Sunday, March 2, 2014

Welcome to Lynn Valley Connect

The folks behind the proposed redevelopment of the old Lynn Valley Centre property have launched a new web site to keep everyone up to date on the developments.

Take some time now to check out Lynn Valley Connect for lots of history, project information, and updates on the planning process - including:

We are very pleased to advise you that last night (Thursday February 13, 2014) the District of North Vancouver’s Advisory Design Panel unanimously passed a motion of recommendation to the District Council in support of our proposed re-zoning.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Lynn Valley Redevelopment V.2

Bosa and Chris Dikeakos Architects have applied to the District of North Vancouver with a revised development proposal for the Lynn Valley Centre site.

Given that yet another storefront has gone empty in the mall, it's probably important that this application be made a priority.

The new application fits within the guidelines established last year for the redevelopment of this property, and reflects the long term goals found in the DNV Official Community Plan.

On an aesthetic standpoint the proposal does a nice job of continuing the "Mountain Village" feel found in the Library complex, and recent developments on the opposite side of 27th Street.  It will be nice to lose the 1970's shopping mall to an updated look that fits our outdoor oriented locale.

And of course the residential buildings are capped at only twelve stories.

A Public Meeting is scheduled for Wednesday February 19th. (Meeting Notice and background)

Wednesday, February 19, 2014
7:00-9:00 pm (Presentation at 7:45 pm)

Meeting location: 1175 Lynn Valley Road, North Vancouver within the former Zellers store at the Lynn Valley Shopping Centre (Enter from exterior at west side of building)

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Bosa is Refusing to Renew Tenant Leases! Or are they?

One of the reasons why it's so easy to be part of the anti-development crowd is that you never actually need to do any research. Why do all of that searching and phoning and reading when you can just make stuff up?

The latest round of rumour-mongering claims that Bosa, who are applying sometime soon to redevelop the Lynn Valley Centre property, have been refusing to renew tenant leases. Or, on alternate days, have been raising rents sky high in order to force out tenants.

By my count the Centre now has four empty store fronts, plus the old Zellers space, plus the dollar store which is about to close its doors.

Try as I might, I can't think up any business case to support the idea that empty stores would improve Bosa's bottom line.

And, conspiracy theories aside, I also can't think of any plausible way that emptying out the Mall would somehow make the District more likely to allow high rise construction.

So I did that thing that the no hirises (sic) people find so difficult: I e-mailed Bosa and asked them if they had been doing these things.

Their response seems pretty specific and direct:
Bosa is not refusing to re-new leases or trying to force tenants out. Actually nothing could be further from the truth! Recently, the fellow who owned the dollar store did not renew his lease and Bosa even offered to lower the rent to keep him. In all of the planning we are constantly focused on how to do the project with as little disruption to the mall and the tenants as possible.
Of course the conspiracy theorists will see this as yet another part of the Big Conspiracy.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

DNV Takes the First Step Forward on Lynn Valley

Last night the DNV Council approved the following:

 "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). "

This should be the first step in the process that leads to the redevelopment of the Lynn Valley Centre and surrounding properties.

The official notice from Council is here.

News Update


October 8, 2013

North Vancouver District Council adopts Flexible Framework
for future development in Lynn Valley Town Centre

North Vancouver District Council took a close look at the realities and facts of Lynn Valley Town Centre planning at their meeting last night and staked out a way forward.

At issue were two possible approaches to guiding new development over the next 20 years. The first option was to enshrine in policy an absolute height limit of five storeys across the town centre. The second option, recommended by staff and adopted by Council, was a "flexible planning framework‟ that allows heights of predominantly five storeys, increasing to eight storeys at strategic locations.

The framework also provides the flexibility to receive community input on and review, on a case-by- case basis, applications for developments that exceed eight stories. In adopting the framework Council set a height limit of 12 storeys for those specific locations.

Council arrived at this point after a rigorous and wide-ranging community consultation with 950 residents, during which they received over 1,400 submissions, distinctly focussed on Lynn Valley Town Centre. This was in addition to a previous public consultation program which reached over 5,000 people and resulted in the Official Community Plan being adopted by Council in 2011.

After much analysis, Planning staff provided Council with a side-by-side comparison of the trade-offs between the five storey absolute height limit and the flexible framework model. Highlights of the benefits of the flexible framework approach include:

  • addition of a large local park as well as more public spaces and pocket green spaces
  • the ability to create enough critical mass to support provision of enhanced transit service
  • road dedication for a transit exchange along East 27th Street
  • the ability to protect views in public spaces and avoid excessive shading from buildings
  • enhancement of the area‟s ecology, including stream enhancement
  • 45 – 60 percent difference in the dollar value of Community Amenity Contributions and Development Cost Charges (funds received from developers in exchange for additional density that help pay for highly-valued neighbourhood features such as daycare spaces, new parks, public plazas, walking trails, stream enhancements, etc.)
  • increased economic opportunity by creating and maintaining a vibrant business community that enables and encourages a walkable streetscape
  • the ability to more closely dictate and monitor the character of new buildings to meet the community's desired "mountain village‟ aesthetic
  • more diverse and plentiful mix of housing types suitable for seniors and young families

The flexible framework allows the District to continue to meet objectives already adopted in the Official Community Plan around transportation, housing, parks and open spaces, economic vibrancy, the environment and the social well-being of the population, while acknowledging community concerns about rapid or extreme change, cookie-cutter design, shading from buildings, and transportation improvements. It also allows the community to help shape the future look, feel and functionality of the area by being involved in redevelopment proposals and rezonings for the town centre, particularly those that ask to exceed eight storeys and build towards the 12 storey limit that Council has set.

Mayor Walton said, “I‟m pleased that, with the help of the Community, Council has landed on a balanced approach that takes into consideration all viewpoints and provides a clear path forward for rejuvenation of the Lynn Valley Town Centre.”

– 30 –

North Vancouver District Communications Office


View the full Council report from the October 7 North Vancouver District Council Meeting

North Vancouver District

355 West Queens Road, North Vancouver, BC

Document: 2195101

Friday, October 4, 2013

The Latest from Bosa.

If you didn't make it to the presentation week before last, or to the displays in the former pet store at Lynn Valley Centre (beside the soon to be former dollar store) here's what was presented.

Thanks to Mark Sager for providing these pictures.  The big 20+ story tower is gone, replaced by two lower towers, plus all of that residential and commercial goodness that will bring Lynn valley back to life.

As you can see from the map, this design works within the Official Community Plan.

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

Monday, September 9, 2013

Come Out and See the Latest Plans!

This just in from Mark Sager at Bosa:

If you would like to see our revised plans for the re-development of the Lynn Valley Shopping Centre please join us Thursday September 12th at 7 pm. in the former Zeller's space. Please enter using the exterior doors on the west side of the building (across from Safeway).
Thank you and I sincerely hope you will like and support the new plan.

Best regards
Mark Sager