Our community is facing some significant challenges. Housing prices have skyrocketed, making it impossible for many to live in our community. Even residents born and raised here who work on the North Shore are affected. At the same time, our transportation systems are strained to capacity, often leaving us trapped pointlessly burning fuel in stop-and-go traffic.
As a District Council, with power to determine through zoning how our lands are used, we must ensure that our decisions are making these housing and transportation challenges better, not worse.
During the last term, District Council initiated some important changes. We are focusing more on rental and affordable housing and slowing the overall pace of development On the transportation front, we have championed Active Transportation in the form of cycling and pedestrian infrastructure, and have successfully lobbied to make rapid transit to the North Shore a key regional transit priority.
But I believe we can and must do more.
My vision is for “smart” development, designed to create the kind of housing we need in the locations that will best accommodate growth without disrupting neighbourhoods. We must ensure that re-zoning encourages rental and affordable housing, and provides a broader housing mix for residents, especially those who work and now must community to the North Shore.
To accomplish this without imposing an undue disruption to our way of life, I believe we must embrace “gentle densification,” with smaller structures, more wood and less concrete, sited to ensure that residents have maximum assess to transit, cycling infrastructure, and walkable, complete communities, with sufficient amenities nearby. We must also consider zoning changes that facilitate duplexes, triplexes, secondary suites, coachhouses and smaller lots.
Recently, in one of the last acts of this Council, we approved (in a 4 to 3 vote) a 27-story concrete tower near Marine Drive and Capilano Road, to accommodate 330 units of housing (the vast majority being market strata), complete with 373 parking stalls for vehicles.
I voted against this proposal and will continue to vote against such proposals in the future.
In my view, this is not “smart” development. Adding so many vehicles to an already congested stretch of roadway can only aggravate existing traffic woes and air pollution. Creating so much expensive strata housing (and so little rental and affordable housing) will do nothing to solve our need for affordable housing.
It has been an honour for me to serve my community since first election in 2014. I have voted for slower and I believe “smarter” development. If I am re-elected to Council for a third term, I will maintain this perspective.
l believe we need to prioritize the “liveability” of our community. This is my promise to voters if I am re-elected.