The Public Input Meeting hosted by North Vancouver City Council on Wednesday, May 23rd allowed residents to voice their concerns about Port Metro Vancouver’s (PMV) Proposed Low Level Road Project. The key themes of the evening were potential increases in noise levels and air pollution in the future, and that the noise and environmental studies have not been delivered by PMV.
PMV Committed to Availability of Noise and Environmental Studies Last Fall
In August 2011, PMV asked residents for their input about the previous consultation process (i.e. January – May 2011) and what PMV could do to improve it for their next round of consultation. Residents stated that they were concerned about noise from the port. In response PMV stated the following in their September 2011 Update:
- “There is an acoustic engineering report and due to its technical nature, it will be available at upcoming consultation activities where we can fully explain the study and its findings.”
- “We are finalizing an environmental report in addition to the acoustic engineering report. These will be available at upcoming consultation activities where we can fully explain the studies and their findings.”
These reports were not available at the February / March 2012 consultation events as PMV had previously indicated 6 months prior in their September 2011 update.
Noise and Environmental Studies Still Unavailable
PMV’s latest update, at the Public Input Meeting on May 23rd 2012, was that they were still finalizing the reports and that they would be delivered to City Council on or before June 11th , 2012.
City Council Scheduled to Make a Decision on June 11th
City Council is expected to make a decision on whether or not to proceed with the Proposed Low Level Road Project on June 11th. If PMV delivers these studies to City Council on that day or even just days before, it gives little time for Council to read the studies and consider them in the context of the project, and evaluate their impact on the community.
The biggest stakeholder group of this project, the residents, will have no opportunity to review these studies, and will not have the opportunity to consult with the PMV Project Team as PMV had committed to in September 2011.
June 11th Deadline is Too Rushed
Many Councillors echoed residents’ concerns and have stated that the June 11th deadline is too soon to make a decision on this project given the last minute delivery of the noise and environmental studies.
The North Shore Outlook’s article, North Van city hosts lengthy Low Level Road meeting, quotes Councillor Pam Bookham stating “They [the port] have had a year. That’s ample time to complete this work. We need time to get as many answers as we can. I’m prepared to continue this discussion for as long as it takes.”
The Outlook article also states: “Councillors Don Bell, Rod Clark, Guy Heywood and Bookham each said they were uncomfortable with the port returning to council on June 11 for a final decision because they felt there isn’t enough time for them or the community to digest the forthcoming reports.”
A Unique Moment in Time
Councillor Rod Clark, who chairs the City of North Vancouver’s Waterfront Industrial Noise Committee, had a distinctive perspective on this issue. High-lights of Clark’s comments include:
- “This is a unique moment in time for Council and for the community to stand up and get something done for the future so there is not only the Low Level Road which is going to provide all this economic benefit, it can also provide community enhancement in other words, noise control, and that is the other big hanging question here …”
- “Finally, I am going to state categorically, that I will not support the Low Level Road Project on June 11th until we have the noise and the air pollution addressed and acceptable to the City of North Vancouver, and I do that on behalf of the community where I live and represent them on Council …”