Citizen proposes questions for West Van Council (March 7) on Upper Lands

A West Van citizen has proposed that the following questions be addressed in Council at its meeting on March 7, 2011, as part of ongoing discussions before “acceptance” of Metro Vancouver’s Regional Growth Strategy. For our collective record, and so that others may know what to watch for (even online), we post them here…..
Dear Mayor and Council

I have been trying to determine the possible impacts of the RGS on West Vancouver’s Upper Lands and I hope these questions will be answered at the Council meeting on Monday March 07.

Re: The ‘Special Study Area’ that is outlined in the ‘Regional Growth Strategy’

    • Does West Vancouver have the acknowledgement that the underlying designation of ‘Conservation and Recreation’ will not be given to the lands that are detailed as a ‘Special Study Area’ on Map 12?

      Ref: February 1, 2010 Letter from Grant McRadu to CAO Metro Vancouver (Johnny Carline). “The District would prefer that these lands have no underlying designation until the preparation and approval of the District of West Vancouver’s Regional Context Statement.”
      Ref: RGS 6.10.1 “Pending…amendment, the current regional land use designation applies within the Special Study Area.”

        Which of the other ‘Regional Land Use Designations’ is appropriate for these lands?

      Ref: RGS 6.10.1 “…a municipality has expressed an intention to alter the existing land use, and is anticipating a future regional land use designation amendment.”

        • Will the one hectare limitation for adjustments after permitted amendments, satisfy West Vancouver’s land use options?

          Ref: RGS 6.2.7 “…Regional Context Statement that permits amendments…to adjust boundaries of regional land use designations…from one regional land use designation to another…if the …area…does not exceed one hectare.”

            • Why is a strategy of potential development above the 1200 foot level being pursued without ‘community discussion’ being held within West Vancouver?

              Ref: OCP DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIES (Policy UL 3)
              Variation in 1200-foot limit on Development (OCP p.102)

              “Provide for community discussion of the possible benefits of some development above the 1200-foot limit…”
              “…community discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of development above the 1200’ level.”


                • If the OCP of West Vancouver cannot be recognized where ‘community discussion’ is indicated does this mean that other policies within the current OCP might not be relevant and they are awaiting revisions and acceptance after the RGS process is completed?

                [Note that on this latter point we have a comment received: RGS is the highest level plan that all other plans must be made consistent with over time.  Therefore the OCP will eventually have to be amended to be consistent with the RGS over time. If the intent is to implement the OCP and protect most if not all the lands above 1200 ft., then the RGS  should be consistent with the OCP. To do that, the Urban Containment Boundary should be lowered to the 1200 ft line or below around existing parks, conservation and watershed lands. everything north of the 1200 ft. line should be Conservation & Recreation. To put any of the lands in Special Study Areas makes it more vulnerable to development because it can be excluded with only a 50%+1 vote of Metro Board quorum and no public hearing. The most protection for the municipality is to leave all land that is intended to stay undeveloped in Conservation & Recreation consistent with the OCP.]


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                  Citizens concerned about public benefits arising from decisions at Vancouver's City Hall.
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