Results of surprise council meeting

This is a follow-up to the “Surprise council meeting . . .” post. Here’s what happened.

Citizens De Whelan, Jessica Lai, Olga Tkatcheva, and I all made brief presentations to council on the agenda item related to the City’s input on Metro Vancouver’s Regional Growth Strategy. In different ways, we all advocated that the City of Richmond firmly support Strategy 2.3, “Protect the region’s supply of agricultural land and encourage its use for food production.”

In response to my presentation and others, Coun. Bill McNulty moved that the City request Metro Vancouver to include the Garden City Lands and the adjacent Department of National Defence Lands in the proposed new version of the Green Zone. In the new version, they would be in an agricultural zone. Mayor Brodie and the couple of Pave Garden City councillors managed to derail the motion so that it was replaced with one that lets Metro Vancouver know that certain matters, including that one, will require further study. Although that is not ideal, it is far better than what would have happened if those presenters and attentive council members had not acted. It is likely that the Garden City Lands would have gone into the new Regional Growth Strategy as “urban” — a bad result.

What happened today is typical of what needs to happen, with small steps forward where the alternative would have been a step backward. Bigger steps forward are nice too, but “slow and steady” is fine too.

Good work, presenters, a number of councillors, and the citizens who came to the meeting to lend their support.

For those who would like a clearer sense of the issue, I’m providing my brief presentation as a separate post.

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