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News and notes from City of North Vancouver council
People parking their RVs on the streets around Capilano Mall may soon have to find other areas for the long-term parking of those vehicles.
City council directed staff Monday night to prepare an amendment to its traffic bylaw, which would prevent RVs from being parked on city streets for more than 24 hours. Hanes and MacKay avenues, as well as Hamilton, First and Third streets — in the stretches near the mall — are considered problem areas, according to a staff report.
Coupled with the restriction on overnight parking, city staff are also recommending that RVs no longer be considered "working quarters." When monitoring the aforementioned streets, staff said RCMP officers were told by RV owners that they were working out of their vehicles. As such, they were allowed to remain parked where they were. Currently, there is a bylaw restricting people from living in their cars but it has proven difficult to enforce. Outlawing working in one's vehicle, however, may prove more successful and result in RVs being forced to move.
If these amendments are passed by council, CNV's new bylaw would mirror that of the district. West Van, on the other hand, is more guarded as it prohibits the parking of RVs on any city street between the months of November and March.
CNV staff monitored RV parking from August-September last year.
Also on the bylaw-altering front, council voted to have staff draft new terms for its "Property Involving Controlled Substances" bylaw yesterday.
Currently, the City of North Vancouver is able to charge a property owner for any costs incurred by the municipality in the cleanup of a grow-op. But Coun. Craig Keating believes the city should bear those costs and, if necessary, refund any property owners that have been billed for such work.
Keating's interest in rescinding the bylaw stems from an incident last year when Payam Shahin-Moghaddam, the owner of a property in the 1600 block of MacKay Avenue, was charged $2,960 after the city provided inspection services — as it does on any construction site — and the RCMP investigated a grow-op in the residence. Shahin-Moghaddam, however, rents the place out.
"Mr. Shahin-Moghaddam is the only victim in this matter. The City of North Vancouver bears the cost in all other criminal activity that results in repair," Keating told The Outlook, noting the charges against the person responsible for the grow-op in question were stayed in court.
"But then we say for marijuana 'we're going to ding you.'"
The present bylaw, added Keating, implicitly makes landlords the supervisors in their relationships with tenants.
Until staff return to council with a report on the potential bylaw amendments, the caveat to refund Shahin-Moghaddam will not be considered, at the request of Coun. Don Bell. Bell wanted to review the information in the report before deciding whether or not a refund should apply.
The waterfront puzzle
The premise of Monday night's delegation from Capilano University brass, a re-iteration of the school's interest in establishing a satellite campus on the city's waterfront lands, came as little surprise to council. For more than a year, Cap U's desire to be a part of the area has been well documented.
And while no firm decision on its waterfront fate was ultimately made, Cap U inched one step closer to a CNV address after council voted unanimously for staff to begin discussions with the school "to formalize an agreement for the location of a campus at the Shipyards [also known as Lot 5] site."
In addition to that mandate, city hall will also provide support in any discussions the university has with potential partners interested in being part of the oft-discussed parcel of land.
Cap U's need for partnerships is twofold: it has no money to invest in capital projects and would need to enter into a lease agreement with the city should it establish a waterfront presence and, depending on the courses available at the new campus, may establish alliances with other groups for potential space-sharing arrangements. To begin, the school has forecasted a need for 10,000 square feet of space (Lot 5 has the potential for more than 100,000 square feet of development).
University president Kris Bulcoft told The Outlook she sees a satellite campus as a space well-suited for classes that run into the evening, such as those offered through Cap U's continuing education department. Arts-based courses, she added, could also work in such an environment.
"We're not viewing this in a traditional sense. This would be done in a different style, adding a vibrancy to the area," she said.
"And if other arts groups move there maybe there could be shared spaces with them. The future of post-secondary institutions is to get out of the brick and mortar and engage with the community. This can be a really unique place."
Cap U's delegation comes on the heels of council's decision to allow the North Vancouver Museum and Archives to investigate the possibility of moving into the Pipe Shop, the red-roofed building located just north of Shipbuilder's Square and east of Lot 5.
The museum has been searching for a new home for nearly 20 years. Most recently, a new space was being considered as part of an amenity contribution from the Onni Group, potential developers of a large-scale condo complex proposed for Central Lonsdale's Safeway site. City council, however, has told Onni to scale down the work. As a result of that decision, museum staff were directed to search for another location.
The Pipe Shop, however, is much smaller in size — 9,300 square feet — than the 20,000-23,000 square feet Nancy Kirkpatrick, museum director, has indicated her organization wants. That amount of space, said Kirkpatrick, would allow the museum to offer more modern and interactive exhibits.To add floor space to the Pipe Shop, the museum will be exploring whether or not a mezzanine level can be added.
"Principally, we think the location is fabulous," said Kirkpatrick.
"Tourists will be drawn there and we believe we can help activate it."
The museum enjoys about 3,500 square feet of exhibition space at its current location in Presentation House, with extra off-site storage. Kirkpatrick said she would like to store items on-site in the future to save money.
The other group interested in relocating to the waterfront is the Presentation House Gallery. In a recent interview with The Outlook, Reid Shier, gallery director, said a draft of a "fundraising capacity report" had recently been completed and will soon be presented to the gallery's board of directors. Once that presentation is made, Shier will take the report to both North Van councils.
Like the museum, the gallery has been seeking a stand-alone space to expand it's offerings. Its fundraising capabilities, however, hinge on obtaining a dedicated building.
"In a new space we could potentially do three shows at once," said Shier.
"And it is highly unlikely that philanthropists would fund a multi-tennanted, city-owned building."
The municipally-owned structure Shier is referring to comes from suggestions, championed by Coun. Rod Clark, about possibly building a catch-all structure on Lot 5 that would house the tenants of the current Presentation House — the gallery, theatre and museum.
"I have long maintained that these facilities should be built together. It doesn't have to be the same as Presentation House," said Clark.
"In fact, it cant be the same as Presentation House. There are a multitude of options."
A few weeks back, Clark requested staff prepare a report outlining each of the decisions council has made in regards to potential tenants for the waterfront lands. That report, he said, will prove valuable when council begins making decisions on who goes where.
"Over the past term council has instructed staff on a number of parameters and if I was staff I would be wondering what to do," said Clark
"So, we first need to know what all those instructions have been. Then, council can sift through them and decide which to pursue, which to combine and, if possible, which to jettison."