LETTER: Community to gain from proposed changes to Kirkstone path

Dear Editor:

Re: Spirit of Kirkstone Park Could be Impacted by Rezoning, Feb. 22 Mailbox.

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There are two slivers of land which extend out from Kirkstone Park into potentially developable lands that are separate from the main part of the park. The sliver containing the trail that is being “undedicated” from parkland is essentially a rough gravel walkway surrounded by fences and housing. These lands will continue to be owned by the district as part of the future transportation network.

When the detailed Lynn Valley Town Centre local area designs were presented to the public during the official community plan consultations, and in subsequent meetings, the road network depiction showed the local connecting road from Mountain Highway through Emery Place and up to 27th Street, which overlapped part of this current park trail. After consulting broadly with the community, the local area plan was approved by council to achieve the Lynn Valley Town Centre vision as a well-designed pedestrian, biking, and transit-oriented mixed-use centre.

A depiction of what the condition of the area would look like once the Mountain Village (site to the north) site is redeveloped. The light green area identifies the existing park and the darker green line shows the location of the existing trail. - image supplied

The current development proposal from Mosaic conforms to the local area plan, advances the road and sidewalk network, and provides a tree-lined boulevard that is safe for pedestrians, while also maintaining access to Kirkstone Park. The new pedestrian walkway beside the road could well be a soft-surface path and not a concrete sidewalk. We’ll be talking to the community about the final design.

In exchange for removing this sliver of land from the park, a different piece of land adjacent to Kirkstone Park is planned to be transferred from private interest to the district as parkland. The proposed changes will actually provide a net improvement to pedestrian accessibility for this important park.

When planning for growing communities change is inevitable, and compromise is at times necessary. Council has recently substantially increased the district’s parkland development cost levy, which will provide funds for the acquisition of parkland in the town centres which are currently being built.

Coun. Robin Hicks (acting mayor)
District of North Vancouver

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