Your June 23 editorial asks that the North Shore municipalities answer a few questions, referred to as Growing Pain in the headline. More accurately, the growing pains you refer to could be better understood as "adaptation pains" and framed within a few salient facts and demographic and economic trends that any responsible government needs to consider if it is to legitimately hold the name and office.
The official community plan frames itself within a range of credible facts, science and projections: climate change, an aging demographic, a younger generation leaving the North Shore, the actual and high cost of the single family home - and its maintenance at the macro/municipal level, our crumbling infrastructure, and finding a populace able to bear the costs of their standard of living.
If one accepts each of those components as factual realities, then our local governments owe it to their public to make plans that mitigate the serious consequences that would arise by failing to plan.
For example, for all those opposed to some form of multi-family living: How do they propose to offer decent housing at a cost tolerable to today's younger generation entering their peak earning years, but with far lower earning expectations than their parents?
As the population continues to age, will these seniors be able to bear the costs of maintaining their homes, let alone the replacement costs for the many miles of roads, piping and sewers required to service the present low density of the North Shore? Where will these seniors move to if there are no lower-cost housing options available? Many of these aging homeowners are looking to the present value of their homes to finance their next stage of life. Are we to tell them they have to do it somewhere else, other than where they have lived for the past 30 or more years?
In my neighbourhood, the first partial phase of the Lower Capilano Village Centre, part of the OCP 20year plan, would come on stream no earlier than 2017, with full completion of the Capwest site no earlier than 2020 - nearly halfway through the OCP's plan life. Is this what anyone could rationally consider to be overnight or requiring more time to consider?
Far from the North Shore officials needing to have a bird's eye view, what is needed is for the North Shore News editors to present insights into the broad social and economic realities ahead, not those formed by the past.
Douglas Curran North Vancouver
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