“Ownership is Job 1”

This is a quick update on the tentative Garden City Lands purchase by the City of Richmond, B.C.

At the pivotal Richmond council meeting of March 8, 2010, Coun. Ken Johnston emphasized that “Ownership is Job 1.” At the same meeting, the directors of the Garden City Lands Coalition Society supported the purchase of the Garden City Lands in principle but stated two reservations, including this one:

With the previous Garden City Lands agreements, the detailed agreements turned out to be worse for Richmond than what the citizens expected from the announcements. Although the legacy land replacement funding needs to be approved today, we ask that any hidden problems be resolved before the money is actually spent.

The media coverage of the issue has died down, but I believe that the City is addressing Job 1. One councillor has told me they are working all-out on it. Since the Save Garden City councillors are scrupulous about maintaining confidentiality, that’s all we’ll learn from them.

If the deal falls through, that is better than a bad deal that significantly decreases the value the City obtains. The dissidents on council seem to have never got over the loss of their dream of megadensity development on the lands. It’s an unfortunate reality that they may weaken council as it faces the current challenge, although we hope that all council members will work together for the good of the community.

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