Another Village Centre for the North Shore

(December 18, 2013, posted in North Vancouver)

Gradual but significant change is underway for the intersection at Capilano Road and Marine Drive. In line with the North Shore “village vision”, this gateway to North Vancouver will soon be the home of one of the Shore’s bustling village town centres. Focused on high density living, as well, as public spaces such as green spaces, community centres, shops and restaurants will help redefine this area for live, work and play.

At the crossroads for east and west side properties there now sit vacant lots, run down motels and a non-cohesive mix of businesses. What will replace these is a new 20,000 Sq.Ft. Community centre, businesses and aprox 1,200 additional residential units. The location is perfect for commuters working downtown Vancouver or on the Shore. The Marine Village centre is located along public transit routes and offers accessibility to bridge and highway access within mere minutes.

Despite some concerns regarding an increase in traffic to the area, unanimous approval by the members of the Capilano Gateway Association passed the vote to make lower Capilano another North Shore village centre. As growth in Metro Vancouver is limited by mountains on one side and Ocean in the other, city officials and developers have recognized the increasing need to focus on rezoning areas for high-density, multi-functional use among residents with easy access to transit. Not only are centres such as Lower Capilano and the Cambie corridor necessary for continued economic growth in Metro Vancouver, but we are also seeing a shift in attitude towards residential living overall.

The need to protect established single family residential neighbourhoods combined with the need to accommodate and provide opportunities for low income and first time homebuyers with feasible prospects has broadened the need for high density developments around the city limits. Trend reports have repeatedly shown us that young people do not want to leave the city to buy a home. In fact, they want to stay right here and will take a smaller home with access to public transit and city living. Developers have noted that it is the condo units without parking spaces in new developments that are selling first and that demands for bike accommodation are increasing as buyers shift their priorities from expensive cars to expensive dinners in the city.

People want to live where they work and play where they live. A lifestyle choice that is connected to the things that bring the most reward. Yes, the cost if living in the city is generally high but affordability often comes down to a juggling act of priorities and location is at the top of that list for many.

The implementation plan process is where things are at now and acts as a step between the official community plan and the individual rezoning process.

Other implementation plans Lower Lynn, Lynn Valley Centre and Maplewood are also underway.

In summation: The Lower Capilano Marine Village Centre – entrance gateway to North Vancouver to be developed with a tower, public space and restaurants – in rezoning process but could see digging in next few years. For more information on the plan visit: Identity