Here's what's on the agenda when North Shore councils resume

As the summer wanes, the agendas bloom as our three local governments head back to council chambers Monday.

The District of North Vancouver is set to pick up where they left off before the summer break interrupted plans to debate a motion articulating the municipality’s vision on transportation, housing, jobs, and mitigating climate change through 2022.

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“Our critical task at this time is to achieve consensus and set direction on specific priority projects that deliver rental housing for low- and moderate-income earners, and those in need of social housing,” according to the district report.

While there is a loose consensus around the need for more affordable housing, the district faces crucial decisions regarding “how to describe affordability and social housing,” whether to target any specific demographics, as well as where affordable housing should be located, according to the district report. Questions regarding leveraging district land or using density bonus cash to build housing also need to be answered.

“Agreeing on definitions and targeted objectives is necessary to enable further decisions about specific projects in specific locations,” the report stated.

Council is also tasked with realizing goals in the official community plan such as increasing the number of trips taken via transit, cycling or walking.

“Starting today and looking to the future, we want to work towards outcomes that reduce traffic congestion and increase sustainable transportation alternatives,” the report concluded.

In the City of North Vancouver, council is slated to revisit the once-approved, now-stalled Harry Jerome rec centre project through the prism of a city-wide recreation strategy this fall.

In a bid to cut $27 million from the projected $210-million rec centre, council may consider halving the 50-metre pool or removing curling rinks from the centre.

But while the rec centre proposal may shrink, the city is mulling a transformation of Lonsdale Energy Corp. that could mean minimizing the city-owned utility’s use of natural gas and exploring heating sources such as a compost-to-energy facility.

In the city’s 2018-2022 strategic plan, Mayor Linda Buchanan wrote that the municipality’s most critical problem was inequity: “which permeates everything from housing to transportation, health to child care.”

Every council decision should be made in the interest of increasing “health and well-being of our community as a whole,” she wrote.

City priorities include increasing the number of below-market housing units, improving access to child care and expanding rental housing stock.

The future of 2195 Gordon Ave. remains a major issue in West Vancouver as council heads into their fall term.

While the district moved ahead with demolition on the site in July, the plan to provide affordable housing on Gordon Avenue has yet to be approved.

The current plan for the site includes two six-storey wood-framed rental buildings with 167 units offered at an average of 70 per cent of market rates, plus an eight-storey, 50-unit concrete strata building and 3,000-square-foot adult daycare.

West Vancouver council’s Monday night meeting is set to focus on a design update for Ambleside Park, a single-use item reduction strategy and Tantalus Gardens, a 14-unit single-family and duplex development proposed for Horseshoe Bay.

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© North Shore News

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