Received from Darrell Mussatto, Mayor of the City of North Vancouver


Thought I would share a little of my pain with you today.  I am getting this on a regular basis now.  I know you are very familiar with such fan mail but I think it foreshadows the municipal election discussions just over two years away.




Dear Mayor and Council,

I have lived my entire life ( off and on ) in North Vancouver. ( I’m not that old.)  I own a home here as do many of my friends.

What has been allowed to happen to our fair community is nothing short of a crime.

Why this Mayor and Council are bent on granting ( what seems like ) every application for any piece of land to have a condo built on it. Density is not what we need and now it’s seems like a runaway train.. You DO have the power to say NO more permits allowed until we figure out our infrastructure… One extra SeaBus… Not even close to solving what is going to ( and already ) is an incredible problem for the citizens of which you reign over..

Bridges, hospital, so much density … and not enough foresight.

It’s got to stop.. It’s just not all about gathering all those property taxes.. You have to think about the people that have lived here for years and those that will live here in the future. Once you build what you want to see ( like a mega city ) it will too late to stop the madness.  A moratorium needs to be put on the amount of building you have recklessly allowed.

Everyone I know feels this way.. You would have to have all the time in the world to go to every application denial. We all work so we can keep up with what you have given us— a 20 % increase in our taxes. And a now chaotic City..

It really is not just about you.

We are very concerned and the votes will be heard loud and clear at the next election if you don’t curb it.


  1. It is unfortunate that these people are not considering that:

    1)The municipality is not the level of government stopping the expansion of public transit.
    2)The cost of living is so high and the only way the municipality can help solve this problem is to increase the supply.

    I often email my municipality telling them they need to approve bigger denser taller applications rather than just a few condos. We need a massive increase in supply. Unfortunately the people saying no are often the ones that are the loudest.

    1. The municipality is not the level of government stopping the expansion of public transit.

      Except that when Translink wanted to put a bus depot in North Vancouver (to support transit expansion)…the city of North Van said “No thanks, we don’t want all those buses…”

      Translink is now poised to serve all the North Shore route from its Burnaby depot, so every single bus route on the North shore will be affected by the the iron bridge’s traffic condition: this will result in a less reliable transit service which will be also much more expensive to run(vs from a NorthVan depot) …thanks who?

      Did we mention that Mussato is also the guy who wants to have the condo dweller to subsidize the single family home owner?

      Stephen Quinn had a good column on it in the G&M:

  2. I wonder if someone should study the potential effects of curbing all development in a city. One could foresee it starting with lawsuits, and possibly ending with either an outrageous spike in land and building value over even today’s unaffordable prices, and perhaps ending in a collapse.

    The base attitude in the letter is also subconsciously abhorrent: I can move her and put demands on city services, but no one else should be allowed to move here. With that logic one could suggest the best way to decrease density is you move yourself out.

  3. That’s about as close to a pure NIMBY letter as you’re likely to see…existing property owner, drawing on local/regional resources, wanting to preserve ‘neighborhood character’ (ie: no one else is allowed to share in the dream).

    The worst part of these letters is the blatant sense of entitlement.

    “I have lived my entire life ( off and on ) in North Vancouver.”
    And that justifies your sense of entitlement, how? By the way, how do you live “off and on” in a location? Did you roll over and die for a year or two? You either lived there your entire life or you didn’t.

    “You have to think about the people that have lived here for years and **those that will live here in the future**.
    Those future residents being….who? In the absence of land supply, and your demand for no increase in density, those *future residents* live where? Oh! You mean the future residents that buy *you* out after your property value has doubled….of course, my mistake.

    “It really is not just about you.”
    Translation = It’s really all about me.

  4. It’s interesting to note that nowhere does the letter expand what the author actually means by “density”, as if that ominous moniker need no further explanation. More traffic? More (non white) faces? More jostling? The ‘threat’ of 4-5 storey ‘towers’? Glue-huffing bands of street children? One can only imagine the apocalyptic hellscape of associations that constitute the author’s concept of the word “density”. The fear and paranoia are so present, you almost want to help this person.

  5. Wow, it’s a surprising place and time we live in that the old man from Up! is now the villain. (And apparently a racist as well.)

    I live in North Van and am happy overall to see it densifying, but the infrastructure (roads, transit, schools, etc.) is falling far behind the growth so it’s understandable some people aren’t happy with it. Sure many of gaps are not the City’s fault, but it is disingenuous of Council to set growth goals then ignore its own policies and blow past these amendment by amendment. The developers ARE really good at getting a few extra floors from Council for the right shiny object, every single time. Luckily I like shiny objects and accept that deal, but I don’t think people who don’t are “paranoid” and “abhorrent”. That’s pretty mean.

    1. Yes, this old man is the villain. He’s got his, so now everyone else can go jump in the lake. I’m only guessing about the racist part, but his own ‘end is nigh’ tone is partially to blame for fueling obvious speculation. “Density!”, as if the word alone will conjure the vapours.

      Development is no crime, and Council sets parameters on what is permissible and what is not (i.e. permissible use, size, height, etc.). If a development falls within the boundaries of those parameters for that particular site, there is no legal reason to deny permission. It’s all well and good to never want anything to change, but what makes it villainous is advancing an agenda that intentionally shuts others out because they want a home – something that this person feels he and he alone is entitled to.

      1. There still are and probably always will be thousands of SF homes in North Van — I doubt he (we’re both guessing it’s “he”) wants a house for “him and him alone” so he gets to be Last Man in North Van. He could be someone who with his long-time friends and neighbours has been forced out to make way for condos (Moodyville), or he could be someone up the hill whose density will never be threatened and he just hates the extra traffic slowing down his Escalade on the way to the bridge. Who knows? Certainly not you or me. He’s not the one advancing an agenda – he joined this community under a certain set of rules many years ago and the city has changed those rules on him. That old agenda was probably wrong, but the new rules are not his and have been changed under him, so it’s no wonder he feels cheated.

        Perhaps wanting a yard is evil unless you live in Prince George or are rich, but that’s a very new idea for many suburban Vancouverites who have put much of their life’s energy and investment into that kind of community, and even for planners – Christopher Alexander’s famously progressive A Pattern Language equates buildings above 4 stories with mental illness. Even if that’s all nonsense and everyone everywhere should live in high rises (although I don’t understand how it’s impossible to build our way out of traffic problems but it is possible to build out way out of housing problems), it’s important to understand the cognitive dissonance and displacement that comes with high-speed cultural change. This person will lose; there is no doubt. We can gloat about it, call him an idiot and kick him around, or we can win with a bit of empathy and grace.

        Stereotyping, mocking and demonizing “those people” is always a dangerous, slippery slope, no matter who those people are.

  6. We know density is inevitable but can we just proceed a little more cautiously? It just might be possible that the development plans of a mayor who proposes ferris wheels and bike lifts could have some flaws.

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