District of North Vancouver residents from Deep Cove to the Capilano River will soon be asked for their say on what should happen with the old Delbrook Community Recreation Centre lands.
The buildings on the 1.7-hectare site at Queens Road and Stanley Avenue are slated for demolition once the new Delbrook (formerly William Griffin) rec centre is complete in 2016.
The public process will be carried out over two phases over the fall and winter, one to seek ideas and options for the lands and one to identify which is the broadly preferred option for council to consider.
Any money generated from redeveloping the site will be earmarked for paying down the debt the district has taken on to build the new $45-million rec centre.
When council last discussed the matter in July, members debated for almost an hour whether the public process should focus on the surrounding neighbourhood, given that those folks would feel the greatest impact of any redevelopment, or whether the entire district should be invited to the table at the time as district taxpayers are equally on the hook for the $28 million in rec centre debt.
Staff had previously suggested developing somewhere between 43 and 70 per cent of the land with condos and townhouses in order to raise $14 to $25 million.
Those numbers were not mentioned Monday night, but the recouping of money to pay down the debt was clearly on the minds of some on council.
“I want to be sure that the financial impacts are fleshed out thoroughly in terms of tax impacts, and what-ifs, in terms of mitigation of the debt we took out for Delbrook
Community Centre and the impact on taxpayers of the various implications,” said Coun. Robin Hicks.
Other priorities staff had previously mentioned for the site included enhancing the Mission Creek riparian corridor, retaining a portion of the land for parks and open space, enhancing pedestrian access and trails, retaining space for child care, and including a diversity of housing types.
The public process is being greeted warmly by members of the public. Rene Gourley, a St. Ives Crescent resident and member of the Delbrook Community Association, came out to praise council’s consultation plan.
“I want to let you all know that I’m delighted with the report that the planning team has put together for your consideration,” he said. “I think it’s exactly on track for what we’d like to see and I really look forward to working with the planning team.”