What's up at council? (June 17)

It’s A Tale of Two North Vans, Monday night, and much like Dickens’ works, anyone going should settle in for a long one.

City of North Vancouver

City council will be holding a 7 p.m. public hearing for two four-story rental buildings at 151 East Keith Rd. Starlight Investments’ similar project at that location was rejected by the previous council in 2018 over concerns it would encroach on Victoria Park, although it has since been revised. Council is expect to vote on the rezoning following the public hearing,

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Cycling Without Age North Shore, the local affiliate of an international social enterprise, is looking for council’s support in bringing the program to North Vancouver streets. The program aims to restore “the right to the wind in your hair” for seniors by supplying trishaws – a three-wheeled bike with seating for two up front and a volunteer pilot in the back.

The group is asking for the city’s support in installing bases for the bikes in Lower Lonsdale and Upper Lonsdale, near the Spirit Trail and Green Necklace, as well as classification of the vehicles as mobility aids so they will be allowed on sidewalks where there are no safe places on the road.

Council is setting aside money for a new Marine Drive bridge over Mosquito Creek – but it appears they are a few million short.

Council approved the bridge in 2018 with a $9 million budget, $5.52 million of which was coming from outside grants. The lowest bid to come in on the replacement project was $10,529,219, however, and now council needs to make up the difference. Staff are recommending the money be pulled from other projects that can be delayed while seeking more funds from senior levels of government. Due to delays, the project will be budgeted for $15,000,000, including the cost of relocating utilities.

Council will continue discussions about introducing bicycle valet service at community events and, lastly, Mayor Linda Buchanan will be introducing a notice of motion related to “strategies to steward land and housing resources.”

District of North Vancouver

After presenting to city council last week Charlotte Ellice of the BC SPCA West Vancouver branch, will be at district council lobbying for more animal-friendly bylaws and enforcement.

A big piece of North Vancouver waterfront industrial property could be due for some major changes.

Wesbild Holdings is seeking to subdivide the 27-acre property at 1371 McKeen Ave. into seven smaller lots ranging from 0.67 acres to 11.6 acres in size and to redevelop them into new mixed storage/warehousing, manufacturing, industrial marine complex and ancillary port use businesses.

Under provincial law, subdivision applications must be made by the appointed approving officer – in this case, the district’s general manager of planning, Dan Milburn.

Wesbild Holdings bought the land in 2017 for $115 million.

Coun. Jim Hanson is bringing forward a motion to amend the district’s code of ethics, requiring that elected members declare, before voting on any development applications, whether they received election campaign contributions from an individuals associated with the developer. It goes further to state those members should be “encouraged to recuse themselves.”

Hanson’s report specifically names Building Bridges, the political party Coun. Mathew Bond belonged at during the 2018 election, as having accepted such donations.

And council may soon attempt to clamp down on liveaboards who anchor their boats off Deep Cove. District staff are asking council to provide some direction on whether they should be engaging with the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority and the public on the possible creation of a “designated anchorage area” in Deep Cove.

District of West Vancouver

West Vancouver council is not scheduled to meet until June 24

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