Thank you for the attention to Ambleside, and to the sustained community and council effort over the past decade to improve upon the heart of West Vancouver (AmblesideWhen? Aug. 21, North Shore News).
During the Official Community Plan process which began ten years ago, the community agreed that we needed to pay attention to renewal in Ambleside. As a result, it was listed as a priority throughout our 2004 OCP.
In 2005, council established the Ambleside Town Centre Strategy Working Group to further develop our policy for the area.
Council adopted their recommendations, which include a three-storey limit for most of Ambleside Village with the exception of three sites where the OCP expressly considers buildings over four storeys: Safeway, the police station block and the north side of the 1400-block where the McDonald's used to be.
In 2008, council agreed to focus on implementation. The 1300-block of Marine Drive was the obvious place to start.
A large part of the property has been an abandoned gas station lot for the entire nine years I have been on council. Former Mayor Ron Wood talked often about the need for a new police station, and the council I served on with him studied where to relocate the building.
This council has decided that the public safety building should go next to the municipal hall - a fitting location.
The ideas the community has generated for Ambleside are numerous, exciting and should be put into action.
Housing, vibrant businesses, office space, broad sidewalks, better parking, consideration of the arts - hundreds of residents have shaped the ideas that we are working to fulfill, and we are counting on continued participation.
Politicians are often criticized for making shortterm decisions. The process for Ambleside has been deliberate, inclusive, thoughtful and sustained for a decade to get us to this point.
This is not a contest between business owners and residents by any stretch; it is a very serious effort to improve our centre of town based on what people have said they wish to see.
Our council intends to take that step.
Future councils will continue to fulfill the vision, as they see fit, and as the community continues to evolve.
Mayor Pam GoldsmithJones
District of West Vancouver