Mobile clothing boutique may set down roots in Lower Lonsdale

There may be one fewer parking spot and a little more Love in Lower Lonsdale over the next three years.

Double the Love, a women’s clothing boutique that operates out of a 20-foot hot pink cargo trailer, has applied to the City of North Vancouver for a temporary use permit that would allow the shop to sell dresses and denim at both Lonsdale Quay and a parking spot at 92 Lonsdale Ave.

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The trailer often gets pushed out of the Quay when Christmas trees dot the waterfront and tourist traffic slows down, proprietor Zofia Rodriguez told council.

“Our plan would be to be [at 92 Lonsdale Ave.] for the colder months and then move back into the Quay when the weather warms up,” she explained. “We have spoken with Obsession Bikes, who owns all of the parking spaces in this spot, and they have informed us that they don’t need the additional parking spot that we would take up and are more than willing to allow us to use it,” Rodriguez wrote in a letter to council.

The application is subject to a future public meeting but council was uniformly supportive at the Nov. 4 meeting.

The shop offers a different way of looking at retail in Lower Lonsdale, said Coun. Tony Valente.

“I think it adds to that vibrancy we’re seeking on the street,” he said, suggesting the city should generally look at parking maximums as opposed to parking minimums.

Losing one parking spot is “not considered to be a concern,” according to a city staff report, which noted the public parking lot nearby. Most customers would get to the shop by sneaker or bus, according to the staff report.

Besides keeping North Vancouver residents from heading for Park Royal or downtown Vancouver, the temporary use permit would allow the clothing store to grow “while ensuring that there is enough space for other small businesses as well,” Rodriguez wrote.

Coun. Tina Hu queried Rodriguez about how they would inform customers. Rodriguez told council the boutique generally relies on word of mouth and social media such as Instagram.

Council voted 6-0 to advance the application.

“It’s carried unanimously,” Mayor Linda Buchanan told Rodriguez. “Bust out the Instagram.”

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