Testing Ideas – Feedback:
The two public open houses and stakeholder meeting on June 23rd, 24th and 25th provided an opportunity for the Cypress Village Planning Team to hear from residents and stakeholders about specific attributes of the future village including:
- Programming priorities for uses and civic amenities
- Neighbourhood scale and character options
- Target populations and resulting density options
- Supportable commercial services based on population and market orientation (i.e. local service retail versus a destination retail experience for the region)
- Trail and recreation connectivity
- Transit and transportation opportunities
- Upper Campus recreation and community benefit option
The forums were structured around subject-specific information clusters organized in presentation boards, with illustrations and data relating to the assumptions and options being studied. The intention was to help facilitate discussion around the key components needed to create a sustainable and desirable village. The renderings and precedent photographs are intended to represent the scale and character of neighbourhoods and public spaces being considered as the program is refined throughout the engagement process.
The following summary reflects the general clustering of comments and rankings around each of these specific topic areas.
This station illustrated over-arching infrastructure elements and program options for different levels of population, number of units and the associated commercial and civic programs envisioned for the village.
What We Heard:
- It was well understood that critical population mass was necessary to generate sufficient levels of commercial services. The need to meet frequent transit thresholds was a generally agreed upon element.
- Many individuals communicated that higher populations would be important to the success of Cypress Village, while some others noted their surprise with the upper ranges of the population and unit counts as high as the projected 7,200 residents and 3,800 units.
- Respondents generally stated that solving the through-traffic congestion and local traffic pressure on existing roads was fundamental and would dictate acceptable levels of program and development intensity.
- There was a lot of dialogue on the need to develop a management plan for trail networks as Cypress Village is developed and provides access to the new network.
- Achieving residential diversity within the village was generally viewed as difficult to attain given prices and historic focus on expensive, single-family houses.
The Design and Development Team asked participants to rank priorities for community amenities and services within the village. Participants had three votes for top priorities. The results of the community voting are as follows:
This station featured illustrations of different possibilities for the mixed-use centre of the new village. Criteria featured feedback from the May workshops with the public regarding preferences as well as associated programming and scale of development identified in the Big Picture assumptions.
What We Heard:
- In terms of scale of development, many appreciated the main street precedents of Dundarave and Edgemont as many West Vancouver residents are very familiar with these villages.
- Positive response was given to the concept of a pedestrian-focused area based in part on Whistler-type spaces that are car-free. Participants were briefed on the assumption that a pedestrian-focused environment would only be possible with a stronger regional draw for destination retail experience versus a smaller neighbourhood service centre such as the one in Caulfeild Village.
- The urban character of the High Street scale received mixed reviews and questions on whether this character is appropriate for the mountainside. However, many understood that to achieve population levels, a more urban character would be required.
- There was general support for the two to four storey scale of the commercial centre.
- Participants responded positively to the five minute walking radius catchment area for the village in all scenarios.
This station was designed to give people a sense of how different neighbourhoods within the village could have a diverse range of character depending on the location, building types and assumed densities. The illustrations included two to four storey attached housing on steeply sloped sites; a broader view of the village with a mix of housing types and heights calibrated to reflect the middle densities anticipated in the projections; a more urban character based on six (or more) storey apartment buildings as the fabric of buildings and blocks.
What We Heard:
- General consensus that the projection of “middle densities” for most buildings (up to six storeys in height) with taller buildings in specific locations, was consistent with expectations.
- A number of long-time residents perceived the village neighborhoods as too urban and not consistent with the character above the Upper Lands Highway.
- Participants recognized that diversity would only be achieved through offering broader building and unit type options.
Illustrations in this station were designed to foster conversation about the role of the Upper Lands within the site. A series of recreational concepts and programmatic concepts were presented as ideas that may have appropriate community contributions and provide assets now not being considered. These included recreational destinations and linkages; education uses; research and development; employment campus; and hospitality and wellness uses, all founded in a strong sense of mountain identity.
What We Heard:
- Many acknowledged the concept of an Upper Campus as ambitious. Some believed it would be a great addition to West Vancouver. Many noted the location above 1200ft. and while not necessarily providing personal concerns about a campus on the plateau in the variation area, they acknowledged that others may have concerns.
- Many believed that the employment uses and mountain institute uses could be a benefit to the community as a whole.
- Caution was raised about creating an exclusive use with a Hospitality hub.
- Access by alternative transportation options, such as a gondola, received general support from participants as a way to preserve natural areas and eliminate additional automobile traffic on the mountain.
On June 21st, Charles Montgomery led a group of over 60 community members through a “Happiness Workshop” to further explore the eight key principles of happiness and wellness for West Vancouverites. The workshop was organized into eight separate teams, each tasked with developing a key happiness principle to guide the planning process for Cypress Village. The principles produced at this workshop include: