West Vancouver's Coun. Craig Cameron may not be a planner or architect, but I am.
Cameron is right in his observations about the appropriate scale of development. It is widely understood in our profession that six storeys is the upper limit of ground-related, human-scaled development. Mayor Michael Smith should educate himself on some of the basics of urban planning and design before he dresses down his colleagues.
As for his references to the gateway to Ambleside as our very own "Gaza Strip," Mayor Smith is insulting his constituents and marginalizing the efforts of many small businesses - the heart and soul of Ambleside - who are investing in the area to serve the community's needs.
Smith clearly doesn't get it. Marine Drive is not, first and foremost, a real estate opportunity, nor is the 1300-block a "special site" that somehow deserves special attention because a single owner can develop a whole block all at once. In fact, the community would be better served by three-and four-storey mixed-use developments of which there are already fine examples along Marine Drive.
How council and staff could be so blind to community sentiment regarding the form and scale of new development in Ambleside is beyond me. Coun. Trish Panz should be sobered by the fact that the district has spent something like $1 million of our money - largely under her council's watch - getting to this point when she should've known that all the consultation in the world wouldn't change the fundamentals of what Amblesiders consider good development.
Peter Lambur West Vancouver