enough is enough. Now is the time for Council to show real leadership and to starting moving the redevelopment of the region ahead.
Delaying change while trying to satisfy every single complaint will get us no-where.
Instead it is imperative that Council show leadership and look at the big picture, and at the long term future of Lynn Valley, and make those decisions that will give us a livable and sustainable community in Lynn Valley.
To be frank: there is a part of Lynn Valley's population – a minority to be sure – that will never ever be satisfied with any change. This group would rather that see the middle of Lynn Valley become a barren, empty parking lot than see anything built there.
Please don't let these people undermine the vision that is expressed in the Official Community Plan.
Yours sincerely,

Barry Rueger

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