Growing up in West Vancouver, I always wished there was more to do here. Over the years, the city has grown a lot, but the fun never arrived. North Vancouver got the shipyards, and young people moved from downtown to Lolo, making that area fun to visit. And yet West Vancouver remains stagnant, unaffordable, uninviting. A few years ago I moved back to West Vancouver after stints of living in elsewhere. But I find that I moved back to a city that is approving only multi million dollar homes and condos, but almost no truly affordable housing.
A city is rich because it has people from all walks of life. If we want to retain our youth and seniors, and attract people who want to live and work here, we need to create a ladder to the community in home ownership ownership and retention.
Gentle density comprised of low rise, duplexes, quadplexes, coach homes and the odd larger scale building where it might be appropriate will grant us much needed density that we will need for the future, without compromising our quaint community feel. If this was supplemented by spots of small commercial like Isetta (and many corner stores and restaurants in the Vancouver and North Vancouver area) we could get closer to having 15 min neighbourhoods, where you could walk to a cafe, restaurant, corner store, offices, as opposed to driving everywhere. These updates would also bring much needed revenue to the city and promote a better quality of life.
I would like to see a focus on ironing out our transit woes. A study spearheaded by Bowinn Ma proposed rapid busses along the highway. If we can coordinate with busses or shuttles that would connect the neighbourhoods to a rapid bus system I think we would alleviate a lot of inter city traffic. I still think a long term solution will be a skytrain link to West Vancouver and potentially Squamish if that is viable. Either way community consultation is key.
We need to be sensitive to the small businesses, and to support them. I would like to see the Ambleside area developed to include space for waterfront restaurants, breweries, interactive play spaces for kids, and small commercial spaces to revive the area and give space for nightlife. And finally we need to maintain our parks and sporting venues. Tennis courts are falling into disrepair and disappearing. Trails host falling apart bridges and inadequate parking. With the surge in interest in mountain biking, hiking, snowshoeing, the trails are often hazardous and an accident waiting to happen.
West Vancouver can be a world class suburb. Someplace fun and exciting to visit or live in. But we need to work together to find solutions that support the needs of the locals and not steamroll solutions through. We are a community and communities support each other and work together.
If elected I would be dedicated to working with council, the district, and the community to produce fiscal accountability, results that the majority are happy with and a city that continues to grow well into the future. You can follow my platform here: www.rimamartinez.ca