Two weeks in one this time. I've returned to work full time after taking time off to enjoy the amazing experience of being a new parent. Moving forward, my time spent on Council duties will become more focussed. I'll be attending fewer conferences and reading and researching less while I focus on the items presented for regular Council business being available to assist individual citizens, citizens groups and businesses with their concerns and ideas. That is how I think I can best serve the citizens of North Vancouver and as always, I am open to hear your feedback.
On Monday, November 2nd, Council had our first look at the Rental and Affordable Housing Green Paper prepared by Sarah Dal Santo, the Section Manager of Policy Planning and Dan Milburn, the Deputy Director of Planning, Permits ***. The agenda and video of the meeting are available online. The paper provided data some very interesting data on the housing market in North Vancouver, the costs for rental housing, the mix of housing types and the diversity of incomes of North Vancouver families. This data raised a number of questions for me which I plan to explore in further blog posts. For instance:
- 55% of our homes are single family, with an average sale price over $1M. Less than 25% of our current citizens have the income to purchase one of these homes.
- Over the next 10-20 years ss folks age, retire, and look for housing more suited to their needs, many of these houses will change hands. We've already noticed a boom of single family demolition and reconstruction in the District.
- Who can afford these homes and who will move in to them? Looking at the numbers, most likely they will not be North Vancouver residents moving up the property ladder (the value appreciation of condos is relatively flat compared to single family homes).
- One of the tenets of the Official Community Plan was to protect the single family neighbourhoods. Why and for whom? I think that is worth some exploration. We've all heard the debates on the pace of development in the town centres and the arguments for slowing it down versus implementing the OCP. We may be missing a bigger part of the picture, the intense gentrification of our single family neighbourhoods. How will that change the social fabric of our community? Should we do anything about it?
Before anyone gets too upset, I'm not raising these questions because I think we need apartments in Upper Capilano or Blueridge. Adding density in low accessibility areas of the District would be a poor land use decision and make traffic even worse. The proper place for any increased density we do accept is in the town centres, close to amentiies and a variety of transportation options. I would like to know from you if single family gentrification is a topic worth exploring further.
Back to the main topic. The paper focused on the rental presented a vast range of tools that Council could use to promote affordability. Council didn't have much opportunity to dig into each of the different tools presented, but asked staff to report back at the next meeting with an approach to engage the public. The next meeting is tentatively schedules for Tuesday, Decemeber 1st at
Tuesday November 3 - Actions for Housing Now
Thursday, November 5 - NVRCC Finance Committee
Friday, November 6 - Meet with Jane to discuss Interchanges
Saturday, Nov 7 - CNU Presentation
Monday, Nov 9 - COW - Mtn Hwy, Park Review
Wed Nov 11 - Remembrance Day Lynn Valley
Spread message of compassion and love. Bigotted and racist messages, petitions, refugees. People barring other from Facebook feeds. Some of those folks may reacting out of fear bred by ignorance. We will not reach those people by shutting them out.
Sat Nov 15 - Live chat with Charles Marohn
New development pre-applications and meetings: