Re: Six-storey development proposal in Ladner
There are so many things wrong with this development, but to first mention a couple of indirect issues.
Traffic considerations: 129 units, most of which will have at least one car, in the midst of a small area already experiencing traffic congestion. On-street parking (e.g., six visitor spaces for 129 apartments).
Housing affordability: this is a condo development, not an “affordable” rental development, and the spaces freed up by people buying these expensive condos are not likely to be affordable either.
It is interesting that the first real move (other than tearing down an old building) of the much vaunted Village revitalization is a very large six-storey building. When we were being sold on the revitalization, the possibility of six-storey buildings was barely mentioned amongst all the attractive aspects of the waterfront renewal. Among those opposed to six-storeys I've heard no one say they are against the waterfront renewal ideas.
The public information/consultation process, while no doubt useful, is vague, in that I don't see the same accountability that is evident in a public hearing. In a public hearing we can see and hear everything that is being presented; in a public information session, people mill around, discuss informally, ask questions and can fill out cards, but it's all very nebulous and it’s difficult to get a clear total picture.
Mind you, at last year's public hearing, the overwhelming opposition to the bylaw changes allowing six storeys (highlighted by Doug Reynolds in his letter of Dec. 8, 2022) was simply dismissed and the changes were adopted at the same meeting.
During last year's hearing, a man pointed out that six-storey buildings fit in very well in the beautiful city of Paris. I would point out that Paris is made up of six and seven storey buildings. While not as extreme, this six-storey (22 m./72 ft) building in Ladner Village is more like the out-of-scale tower completed in 1973 in the old artistic quarter of Montparnasse, a building that Parisians to this day see as a blot on the cityscape of Paris. Following its completion, the city banned buildings over seven storeys. Unfortunately the tower remains. The proposed six-storey building (and more to come if allowed) will be with us in the Village for a long time.
Six storey buildings (no matter how they tinker with the roof line), in fact any buildings over four storeys, in the “beloved historic Village” are contradictory to the Village concept, inappropriate and unacceptable. Go to Bridge Street, stand across from the Dunbar building and imagine this huge building, essentially twice as tall as the old city hall, next to which it will stand.
We can have these buildings in Ladner, but the Village is the last place they should be. If people care about maintaining the feel, look and value of the historic Village, they must let council know very clearly that this six-storey development should not go ahead.