Delbrook Community Association has a message for the District of North Vancouver council: Listen to what we have to say on Delbrook Lands. The association is asking the district to reconsider its ideas and input on what should go on Delbrook Lands on Queens West Road.
The association gave a detailed report on what the community would like to see on the lands, but their ideas were not considered in the final report. “Council said they saw our proposal at the last minute and it was never submitted to them.We really hope they would change their mind on what they are proposing and take a look at our proposal,” said Jim Gill, an executive member of the Delbrook Community Association.
DNV is working with Catalyst, a housing non-profit that builds and runs below market housing. They are proposing 80-88 subsidised rental units, along with 20 adult day care spaces, 12 overnight respite beds, and 37 child care spaces for children up to five years on the district owned 1.7 acres of land on Queen West Road.
Delbrook Community Association supports the non-market housing, but they also want the district staff to take inspiration from the Whistler Housing Authority. Created in 1990 on city-owned land, WHA partnered with the community to provide rentals and house ownership for local employees.
WHA has created 1,900 rental and housing units that are owned by local employees who work and can live in Whistler.
In the proposal put forward by the Delbrook Community Association, the district would lease land at a minimal cost on which two and three bedroom ground oriented townhouses would be constructed, which it believes helps create community and attracts young families.
They would also like the council to offer units for sale only to district firefighters as well as paramedics, nurses and police officers who work in the city or the district. It would be ensured that those who rent or buy these units would be Canadian citizens or permanent residents, could not own another home, and would work for a minimum of 20 hours per week in the district or the city.
The buyer or the renter would sign a covenant which will require the owner to sell the home to similarly “qualified” person within six months of leaving their North Vancouver job.
The appreciated cost of these units would be determined not by the free market, but by the Core Canadian Consumer Price Index. The price of such non-market homes would always be in reach of middle income earners while simultaneously providing the owner with the opportunity to build some equity.
“In the event of a natural or man-made catastrophe, first responders would already be in our community thereby addressing some of the concerns recently expressed by the public and by some members of Council,” said Gill.
The association also has some questions on the current proposal. It would like to know which successful projects have been delivered by Catalyst. The association also wants council to retain the family neighbourhood feel but the community has several questions around that as well.
“Delbrook is a family neighbourhood and we hope a substantial portion of the tenants will be families. The current proposal anticipates an average of just over 500 square feet per unit. Family units with three bedrooms would take up more than 1,000 square feet. A few larger units might even be required if we were to anticipate units for refugees with larger families. If we have these family units a significant number of the units will be reduced to 250 square feet or less,” said Keith Reynolds, executive member of the DCA.
The association is also concerned with the size of the buildings. “To the best of our knowledge, this would be the only five floor building in the Delbrook, Norwood Queens, Carisbrooke, Edgemont or Upper Capilano area. They are at least rare in Lynn Valley.
We are concerned this size does not fit with the neighbourhoods and question if it would be used as a precedent for other developments. Council may find this is the most contentious issue they must deal with,” Reynolds told the council.
A final report on the Delbrook Lands will come up in the future council meetings