Lantzville’s OCP a decisions for the future

I don’t think many residents realize existing ½ and ¼ acre urban lots in Lantzville are a 1960’s 70’s subdivision creation and a product of no sewer and/or water availability. They are now an obsolete anomaly and to create new serviced lots sized to match existing aged subdivisions is the height of waste and makes no environmental or economic sense.

A 1/2 acre or 24200 ft2 would be double the size of lots in the Peterson Rd. area and 4 times the size of a normal modern North Nanaimo 6000 ft2 lot. I would anticipate, considering the cost of roads, water and sewer, these lots would have to sell well above Nanaimo prices. The homes are going to be upscale, large and very expensive. I don’t think this proposal is going to be representative of Lantzville desires for a larger choice of housing and affordability.

Sometimes we forget the grand old highway and the large geographic size difference between UL and LL. Lower Lantzville does not have much of a land inventory. This is an important consideration: to promote higher density below the highway. Except for some additional land on Owen Road and infill, this project will closely determine the upper housing limit for LL.
The 45 acres on Ware Rd. is the largest remaining LL residentially zoned parcel. The ½ acre proposal, adding road construction and all, would at best see the building of 60 to 70 very expensive homes, North Vancouver in the making, where neither middle class nor people in service employment could afford to buy, including teachers.

More troublesome, this proposal would dispose of this highly desirable residential zoned acreage in one or two years seriously shortening Lower Lantzville land supply horizon. The will most certainly increase pressure to release ALR land. (Golf course subdivision is already being suggested by one of the former OCP members).

The Ware Rd. parcel represents less than 1% of Lantzville’s total 5500 acre land base. The foothills park land concession of 1000 acres is 25 times the size of this parcel, larger than Stanley Park. I don’t think many people realize how much green space this really is and when the time comes to transfer the park to the RDN they may not be interested (too costly to maintain, they have rejected previous donations). I would suggest with this park land in our inventory our green space allocation and land preservation is a model on Vancouver Island.

Some of the following is repetitive but for the record here is another go at why higher density is needed for the residential zoned portion of Lantzville’s 5500 acre land base :
Extend buildable land supply time horizon
Better mix and choice of residential accommodation
More efficient delivery of water and wastewater services
More efficient public infrastructure and lower infrastructure costs
Lower pressures on property taxes
More consistent school enrolments
Generate higher municipal property tax revenues per gross hectare
Improved affordability for housing
Improved viability for small business
Reduced private costs for transportation
Reduced costs of servicing/maintaining public infrastructure
More effective use of public facilities
Better transit services enabled
Less school bussing required
Household energy savings for smaller properties
Reduced impact of energy price shocks to public and private sectors
Public safety/crime prevention benefits of more “eyes on the street”
Diverse and walkable mixed communities attract businesses and enhance the creative/innovative spirit
Better access and choice of jobs and services within the community
Larger, more diverse labour pool for business nearby
Greater sense of community responsibility by business
Reduced per capita emissions of greenhouse gases
Reduced per capita emissions of toxins from transportation and property maintenance
Greater potential for efficient delivery of energy
More rural and agricultural lands preserved; more habitats preserved for wildlife
(Source: urban planning guide)

Finally and pointedly, the contradiction of this community’s environmental efforts to restrict harvesting from the woodlot and the indiscriminate, irresponsible underuse of land for residential construction cannot or should not sit well with senior government.

I imagine, especially with the current government’s goals for more affordable housing and environmentally sustainable land use, it would not take too much effort to ring the alarm bells and jeopardize infrastructure grants. Why subsidize rich Lantzville OCP plans in which the returns for affordable housing are nonexistent?

Jack de Jong
Feb 2018