Stephen Rees's blog

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

Archive for June 28th, 2008

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

Tagged with

Carbon Cool Challenge

with 3 comments

Salt Spring Coffee and the Sierra Club of BC have a competiton on line. Fairly modest prizes (though I could do with a year’s supply of coffee) but mostly about raising awareness of what you can do to reduce your carbon footprint. Have a look and refer your friends.

Written by Stephen Rees

June 28, 2008 at 3:14 pm