Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

Say farewell to the Green Zone

with 5 comments

Yesterday Metro Vancouver decided to allow land to be taken out of the Green Zone for redevelopment. This was at the bidding of Surrey – but undoubtedly there has been a campaign for some time. The line goes – we support you to take some land out and then you support us. Expect to see much more taken out in coming months.

The first four words of the Livable Region Strategic Plan are “Protect the Green Zone”, and since 1995 that is what has been done.  The LRSP is still the legally mandated Regional Growth Strategy, which Metro exists to defend. But what the councillors at yesterday’s meeting showed was that when the temptation to make money from property development gets big enough, nothing will ever be allowed to stand in its way. We have already seen the protection of the ALR gradually whittled away. Now the Green Zone will follow. The SFPR and the expansion of Deltaport will see an end to farming in much of Delta and will kill both Burns Bog and the last salmon runs in the Fraser. The twinning of the Port Mann Bridge and expansion of Highway 1 will see continuous suburban car oriented development south of the Fraser – unless someone wakes up in Victoria soon and realises what has been happening across North America is starting to happen here too. (North of the Fraser the Golden Ears Bridge and the replacement of the Pitt River Bridge will see the same effect.) Rising oil prices mean that automobility as we know it will no longer be economically feasible – so the irreversible damage to the region’s livability will have been for nought.

And the judgement of future generations on what this short sighted, greedy decision means for the region will be harsh.

I searched in vain for a mention of this in our local media – nothing in the Sun or Province – and of course nothing in the locals since they went to press long before the meeting started. The CBC was there – they have a story on Translink funding – but obviously missed the significance of what happened.

UPDATE Sunday June 29, 06:40

Frank Luba has a short piece in the Province this morning

a long-time defender of the ALR, Richmond councillor Harold Steves, called the decision “disappointing.”

In addition to setting a precedent for other developers hoping to take land out of the ALR or Metro’s Green Zone, he contends the development will affect the Pacific flyway used by migratory birds.

“We’ve talked about eco-density and the city centres and preserving the Green Zone and this flies in the face of both,” said Steves.

Written by Stephen Rees

June 28, 2008 at 3:37 pm

Posted in land use, regional government

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5 Responses

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  1. [...] Source: stephenrees.wordpress.com [...]

  2. True story:

    I was corresponding with an American planner a few years back about American transit & urban planning and the chap said something quite extraordinary. He said candidly, ” We used to look at Vancouver and the GVRD as world leaders in urban planning, but not today.”

    I am afraid Campbell & co. have made Vancouver world-class joke. The public must take off their rose coloured glasses and see what disasters are lurking ‘two-minutes’ into the future.

    We build new highways when gas exceeds $1.50 a litre. We plan and build $100 million/km. to $250 million metro systems, when the rest of the wold planners for $10 million/km. to $25 million/km. light rail. We wantonly destroy fragile ecco systems, just someone cam make a buck. We destroy precocious farmland, when transportation costs are soaring.

    For whom the gods wish to destroy, they make mad first.

    Malcolm J.

    June 28, 2008 at 10:59 pm

  3. Hello again, I am going on another rant and I hope those who I offend can see my logig.
    Everyone one in charge from the province to the mayors, to the city planners,engineers,everyone, they must all be on CRACK!

    I give a little ground to all you kumbia,love the earth, give a little love ,share the land,share the water,share the wealth make room for more,eco densify,change our ways!————–BULLSHIT

    It doesn`t work,close the border,limit growth, ——Now you can all call me a _ _ _ hole. The people in charge only care about growth for the sake of growth,when the ALR gets more and more taken out of it ,more taken out of the green zone,then some more city planners on all levels will simply say—-Well know ones farming,we might as well develop whats left, gee those green zone spaces would be ideal for a police station,a hospital,a gas station,a 711, a new highway etc etc etc.

    Mr.Rees I know your heart is in the right place and I can feel your anger but you keep falling into the same trap,eco this,eco that,densify,water metering,reduce consumption,OH YEA it can be done, WRONG WRONG WRONG—–If the rules were written in stone,the ALR and green space and rules set out by the livable group and placed into our legislative body as a SET OF LAWS THAT CANNOT BE BROKEN (the penalty of breaking that law is death for everyone involved)

    As it stands now there is too many lobbyists in goverment,too many people looking for profit,too many goverment fools who merely want their paycheck and they don`t give a dam about anything!

    John Les types are everywhere,people are weak,the lower mainland is turning into a rat hole,the fraser valley is well on its way to becoming one,then south vancouver island and one by one the FOOLS PLANNING OUR CITIES WILL – – – – UP EVERY PLACE THEY CAN GET THEIR HANDS ON!

    So go-ahead praise the peice of garbage phony gas tax (that won`t do anything to reduce carbon) and look the other way while they pave paradise and put up a parking lot.
    ————————signed……………………………….nothing but tears

    grant g

    June 28, 2008 at 11:59 pm

  4. Let’s call “growth for the sake of growth” what it really is – growth for the sake of PROFIT.

    All of our inane ideas and the problems resulting from them: immigration without proper social support, land coming out of the ALR, paving the green zone, destroying once intact neighbourhoods to put up 20 storey condos, widening the highways, it’s all so that GROWTH CONTINUES.

    And if growth continues then those who stand to profit will. Everything else is just so much fluff.

    Steve

    June 29, 2008 at 12:11 am

  5. This decision really stings coming on the heels of the Sightline Institute’s report on how we’re already doing a substantially worse job on focusing growth into compact communities since 2001.
    http://sightline.org/publications/reports/slowing-down/slowing-down-may-20.pdf

    Bert

    June 29, 2008 at 12:43 am


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