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Delbrook below-market housing decision punted to next council

District of North Vancouver project vote delayed to post-election
Delbrook lands
Keith McBain of Vancouver Coastal Health speaks at a Sept. 18 public hearing on the Delbrook Lands. photo Lisa King, North Shore News

One of only two below-market housing projects under consideration in the District of North Vancouver has been punted into the next term of council.

Since 2015, council has been consulting with the public and evaluating plans for the redevelopment of the Delbrook Lands, a 1.7-hectare district-owned site at Queens Road and Stanley Avenue.

In 2017, council settled on 80 non-market housing units on top of an adult daycare and 18-bed seniors’ respite centre, and found a non-profit developer willing to build it. Rents would be set at 20 per cent below the current market rates. But the project still had to go through a rezoning process, which hit a procedural wall on Sept. 18.

The public hearing for the project was originally scheduled for July but had to be postponed when the municipal hall’s fire alarm went off. When the hearing reconvened on Sept. 18, it was roundly opposed by neighbours who argued it was, at six storeys, too tall for the single-family neighbourhood, that it would produce too much traffic and that it didn’t provide enough parking spaces for residents.

By the end of the meeting, there were roughly 40 questions that would require more research by staff. The public hearing will resume on Oct. 11 and anyone is welcome to come sound off about the proposal.

However, there won’t be time before the Oct. 20 municipal election for the current council to vote on it, meaning it will fall to the next council to weigh whether it should be approved.

Mayor Richard Walton, who is not running again, acknowledged the kink in the schedule.

“Unfortunately it looks like we’ve just postponed this thing until November,” he said at the close of the Sept. 18 meeting. “All the speakers’ notes are valid, all the material is valid. It’s just likely, when it comes back, you may be sitting with a different council and all the questions will be answered at that time. That’s the best we can do given the challenges with time and calendars. … It’s not the way we wanted it to end, but you know what? We need to work within the system and we need to make sure everybody is heard.”

Four of seven current members of council are running for re-election.

Earlier this month, council approved a new six-storey Kiwanis seniors’ apartment in Lynn Valley.