Happy Asian New Year!

Hi everyone,

Happy Asian New Year!

As you can see from the photo below, I really enjoyed the celebration at Irwin Park Elementary. Well done everyone!

I wish you a year of good health, good friends, and good fortune.

Thanks!

Warm regards,
Mary-Ann Booth

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Had fun dressing up as Emperor’s wives at Lunar New Year celebration

Happy New Year! Before we say good bye to 2017… The Year in Review

Hi everyone,

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas season with your family and friends.  Before we get too far into the exciting year ahead, I wanted to briefly highlight progress that Council made on its eight Priorities in 2017:

Public Services & Municipal Hall Project – In addition to improving everyday operational efficiencies, including moving many District staff back to Municipal Hall from remote locations, the new building has been built to withstand a major seismic event so that first responders can perform their critical roles in an emergency.  It was completed on time and on budget, and early feedback from residents about the look and feel of the new police building, customer service hub, and atrium has been very positive.  I encourage you to drop by for a visit.

Built Form, Housing & Neighbourhood Character – Under an innovative Local’s First Program approved by Council, almost 30% of the units sold in the new Sewell’s development in Horseshoe Bay went to West Vancouver residents looking for homes to live in.  This unique initiative caught the attention of other municipalities, including the City of Vancouver and District of North Vancouver, and they will be reviewing and refining it as they take steps to address the housing affordability crisis in the region.  On the demand side, the Executive of the Union of B.C. Municipalities endorsed WV Council’s Housing Affordability Motion, which calls on both the Federal and Provincial governments to take steps to discourage speculation in residential real estate, and ensure that investors pay a fair share of Provincial and Federal taxes.

Traffic & Transportation –  Increasing traffic and congestion continue to impact residents, commuters, businesses, students, services and quality of life on the North Shore.  While there is no simple solution to this complex issue, Council is taking these concerns very seriously and has been actively working with our North Shore counterparts to improve vehicular, public transit, cycling and pedestrian infrastructure.  Just this week, Council received an invitation from Bowinn Ma, MLA for North Vancouver- Lonsdale to participate in an Integrated North Shore Transportation Planning Project “which seeks to drive collaboration that will result in transportation solutions for the North Shore in the short term, while developing a unified and collective cross-jurisdictional long-term North Shore transportation vision”. Commuter and recreational pedestrians and cyclists will have a safer route over an integral component of the Spirit Trail with the recent approval by Council of a $700,000 contribution towards improvements to the Wardance Bridge over the Capilano River, leveraging a $1.2 million dollar contribution from the owners of Park Royal.  And the District recently competed the critical western link of the Spirit Trail along Royal Avenue into Horseshoe Bay.

Ambleside Waterfront and Town Centre – There is more open park space on our Ambleside waterfront with the demolition of four of the remaining homes pursuant to the Waterfront Acquisition Policy initiated in 1975.  Complementing this work, the Ambleside Dundarave Business Improvement Association continued to gather steam this year with colourful new street banners for “Dundarave Village” and “Ambleside Beach”, an art walk during the Harmony Arts Festival, and innovative plans for wayfinding, placemaking, and branding that will engage both residents and visitors alike.

Official Community Plan Review – The important work of updating our 14-year-old OCP has so far engaged over 600 individuals and generated almost 350 “Big Ideas” for the future of West Vancouver in the areas of Housing, Transportation, Social Well-being, the Economy and the Environment. The local area plan for the Marine Drive/Taylor Way intersection has been completed, and we have begun the engagement process for the Ambleside Town Centre one.  A draft of the OCP Policy Chapters is anticipated by mid-2018, with local area plans to follow as they are completed.

Arts, Culture & Heritage – A steering committee of stakeholders, business and community leaders, and District staff has completed a draft of the new Arts & Culture Strategy, which will go to the public and stakeholders for review prior to presentation to Council in March or April, and if approved will provide a framework to guide Council’s decision-making over the next five years. This strategy will be bolstered by a newly-established public art fund, which requires sustainable financial contributions from the annual budget and new development applications.  Following the success of several other recent Heritage Revitalization Projects, the historic Rush House at 12th Street and Jefferson Avenue will be restored, and a garden suite and two laneway houses will be added to the property to provide much-needed new homes for downsizers and families.

Natural Environment & Climate Action – As the Council Liaison to the Interim Tree Bylaw Working Group, I have observed first hand the impressive and extensive work of the ten citizen members of this group since March.  Their recent community survey had the highest return rate of any survey in the District’s history, and will form the basis of final recommendations to Council this spring.

Fiscal Sustainability & Municipal Services – In 2016 the District took a critical step to address the maintenance needs of West Vancouver’s $1 billion in aging infrastructure by creating a 20-year Asset Management Plan, reserve and levy.  Last year Council was able to put in place funds for long-overdue repairs and upgrades to key facilities including the public washrooms in Ambleside, John Lawson, Dundarave and Whytecliff parks, and the Aquatic Centre change rooms.  As part of the 2018 budget process, our new on-line Citizen Budget simulator went live in December and offers an easy, interactive way for you to see how your tax dollars are allocated among services based on your property assessment, and to share your priorities on proposed new community assets.  Visit www.westvancouver.ca/budget to access this tool, and obtain details on the upcoming Budget Information Meetings on January 15th and January 17th.

Legal Dispute with CN Rail –  On December 28, 2017, the Canadian Transportation Agency (“CTA”) issued a decision regarding the District’s application. The CTA has agreed with West Vancouver that the CTA has legal jurisdiction over the Centennial Seawalk. However, the CTA has decided to wait before making its final determination until the Supreme Court of B.C. rules on CN’s lawsuit regarding the terminated BC Rail leases.

The District’s application before the CTA and CN’s lawsuit in B.C. Supreme Court are still underway. The District will continue to pursue the CTA application, defend against CN’s lawsuit and use all available means to protect the District’s interests.  While we’re pleased with the CTA’s jurisdictional ruling, there are still a number of issues to be determined which will take time.

With my legal background I was very interested to attend the oral hearings in October, and will continue to closely monitor this issue, but I’m not able to comment any further as this is before the Courts.   For further information please visit our website at https://westvancouver.ca/news/update-cn-dispute-regarding-centennial-seawalk-0.

I have really enjoyed serving you on Council for the past six years, and look forward to another productive year as we work together to make West Vancouver the best it can be!  Please feel free to share this update with others who may be interested.

Thanks!

Warm regards,
Mary-Ann Booth

Trees, the OCP, & a Fun Christmas Event

Hi Everyone,

The Mayor and Council are pleased to invite the public to an open house in the new PSMH building (Police Services Municipal Hall) on Monday, October 30th from 4:30-6:30 at 750 17th Street.

There are upcoming opportunities for community engagement on three important matters.

1. Management and Protection of Trees on Private Land. [Link]
2. The Official Community Plan Review. [Link]
3. AMBLESIDE – Planning the Town Centre of Tomorrow – [Link]
More details are below.

Also —Volunteers Wanted:  If you are a West Vancouver Resident and would like to volunteer to serve on a board or committee, there are a number of opportunities available for 2018.  Apply by 4:30 on November 10, 2017. [Link]

One More ThingPink Christmas Show – This special Christmas variety show will feature performances by talented young people from across the North Shore, including the West Vancouver Youth band and strings ensemble, Pro Arte Dance Centre, Collingwood School Choir and many more. All proceeds will go to the Team Finn Foundation and Terry Fox Profyle (Precision Oncology for Young People) to support paediatric cancer research.

Tickets can be purchased at kaymeek.com/pink-for-christmas.

You don’t want to miss this opportunity to “help a bunch of kids do something to help other kids”. Please take a few minutes to watch this inspiring video from last year, and I hope to see you there. https://youtu.be/QbVeRw8RBI8)

Happy Halloween!

Thanks!

Warm regards,
Mary-Ann Booth
Councillor District of West Vancouver
604-340-8490
https://westvancouver.ca/
https://twitter.com/maryannbooth
https://www.facebook.com/CouncillorMaryAnnBooth/
https://www.instagram.com/maryann.booth/

Happy Halloween :-)

Continue reading “Trees, the OCP, & a Fun Christmas Event”

OCP Reviews, Housing Affordability & Hollyburn Lodge

Hi Everyone,

I hope you enjoyed the great weather this long weekend. Here are three West Vancouver District items that may interest you.

1.  Regarding the next stage of the Official Community Plan Review, there are three upcoming “Ideas Forums” for the public to provide input:  6-8 pm on July 12, 18, and 20.  For further details, here is the link.
https://westvancouver.ca/home-building-property/major-projects/official-community-plan-review/phase-2-ideas-forums

2.  In June of 2016, Council approved a motion on housing affordability, proposed by myself and Councillor Cameron, asking the Union of BC Municipalities to urge the Provincial Government, and the Federal Government through the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, to take immediate action to discourage speculation in real estate, particularly by foreign investors, and to ensure that foreign real estate investors pay a fair share of Provincial and Federal taxes.  While the motion didn’t make it to the floor for debate last September because of time constraints, Council just received notice that the UBCM Executive has endorsed our motion.  Here are links to the motion and supporting material. Link to Motion & Link to Supporting Material

3.  Upcoming Council Meetings before summer break in August:  July 10, 17, and 24.
https://westvancouver.ca/government/mayor-council/agendas-minutes

One More Thing — The newly restored Hollyburn Lodge is now serving food and beverages for the first summer operation in 90 years!  It’s open Wednesday to Sunday, 11:00 am -5:00 pm, through Labour Day.  The lodge is a beautiful 10 minute hike from the Cypress Nordic parking area and is a great launching point to many of the area trails.   Attached is the menu of tasty offerings for parched and hungry hikers, the new building, and an old memory.

Thanks!
Warm regards,

Mary-Ann Booth
Councillor
District of West Vancouver
604-340-8490
https://westvancouver.ca/
https://twitter.com/maryannbooth
https://www.facebook.com/CouncillorMaryAnnBooth/

 

Follow-up – Marine Drive Local Area Plan

Hi Everyone,

Our West Van Council gave 2nd and 3rd reading to the Marine Drive Local Area Plan and Design Guidelines on June 7th, with adoption scheduled for June 19th.  Thank you to those who attended or wrote Council regarding the Public Hearing on June 5th.  For those who missed it, I’ve included links to press coverage from Jeremy Shepherd and Catherine Barr.  I’ve included a note discussing the reasons for my support below.

Also, on June 19th Council will consider directing staff to apply to court to vary the trust relating to Brissenden Park on Roseberry Avenue, and there will be an update on the review of the Official Community Plan. [Link] to agenda.

One More Thing — Our North and West Vancouver Soroptimist Chapter will be hosting a Symposium on Gender Equality, Saturday June 17.

Thanks!


Marine Drive/Taylor Way Local Area Plan Debate – June 7, 2017


Thank you everyone who wrote in about and attended the public hearing.  Many were in support of the proposal and many were not. There is no right or wrong answer here.  Every opinion and perspective is legitimate.
Having said that my job is to listen, read, review, study and based on fact, evidence and data, apply my best thinking to make an informed decision.
Here is my thought process:

  1. We are in a housing affordability crisis and that fact is reinforced every day.

Yesterday, according to Miloon Kothari, the former UN special rapporteur for housing, who was speaking on CBC radio, Vancouver is becoming an “apartheid city” in terms of the divide between rich and poor.
The housing crisis, like climate change is an “inconvenient truth”, and if we all don’t take steps now to address both, we will end up in a sorry state.  West Vancouver is well on its way to becoming either a Ghost Town, where young people aren’t replacing the aging demographic, or a Resort Town where only rich international buyers can afford buy and leave houses vacant most of the year. We need a diversity of housing across the entire sprectrum, and according to recently revised estimates by Metro Vancouver, that amounts to 2000 units over the next 10 years in West Vancouver, or around 150 in owned units and 50 rental units per year.  Where is that housing going to go?

  1. Smart growth principles dictate that housing should be near transit and amenities.Where is our best transit, close to amenities?Along Marine Drive and especially at Park Royal.
  2. Traffic studies indicate that mixed commercial and residential use will contribute 1/3 less traffic than the large format commercial zoning in place right now.
  3. Residents in this area, especially if parking allocations are reduced, and a significant component is rental, are less likely to drive through this intersection than any other resident in the District.
  4. Council is committed to improving mobility for everyone, especially those using transit and have formed a North Shore wide committee of professionals to advise on all elements, including advocacy to other levels of government.But governments alone won’t solve the problem.Everyone is going to have to make some changes in their behaviour, which doesn’t mean giving up their cars entirely.
  5. Otherwise, planning staff have responded to the other most-cited areas of concern throughout this multi-year process: height and massing of buildings at this intersection.
  6. If we don’t approve this Local Area Plan, traffic congestion will still occur because it is largely due to factors beyond our borders. If we do approve it, it bolsters are request for more transit, because as Councillor Lambur recently reminded me “Transit follows development”.

For these reasons, I’m in support of the proposal, with the following requests to staff if we move to the negotiating the three specific development applications:

  1. Maximize the rental component in each, including for those with disabilities on low income.
  2. Minimize the parking allocations at each site.
  3. Ensure green construction that is better than the Building Code at each site.
  4. Encourage designs of the Clyde and 752 Marine sites which create a coherent Gateway that we can all be proud of.
  5. Complete the Spirit Trail over the Capilano River that separates those who cycle and walk from those who drive.
  6. Include affordable child care in at least one of the sites.
  7. Address transportation challenges at each site, including access/egress for the West Royal Towers – in the 1989 summary of the Public Hearing for that project an underground bypass was discussed?

Just as there is not one silver bullet for housing, there is no one silver bullet for transportation.  There never is one silver bullet to solve complex problems, but doing nothing is guaranteed not to solve anything.  Staff have provided there best thinking on this area and now Council must take the tough decision.


Press For OCP Marine Drive Local Area Plan


West Vancouver council splits on future of Marine Drive, Jeremy Shepherd / North Shore News, June 8, 2017 – http://www.nsnews.com/news/west-vancouver-council-splits-on-future-of-marine-drive-1.20492223

BREAKING – West Vancouver’s Mayor breaks tie vote on new Local Area Plan,  Catherine Barr June 7 – https://www.facebook.com/vancouver.events.girl/posts/10158884418385323

 Last night, West Vancouver council held a public hearing for the “Area Plan”, Catherine Barr June 6 – https://www.facebook.com/vancouver.events.girl/posts/10158877648575323

For Reference — Marine Drive Local Area Planhttps://westvancouver.ca/home-building-property/major-projects/marine-drive-local-area-plan-and-design-guidelines

Public Hearing – Marine Drive Local Area Plan – 6pm – June 5th

Hi Everyone,

The Public Hearing to add the Marine Drive/Taylor Way Local Area Plan to the Official Community Plan is on June 5th, at 6 pm, at Municipal Hall.

• Agenda is here – [Link]
• Learn more here – [Link]

Also — A Public Engagement Summary Report is now available here [Link]. It provides an overview of the public engagement events and feedback received during Phase 1 of the Official Community Plan review.

Some highlights of the process so far:
*   over 1,200 web page views
*   12 stakeholder meetings
*   Youth Brainstorm
*   two World Cafés

One More Thing — Blood Donor Clinic at Gleneagles on May 24th. — I am very pleased to say that we had 81 donors that day. The next clinic is July 19th.

Thanks!

Warm regards,

Mary-Ann Booth
Councillor
District of West Vancouver
604-340-8490
https://westvancouver.ca/
https://twitter.com/maryannbooth
https://www.facebook.com/CouncillorMaryAnnBooth/

Links in Full


Agenda – June 5th – https://westvancouver.ca/sites/default/files/dwv/council-agendas/2017/jun/05PH/17jun05-PH-Agenda.pdf

Marine Drive Local Area Plan – https://westvancouver.ca/home-building-property/major-projects/marine-drive-local-area-plan-and-design-guidelines

Public Engagement Summary Report – https://westvancouver.ca/sites/default/files/dwv/assets/home-building-property/docs/major-projects/ocp/Phase%201%20Public%20Engagement%20Summary%20Report%20.pdf.

Engagement Opportunities — Public Sessions & World Cafes — Trail Development

Hi Everyone,

Here are opportunities to engage in the planning of  “Arts & Culture” and “Trails on Public Land” in West Vancouver.

First, the “Arts & Culture” sessions, “World Cafés” are on May 15, May 25, and May 27.  Please RSVP at 604-913-2772 or online.

Second, the “Plan for Trails on Public Land” sessions are on May 10, May 11, and May 16.  Learn more here https://westvancouver.ca/parks-recreation/major-projects/plan-trails-public-land

A reminder that there’s a Public Hearing to add the Marine Drive/Taylor Way Local Area Plan to the Official Community Plan on June 5th at 6 pm at Municipal Hall. Learn more here – https://westvancouver.ca/home-building-property/major-projects/marine-drive-local-area-plan-and-design-guidelines

For those who didn’t attend the March blood donor clinic at the West Van Community Centre, there’s another on May 24th at the Gleneagles Golf Club House as per the notice below.

One More Thing – I was very impressed with the Youth Council, 100+ award winners, and six young “Give me Five” presenters.  Our future is bright!

There are more details below.

Thanks!

Warm regards,

Mary-Ann Booth
Councillor
District of West Vancouver
604-340-8490
https://westvancouver.ca/
https://twitter.com/maryannbooth
https://www.facebook.com/CouncillorMaryAnnBooth/

Information Sessions — Plan for Trails on Public Land

Wednesday, May 10 | 3:30–7 p.m.
West Vancouver Community Centre Atrium, 2121 Marine Drive

Thursday, May 11 | 11 a.m.–2 p.m.
Seniors’ Activity Centre, 695 21st Street

Tuesday, May 16 | 4–7 p.m.
Gleneagles Clubhouse, 6190 Marine Drive

More information – https://westvancouver.ca/parks-recreation/major-projects/plan-trails-public-land

More

 

Marine Drive Local Area Plan and More

Hi Everyone,

A council report on the “Marine Drive Local Area Plan and Design Guidelines” will be presented by staff Monday April 24th.  The public hearing is tentatively scheduled for June 5th.  Also there is a West Van Arts & Culture Strategy survey online, and a Blood Donor Clinic at Gleneagles on May 24th.  I’ve included details below.

I hope you all had a great Easter Weekend.  The weather in April has been challenging and yet I enjoyed getting outside to see Team Canada play Field Hockey at Rutledge Field.  I also participated in the OCP World Café sessions, attended by 150 residents, and the stimulating forum put on by the WV Community Centres Society entitled  “Stop or Go:  Addressing the North Shore’s Traffic Challenges”.

Thanks!

https://westvancouver.ca/


Information — Marine Drive Local Area Plan and Guidelines

Marine Drive Local Area Plan and Design Guidelines to be presented at April 24, 2017, Council meeting.

A component of the Official Community Plan, the Marine Drive Local Area Plan and Design Guidelines presents a vision for the Park Royal and Lions Gate Bridge areas that combines housing diversity, community amenities, access to jobs, shops and services and a range of transportation options to create a more vibrant and complete community.

Following a public engagement program that took place in the fall of 2016 and Council direction from the November 29, 2016 Council meeting, staff will present the updated and revised vision for this area to Council on:

  • Monday, April 24 at 6 p.m.
  • Municipal Hall, Council Chamber (750 17th Street)

More

Community Planning Discussions — April 8 and April 12 — (OCP World Café Sessions)

Hi Everyone,

The Official Community Plan (OCP) team will be hosting public discussions (World Café Sessions) on April 8th and April 12th.

Please come and share your vision of West Vancouver.

I’ve included details below.

Thanks!

Warm regards,

Mary-Ann Booth
Councillor
District of West Vancouver
604-340-8490
https://westvancouver.ca/


World Café Sessions

What kind of future do you envision for your West Vancouver?

The Official Community Plan Review is about shaping the future of West Vancouver: our housing choices, what our neighbourhoods look and feel like, how we support local jobs, shops, and services, and how we protect the environment.

The District is consulting on the objectives for the revised plan and we want to hear from you.

*   What are your hopes for the future of West Vancouver?
*   What would make West Vancouver even better?
*   What are the key priorities you think the revised plan should include?


Come to a World Café session

Talk with your neighbours and share your priorities with us as we plan together for the future of West Vancouver.

Saturday, April 8
2–4 p.m.
Music Hall, West Vancouver Community Centre
2121 Marine Drive

Wednesday, April 12
6–8 p.m.
Gleneagles Golf Course Clubhouse
6190 Marine Drive

There will be a range of public engagement options over the next year and we encourage you to be part of this important process.