West Van to hold digital public hearings

Hear ye, hear ye. West Vancouver council will hear ye now.

After suspending all public consultations and mass gatherings due to COVID-19, the District of West Vancouver is resuming public hearings, starting with a proposal to add five floors each to Park Royal’s already-under-construction rental towers at Marine Drive and Taylor Way.

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“We are pleased that the provincial government has given us the legislative framework to conduct public hearings electronically,” said Mayor Mary-Ann Booth in a press release issued Wednesday. “And we need to take this important first step toward economic recovery. This is a very important function if council is to continue our work to increase the number of affordable housing units in our community.”

The first public hearing will be held on May 25. Council members will be attending remotely via their computers. Members of the public who wish to weigh in will make their remarks via a webcam in the council chamber. District staff will be on hand to ensure appropriate physical distancing is practised; however, to reduce the risk of transmitting the virus, the district is encouraging people to submit their comments in writing instead.

The previous council approved the 11- and 14-storey towers at Park Royal in 2018. In July 2019, after construction had already begun, developer Larco returned with a proposal to add an extra 95 rental suites, taking the towers up to 16 and 19 storeys, respectively. Along with the new units, Park Royal plans to add another 119 extra bicycle stalls but no extra vehicle parking. Staff estimated the extra density would result in another $4 to $6 million in community amenity contributions flowing to West Vancouver’s coffers.

Council agreed to send the plan for more floors to further public consultations.

The City of North Vancouver has also resumed advancing projects through the planning department. On Monday, council gave first reading to a rezoning for a new rental building in Upper Lonsdale.

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© North Shore News

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