Skip to content

City of North Vancouver seeks voter approval to borrow $55.7M

The process works a bit like a reverse referendum
A rendering shows the proposed new North Shore Neighbourhood House redevelopment from a northwest perspective from St Georges Avenue and East 2nd Street. | City of North Vancouver

The City of North Vancouver is set to borrow $55.7 million to rebuild North Shore Neighbourhood House and complete works on two major parks projects – but first they must get the consent of the voters.

Council voted Monday to kick-off an “alternate approval process” – a sort-of reverse referendum in which 10 per cent of a jurisdiction’s eligible voters must file a form registering their opposition with the municipality in order to prevent council from passing a loan bylaw.

According to city staff, there are 42,325 voters in the city, and the threshold for the AAP will be 4,233.

Forms to register opposition are available at city hall or on the city’s website. The deadline to register dissent for the AAP is 5 p.m. on April 22.

Council announced plans in January to fast-track the rebuilding of the aging North Shore Neighbourhood House and partner with non-profit developer Catalyst Community Housing to build up to 180 affordable housing units on top.

If the AAP passes, council will be able to borrow another $4.3 million for the total revamp of Kings Mill Walk Park to include a plaza, an all-ages play area, an off-leash dog park, open green space and shoreline habitat restoration.

Another $1.8 million will go to a new “Oasis of Calm” urban park on the 1600-block of Eastern Avenue, one of the city’s densest areas with the least access to park space.

In kicking off the AAP, council members made few formal comments, although Coun. Tony Valente noted that borrowing funds was the logical way to get the projects off the ground.

“I think this [North Shore Neighbourhood House] project has been very public and there’s been really lots of opportunities for the public to write back on an ongoing basis,” he said. “I think we’ve seen really general support for the additional housing this project is going to provide both on the North Shore and in the city. It’s no mystery that we have a housing challenge before us.”

[email protected]