RESIDENTS of the Lower Capilano neighbourhood are getting a closer look at how one corner of the area may soon change into 1,000 shiny new condo homes.
The District of North Vancouver and developer Larco Investments will be on hand to answer questions and get feedback about the planned Lower Capilano Village Centre at a public meeting on Saturday. Two earlier meetings were held on Oct. 10 and Oct. 11.
Larco plans to build a group of condo buildings at Marine Drive and Capilano Road. The 4.35-acre site, bounded by Fullerton and McGuire Avenues, includes an empty lot where the Capilano Winter Club once stood.
The development will include townhouses, low-rise apartments (around four storeys), midrise (up to 12 storeys) and some high-rises, said Susan Haid, manager of community development with the district. The district is planning for 1,000 to 1,200 units of housing to be added to the area. The development would also include businesses like cafes, shops and restaurants.
The location is one of four sites the municipality has earmarked to be developed as high-density village centres. (The other centres are planned for Lynn Valley, Lower Lynn and Maplewood.) The district's vision for the sites is to "try to create complete, compact, liveable and walkable communities," said Haid.
But some Lower Capilano residents are concerned about the influx of people into an area already struggling with traffic congestion. Gridlock from the approach to the Lions Gate Bridge can cascade east down Marine Drive, making getting around by car a lesson in patience.
"Due to the proximity of the bridge, is high-density the right thing to put in there?" John Miller, president of the Lower Capilano Community Residents Association, told the North Shore News in July. "People are complaining they can't get home in our neighbourhood."
Improving transit in the area is a big part of the plan, said Haid.
"We're trying to integrate frequent transit and eventually rapid bus (transit) into the area in a way that is very liveable and very easy for people to access," said Haid. Planners are also looking at rerouting buses off Marine Drive and into the centre of the new development.
Keeping the neighbourhood affordable for seniors and young families is another goal.
"Providing more units, including rental units, (and units) that may be attractive to first-time buyers, to young families - we're trying to get that kind of a housing mix into the Village Centre," said Haid.
For its part, Larco has committed to including approximately 50 rental units and 35 units for seniors, said Art Phillips, director of development for Larco. A community centre and a public plaza are the two other major community amenities planned for the village.
Residents can attend an open house and workshop on Saturday, Oct. 13 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 1829 Capilano Road.
Larco's rezoning application will go before District of North Vancouver council in December.
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