Rick Hurlbut, August 28, 2018
The City of Vancouver has determined that certain sections of land purchased from CP Rail to develop the Arbutus Greenway will be sectioned off for other purposes. These parcels are located at the very north end of the corridor and are part of the light industrial neighbourhood just west of Granville Street, running between 1st and 5th Avenues.
The reason given is that it is too complicated to accommodate the Greenway due to the busy roadways in the area. However, this would deny the City the opportunity to join the Greenway all the way to False Creek and the Seawall. If the City can commit millions of dollars to demolishing the viaducts and completely redeveloping the Northeast False Creek area, coping with a few level street crossings should not be an issue.
The motion to presented to Council has not yet been published, but one of the primary concerns is that nothing has so far been said as to what will be done with these lands. Given their location, the various parcels would likely fetch hundreds of millions of dollars if sold to developers. However, particularly the largest and most northerly section, could be set aside for public housing. We simply don’t know.
Two other sections are situated immediately west of the onramp loop from 4th Avenue onto the Granville Bridge. Within the loop, and including some land to the east, is the appropriately named Granville Loop Park. These two sections would make a great addition to the park, and help it to better integrate into the surrounding neighbourhood.
Any proposal to section off these sections of land should include a proposal for their future use. ProVancouver will be making representations at the City Council meeting scheduled for September 5th at which the motion will be considered.
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