A number of years ago then Mayor Pamela Goldsmith-Jones invited me to participate on a panel looking at alternative housing choices for West Vancouver residents. Through a series of events, I ended up redeveloping three single family lots next to the Rec Centre, West Van United Church and other amenities into a 9 unit infill development, known as Hollyburn Mews www.hollyburnmewshomes.com.
At the time it was very controversial, with over 150 speakers and letters in opposition. However, it was approved by a 4-3 vote with Shannon Walker, Michael Evison, Trish Panz and Pam Goldsmith-Jones in favour. Today, I think everyone, including the councillors who voted against it and most of the people who spoke against it agree it has been a positive addition to the community.
Sadly, in the 2011 election, Michael Evison was not reelected. However, the new Council, including newcomers Craig Cameron, Mary-Ann Booth and Nora Gambioli went on to support a number of much-needed new housing initiatives including guidelines for coach houses throughout the District
Unfortunately, a number of councillors in the forthcoming election appear to want to take a step backwards in order to preserve West Vancouver just the way it is. I worry that if they are elected projects like Hollyburn Mews and new rental and ownership apartments will not be approved.
You can read about the list of candidates here http://westvancouver.ca/government/2014-general-local-election/candidate-information/declared-candidates
West Vancouver is finally heading in the right direction when it comes to new housing choices. For this reason, I am hoping Craig Cameron, Mary-Ann Booth, Nora Gambioli, and Michael Lewis will be returned to Council.
I also hope that Michael Evison will be elected back on Council.
Three other candidates warrant consideration. Peter Lambur is an architect and planner who could offer a much needed voice when it comes to the need for new community plans.
While I do not know her, I am told Joanne Baxter would be a good addition to Council. I also do not know Jim Finkbeiner, However, I know of him as a former successful business executive who could bring important skills to Council.