A trip to the Shipyards is always a pleasant experience whether it be the Night Market, Yoga in the Square or a walk on the Pier. The truth is, the experience would be even better if it wasn’t for the large empty lot of industrial wasteland directly in the middle of the Shipyard, otherwise known as Lot 5. Part of the lot, which sits directly North of the Shipyards Pier is used as a temporary beach volleyball area, the rest however is fenced off from public use. North Vancouver City Council recently moved to correct this problem.

A motion was put forward to use $450,000 from the Civic Amenity Reserve toward Lot 5 “Planning and Design”. In addition, $2.4 million from the General Reserve would be used “for the purpose of funding Lot 5 Environmental Remediation”. This amount includes the balance of the Provincial grant provided to the city for the now defunct National Maritime Centre originally slated for this spot. There is a stipulation that “any of the above amounts” that are not used by the end of 2018 be returned to the Reserve Fund.

Mayor Darrell Mussatto stated during council, “I think it’s very clear that we do need to remediate that site. We cannot leave it sitting there, so the money has to come from somewhere. Where the money comes from, whether it’s one fund or the other, it’s not a big deal to me. We do need to move forward on this site and those soils need to be cleaned up.”

Noting the size of the expenditure and the fact that Councillor Bookham was absent from the meeting, a motion to defer decision until all were present was put forward by Councillor Bell. This motion was defeated by 4 to 2 and the original motion was put to vote and passed by the same count with Bell and Councillor Clark voting against.

No word yet as to when work will start on cleaning the site, but at least the wheels are finally in motion to utilize a prime piece of Lower Lonsdale public space.



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