If anyone can show just cause why the City of North Vancouver should not swap land with Qualex-Landmark Northern development company, fill out the proper form or forever hold your peace.
Council is currently mulling the first major project of the new Moodyville neighbourhood, Green on Queensbury, a development that would put 157 apartments and townhouses in three four-storey buildings on East Third Street.
However, an integral part of that deal is a land swap with the developer trading land on the 800 block of East Third Street to the city for an equal amount of city-owned land to the east and south of the 700 block.
Critics of the deal can stop the swap by filling out a form and submitting it to the city clerk’s office by 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 27.
If fewer than 3,620 voters, or 10 per cent of eligible electors, oppose the exchange, city council will vote on final adoption. If more than 10 per cent of the city’s voters try to quash the deal, council will have the option of moving to assent voting, which is essentially a referendum. A referendum would likely cost between $60,000 and $70,000, according to city staff.
For Coun. Rod Clark, who routinely blasted the negative petition process as it related to the formation of the Lower Lonsdale Business Improvement Area, the alternative approval process was more of the same.
“In essence, it is a negative petition,” he said, voting against the process.
Living less than a block from Moodyville Park, Clark allowed he had a “vested interest” in the swap.
The trade would allow the city to expand Moodyville Park by 25,000 square feet at no cost, according to a city staff report. The reconfigured park would allow for an improved connection to the Spirit Trail, as well as the closure of the lane south of the 700 block and the road at the foot of Queensbury Avenue, according to city staff.
While Coun. Don Bell concurred with Clark about negative petitions, he pointed out that council is overseeing a “unique” situation.
Using a different process, such as including a question in the 2018 municipal election or holding a referendum, would result in a major delay or cost.
“In this particular case I believe there is a significant benefit to the community,” Bell said of the land exchange. “It’s important for that development on the south side of Third (Street) to go ahead and to clean up that whole section because the houses have been abandoned.”
The development involves demolishing two 1941-era heritage homes as well as a $2.5-million “revitalization” of Moodyville Park, funded with the developer’s $4.2-million community benefit contribution.
Mayor Darrell Mussatto agreed with Bell, calling the deal a “win-win.”
“If we were to delay this it would be quite a significant hardship for all involved.”
Council voted 4-2 in favour of the alternative approval process, with Clark and Coun. Pam Bookham opposed.
The form is slated to be available Friday at city hall and at cnv.org.
Coun. Linda Buchanan did not attend Monday’s meeting.