While I enjoy the increased vibrancy that has come with population growth and densification in North Vancouver in recent years, I see the downsides as well. The north shore is now infamous for its terrible afternoon traffic, and the steep cost of living is causing long-time residents to seek new homes elsewhere.

The truth is, there’s a serious problem with how development decisions are made. When a new housing development is proposed, there’s a public input process, but there is no contractual mechanism to establish clear rights, obligations, and benefits between the neighbourhood residents and the property developer. In essence, long-term residents of a neighbourhood are asked: “please allow this new tower to be built in your neighbourhood, even though it may block your view and increase the burden on strained local infrastructure. In exchange, we may provide some public art, or something.”

My intent isn’t to malign developers, the majority of whom are simply trying to provide a much needed good (housing) as best they can according to the current rules of the game. I simply want to be part of a frank conversation about alternatives to a system that clearly is not working for many of the citizens of North Vancouver.

Clayton Welwood

Candidate for DNV Council

Clayton is running for District of North Vancouver Council in 2022. He holds a BA in International Development from Trent University, and works as a project manager in the construction industry.