North Van City Voices calls for transparency and debate on city’s 30-year population targets

This article from North Van City Voices we re-post here as one case study from the City of North Vancouver — regarding the kinds of questions citizens should be asking of their public servants and elected officials.

Excerpt: Why is the City ignoring speakers at Harbourside and Onni public hearings?  How could “staff” be driving the process in the City of North Vancouver. Where are the amenities for all this planned growth?  Questions must be asked.  Please attend on May 2nd. Statistics are available to prove our numbers.

Though some municipalities have already completed the process (see Status of municipalities’ adoption of Regional Context Statements), most are still now finalizing their “Regional Context Statement,” a planning document with a 30-year time horizon, under the “Regional Growth Strategy” for Metro Vancouver. Some municipalities are preparing the RCS to become their “Official Development Plan.” Yet most of the detailed work on the RCS is being done by city planners, who often work in close contact with industry groups and developers. The public is often left out of the detailed discussions and typically only gets part of the story. Current zoned capacity in each municipality, and population trends and forecasts, are some of the most critical basic data for planning. Citizens and elected officials have a right to demand that all of this basic data and the related assumptions are clearly articulated in public, now and for the record. (The City of Vancouver, for example, has not yet provided the base data to the public, though the RCS goes to a Public Hearing likely to be June 11.) This we must all do if we wish to have long-term urban planning with integrity and quality. Now we continue with North Van City Voices’ discussion about the staff’s population forecasts

Get Involved in Your Future – 30% population increase
(An article by North Van City Voices, 1-May-2013)
http://nvcityvoices.wordpress.com/2013/05/01/get-involved-in-your-future-30-population-increase/

“Get Involved in Your Future”

 Tomorrow (May 2nd) is the last event in Stage 3 of the City Shaping process.  Quoting:
“ The City is committed to an open and inclusive process that actively engages the community in meaningful discussions throughout the process. “
In March 2012, after the City Shaping “kickoff event” at the Pinnacle, Marc wrote to the City, part of the handout is quoted below:
  • The next OCP should have a long term horizon of at least 2041. This means providing for an estimated population of 68,000 people in approximately 30,200 dwelling units.
  • The OCP capacity should exceed this. Staff is suggesting the next OCP should provide for a capacity of 40,800 dwelling units. 
First and foremost, rather than having been asked how to see these through, are these not the very type of issues we should have been asked to debate? These are the policy options that require comprehensive debate. Leading and Insulting.
Second, why would staff choose not to indicate the current population and dwelling counts to serve as a reference baseline (it had already been made available via Statistics Canada)? Surely, being transparent with “where we are currently at” would serve as valuable in helping rate payers decide “where we want to go and by how much”.
If you plan to attend the event, please note the following:
Metro Vancouver, working with all municipalities, assigned “growth targets” to 2040 – the City of North Vancouver signed the document in March 2011,  this is the “Regional Growth Strategy”: the City is assigned a 1% annual growth rate.  All municipalities are now working on their Regional Context Statements which must comply with their Regional Growth Strategy.
                     Metro Vancouver Regional Growth Strategy Projections: 

City of North Vancouver
                                                      2021                       2031                   2041
Dwellings                               25,600                    28,000               30,200
Population                             56,000                    62,000               68,000
Points to note:
The City disputes the 2.2 per unit figure, although they agreed to that figure in 2011
The 2011 census verifies that “persons per occupied dwelling” in the City are 2.1 per unit
The City is now adding a “20% buffer” to the targets- adding almost 10,000 units to the 2041 target
This means that the City is now using an annual growth rate target of 1.9%, almost double
With the addition of suites to duplexes, it’s likely that the number of people per unit will increase
Currently:
Population is 51,870 (BC stats)
Housing units 24,206 (2011 census including unoccupied units)
New Housing planned since 2011 4,336 units at 2.1 / unit adds 9,105 population
Total planned population currently 60,975
The City of Vancouver’s Regional Context Statement is suggesting their population “under a high regional growth scenario would increase to 788,000 from a target of 765,000 – an increase of 3%
The City of North Vancouver’s current plan to add 10,000 more units would add 21,000 to a target of 68,000 – a population increase of 30.8%.
Why is the City ignoring speakers at Harbourside and Onni public hearings?  How could “staff” be driving the process in the City of North Vancouver. Where are the amenities for all this planned growth?  Questions must be asked.  Please attend on May 2nd. Statistics are available to prove our numbers.
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One Response to North Van City Voices calls for transparency and debate on city’s 30-year population targets

  1. northvancityvoices says:

    Reblogged this on North Van City Voices and commented:
    To clarify – the population increase of 30% stated is the increase in the 2041 Regional Growth Strategy targets – the actual increase to current population is in excess of 63%.

    .

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