This article in NS News is interesting....not sure we have enough room in the Cove for much growth!
District of North Vancouver population to grow 20,000 in 20 years
By Benjamin Alldritt, North Shore News February 4, 2011
Steering growth into two town centres and a half-dozen village centres would help put the District of North Vancouver on solid financial ground, planners told councillors during a workshop meeting last week.
The district's draft OCP works on the assumption that over the coming two decades the district will become home to an additional 20,000 people, a growth rate of about one per cent.
The "network of centres" concept plans on concentrating growth in Lynn Valley and Lower Lynn, and to a lesser extent in six village centres: Lower Capilano-Marine, Edgemont, Queensdale, Maplewood, Parkgate and Deep Cove.
The town centres would see a rise in density through the addition of mixed residential and commercial developments with floor areas up to 3.5 times the lot size. The villages would see a ring of duplexes and townhouses around their retail core. In all, the plan calls for 80 to 90 per cent of all new dwellings to be built within the centres.
The plan also notes that the district has shed 1,000 jobs over the past 15 years, while the Metro Vancouver region as a whole has added 150,000 jobs over the same period.
"If the district continues to lose jobs," reads the draft, "this burden will increasingly be borne by the residential sector. The financial implications of continuing on the current path of minimal growth and a spread-out land-use pattern may be costly."
"Having a no-growth policy," said Coun. Robin Hicks, "is going to lead to increased taxation over the whole district. . . . We have to do something. We can't just stand still."
Brian Bydwell, director of planning, bylaws and permits, said funnelling population growth into the centres would mean tax revenue would rise faster than the district's operating costs, even without rate hikes or any growth in the industrial sector. He projected an operating surplus reaching $3.5 million by 2030.
What's more, he said, the plan would help further larger district goals such as improved TransLink service, reduced greenhouse gas emissions and the preservation of single-family home neighbourhoods.
"Looks like we are in a $2-million operating deficit right now," observed Coun. Roger Bassam. "How bad does that deficit get if we just grow naturally; not to try to do any social engineering programs, just allow infill and respond to market demands?"
"We looked at distributed growth," Bydwell said. "Putting aside the other benefits of the concentrated communities, distributed growth doesn't give us the (development cost charges) or the (community amenity contributions). In that model, the revenue side looks a lot worse."
Development cost charges and community amenity contributions are levied against developers building projects that add to a site's density and are used to pay for roads, parks and other infrastructure.
Not all members of council were immediately convinced. Coun. Alan Nixon said the district needs to take a hard look at the services it delivers -- which is an ongoing staff project -- lest taxpayers be faced with "an inexorable increase in costs."
On the planning side, Nixon said he was interested in exploring a single large centre.
"It's all well and good to have a network of centres," he said, "but I think we also probably agree it would be way better and way more effective and way more economical to put it all in one place rather than delivering dispersed growth. Maybe we'd be better off to have a Metrotown in Lynn Valley or Lower Lynn where all the expense, all the infrastructure is concentrated in one place."
To for more information on the district's draft OCP, visit identity.dnv.org/.
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