Why the Application Makes No Sense

 At the Garden City Lands public hearings, I made an early presentation that was intended to be a Garden City Lands Coalition rebuttal of the main points in the development consortium’s application. It’s over 7,500 words long, so you may prefer this short version, which is an executive summaryplus one or two additional points:

1.     The advice of Richmond-hired aboriginal law expert Keith Clark supported what Councillor Steves has said for months. Mr. Clark called Musqueam land title claims on the Garden City Lands a “red herring.”

2.     The Garden City Lands development would not even provide enough parkland for its own population. Purchasing parkland to make up for the shortfall would cost the people of Richmond over 150 million dollars.

3.     Having the Garden City Lands as 136 acres of park would eventually save the city from having to buy that amount of City Centre parkland at City Centre land prices, which are at least $5 million an acre. That would save the people of Richmond well over 600 million dollars.

4.     The agricultural park proposed by those who want to keep the lands in the ALR would be highly congruent with all five themes of the excellent new B.C. Agriculture Plan, with a huge benefit for agriculture. (And that’s just one of the major benefits for Richmond’s citizens and tourists.)

5.     The proposed mega-density development on farmland is not Smart Growth.

6.     If there is a decision to not exclude the Garden City lands from the ALR, Richmond should insist on keeping to the renegotiation process that is provided in the agreements and not allow anyone to tear up the agreements.

7.     In renegotiation during the life of the agreement of purchase and sale, Richmond has the right of first refusal to buy the property. Richmond will be able to use that right if CLC, along with the Musqueam, acts with community social responsibility or good faith or if it reciprocates the immense goodwill that the City has shown toward it.

8.     If the City does not believe that both those parties will act in that way when crunch time comes, then it needs to stop and step back, with the help of lawyers at Mr. Clark’s level, and rethink how to proceed with or without a partner it can’t trust.

In case that’s not enough for you, here’s a PDF of the full Jim Wright submission to the Garden City Lands Public Hearing.

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