North Vancouver residents oppose tower project

WATCH: Dozens of North Vancouver residents are speaking out against a condo development. The new tower was narrowly approved by city council last month. Jill Bennett reports.

A proposed new condo development in North Vancouver is getting a chilly reception from residents.

The project, pitched for 161 East Keith Road, would replace a three storey rental walkup built in the 1950’s with a 93 unit, 16 storey market rental condo tower.

But some residents say they’re afraid it will change their neighbourhood, and gathered today in Victoria Park to voice their concerns.

Lara Gilbertson says she doesn’t oppose densification and recognizes the area is zoned for it. But she says along with the existing towers nearby, this project will be too much.

“It will shade out the whole park,” she said. “They’ll be right in line with the sun. We’ll be in darkness.”

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Others say they feel like the approval process was rushed through.

“This whole public hearing process has been a total sham. And I am so angry that I am so angry that we are circulating a petition and I am still going to go with it to city hall with it and tell them that we consider this an invalid public hearing and that we want another one,” Linda Hayes told the assembled crowd.

Opponents also say they’re worried the new units could price many out of the neighbourhood, including students, seniors, and people on fixed incomes.

“Those rental units quite often are sixteen, eighteen hundred dollars,” said area resident Bill Bell. “They’re replacing ones that are eight and nine hundred dollars. That’d be double the amount.”

North Vancouver city council green lit the proposal at a meeting last month in a vote split 4-3, with support from mayor Darrel Musatto. They will vote on final approval for the project tomorrow.

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