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Letter: I supported 'missing middle' 8-plex housing in West Van's Altamont

'Maybe a young family couldn’t afford to live there, but many baby boomers selling their homes could,' this longtime West Vancouverite writes.
2905 Marine Drive - web
A proposed eight-unit townhouse development at 2905 Marine Dr. in West Vancouver's Altamont neighbourhood was quashed by the district's council in early May.

Dear Editor:

Re: West Van Quashes Proposed 'Missing Middle' 8-plex off Marine Drive, May 11 news story.

I am a “supporter in principle” of the proposed – now quashed before it got out of the gate, so to speak – “missing middle” eight-plex project at Marine Drive and 29th Street.

I’m a neighbour times two; I live around the corner on Bellevue Avenue, and I’m an Elder at West Vancouver Presbyterian Church, 2893 Marine Dr., on the northeast corner, across the street from this proposed project. In fact, a preliminary meeting was held in our church, and it was agreed that we, as a church, would be happy to rent space in our parking lot during construction, as well as being a good “across the street” neighbour.

It is time for more than just single-family dwellings in our “tony West Vancouver neighbourhood.” Coun. Craig Cameron is so correct. An added benefit to neighbours would have been a sidewalk, and a traffic light at the corner of 29th and Marine.

I do feel, however, that a six-plex would have been a good compromise, and would be better suited for that property. Maybe a young family couldn’t afford to live there, as Coun. Bill Soprovich noted, but many baby boomers selling their homes could. They could walk or cycle to Dundarave, getting  another few cars off our roads. But they wouldn’t be able walk across the street to play pickleball, sadly!

Coun. Marcus Wong states the official community plan is their bible. I wonder if that bible needs a new chapter: “It is OK to move from just single-family dwellings in Altamont!”

Some of our church leaders have written letters of support in principle for this proposed project, demonstrating “being a good neighbour.”

Jean Lawrence
West Vancouver