Woah! Stop the Cranes! Not In My Back Yard!
North Vancouver, City District and West Vancouver have seen almost no large scale development and density increase for almost 20 years. That's about to change. What's caused the recent increase? What does it mean? What will be the effects?
The North Shore has had a stable population with almost no increase in number of people for the last 20 years. The 3 main communities of are considered 'bedroom' communities, mostly comprised of single family homes. Back in the 1970's a family of 5 or 6 people lived in one 2,500 sq. ft. 3 bedroom house. Now it is not uncommon for 2 people to live in over 4,000 sq. ft. Children of these homeowners find it near impossible to own a single family home. So bottom line, less people are living in larger homes.
Problem? Yes... no new people = no children attending schools. We've seen 5 school closures in the last few years. Our infrastructures are beginning to suffer as we have not adequately planned to fund our sewer, transportation systems/roads, parks & recreation. Basically, no new people = no new tax base to fund all municipal costs.
We DO need new development. Simply to keep our schools, parks & recreation centres and lifestyle we've come to love. We also need to get out of our cars. I support our community village density themes where we live closer to amenities and consider Google Walkability Score as a purchasing factor when buying real estate.
Why now? Developers have been focused toward the communities such as Surrey, Langley, Port Coquitlam & Maple Ridge where land is comparatively cheaper - but unless you take rapid transit or have a great commuting plan - your life is ruled by our local traffic only radio station! People have discovered - they want to LIVE, WORK & PLAY in their community. The North Shore is the perfect place to call home with an abundance of natural surroundings and views.
We can learn from other communities. If we can continue to centralize our village areas, support density that affords community amenities nearby, we will be all be successful in the long term = continued healthy market real estate values.
I support - village settings & amenities, more bare land strata opportunities (assemble 3 lots, build 6-8 residences), high rises near town centres, medium density further away. Laneway housing, secondary suites and less car trips. Bottom line - intelligent well planned increased development will help us all live healthier lives.