Subdivision plans for North Vancouver waterfront delayed, developer says

Click to play video: 'Developer claims red tape is holding up North Shore project' Developer claims red tape is holding up North Shore project
A developer says bureaucratic red tape is holding up a project that would transform a part of the north shore waterfront. Jill Bennett reports – Dec 6, 2019

A B.C. property developer says it has run into a maze of red tape in trying to transform a waterfront property on the North Shore.

Wesbild owns a 27-acre property in North Vancouver located between Lonsdale Quay and the Lions Gate Bridge.

In 2018, the company applied to subdivide the land.

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“On the district website it says that it will take four to six weeks,” said Wesbild VP of real estate Steve Forrest.

“It’s now been 15 months and we haven’t received an answer yet.”

Forrest says Wesbild’s plan would open the site to a number of new businesses in an area where there is less than a one per cent vacancy rate for industrial space.

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He warns if that doesn’t happen, existing businesses on the site, like Lions Gate Marina, could be at risk.

“Our concern is the District of North Vancouver is not going to approve our subdivision application,” he said.

“And what that’s going to impact is the marina itself. It’s currently not a viable operation. We have millions of dollars to put into it in upgrades to meet the building code and we can’t achieve that without servicing a subdivision.”

The issue went before council in June, with councillors hearing from the district’s approving officer who will make the final decision.

Council also heard some opposition to the plan, including a letter from the Port of Vancouver opposing the subdivision.

Some businesses on the site say they are concerned about their future, saying if the marina is shut down, they, too, would have to go.

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“We want to stay here,” said Grant Kish of Pleasurecraft Marine Services.

“We’ve got nine employees and some on the North Shore, some from all over. We have a lot of customers come here and they know us and it’s a convenient place for them to bring their boat to.”

Wesbild was told Friday there will be a decision on the application next week. In the meantime, they are asking businesses and residents for support.

“The logic is not there for the district to not approve this application,” Forrest said.

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