It is too much and too fast: That is what a council watcher told the District of North Vancouver council while questioning the district stats he says grossly under report the number of residential units that are in the so-called development pipeline.
DNV council watcher Corrie Kost says there is close to 8,000 residential units that have been completed or in the pipeline. It means the district is close to a 90 per cent completion of the OCP goal of having 10,000 units by 2030.
“The pipeline is leaking with residential units. To date neither staff nor council have publicly admitted that the overall count since 2011 is 8,345. That is a very high number as we are in the seventh year of the 20-year plan which called for 10,000 units. We have rush like mad to get far more than the units we needed. Almost 89 per cent of the units are in the pipeline in the seven years, and that is too much, too fast, if you believe in numbers,” he told the council.
Kost and another engaged citizen, Ashraf Amlani, have been tracking the number of units in the pipeline. Their data includes residential units that have been completed but also those that are at varying stages of development, anything from the preliminary application to public input stage, and public hearing all the way to development permit stage.
Kost said the numbers in the spread sheet are in flux as new developments come to light while others are withdrawn. Last week, for example, the list grew by another 500 units after a preliminary application for development on Old Dollarton Road was submitted to the council.
The question for the council, Kost said, is why there is such urgency to approve developments and how is it that DNV already has close to 9,000 units approved when OCP concluded we need 10,000 by 2030.
The number crunching by Kost was a rejoinder to a recent staff report, which gave council a snapshot of all preliminary and detailed applications for which public notice has been provided. The staff put that number at 3,746, and a district official said Kost seems to have grabbed past approvals as well in his accounting.
Kost, meanwhile, says the staff report only touches upon a narrow pool of units but the public must know that number is much bigger than what is being suggested. Kost said council should do a comprehensive report which gives a complete picture of development since 2011 and explain why the pace of development has outstripped what the OCP says we needed by 2030.
The report prepared by the staff was in response to Councillor Lisa Muri’s request to find out the number of rezoning applications that the council would be seeing. She said 3,700 units are slated to come before the council before summer and she believed it was a high number.
Rezoning, she said, is the only tool local governments have and she would like the staff to give a detailed presentation on rezoning in the district, including those numbers where the development has been stalled or delayed but the rezoning has taken place.