Back to the future nightmare

On the basis of previous blog posts and people’s knowledge from other sources, I’m being asked whether the City of Richmond representatives who allowed the Garden City Lands and DND Lands in Richmond to be designated General Urban in the Metro Vancouver Regional Growth Strategy bylaw are (a) not up to the demands of their jobs or (b) engaging in elaborate schemes or (c) all of the above.

Certainly, the inconsistency with the Agricultural Land Commission Act of a land use designation for “residential neighbourhoods and centres” pn ALR land was not a subtle little mistake to begin with. Furthermore, the commision had twice refused applications to exclude the land from the ALR in the past few years. The stubborn non-response from Metro, which was taking advice from the City, in continuing the illegal designation when the commission clearly and repeatedly indicated the necessity to change it makes no sense at all. So why has the City kept steaming ahead on a path to the edge of a cliff?

I have no way of knowing. However, I will share one theory from a Richmond City Hall insider. Her/his theory is that the small number of members of council and staff who keep pushing the illegal “General Urban” land designation of the Garden City Lands are trying to force a return to an earlier stage when the Garden City Lands situation was in a much bigger mess than now (big as the current mess is). That stage was when the City of Richmond was still hogtied by the  “Agreement of Purchase and Sale” development agreement.  As the theory goes, the City will soon have messed up badly enough to have to agree to a compromise with the party that is suing the City. That seemed far-fetched when I heard it a couple of months ago, but it is becoming credible.

I have tried to find a better explanation for seemingly irrational behavior, and there really has been none.

Hardly anyone wants big buildings on the Garden City Lands. I think that most people are happy with a green future of agricultural, ecological, and open-land park uses for community wellness. But we keep heading inexorablyback to the nightmare that hardly anyone wants.



  1. 1
    ravi Says:

    “But we keep heading inexorably back to the nightmare that hardly anyone wants.”

    Actually the few people who are making these decisions on behalf of us all do want this. So do all the developers, and there are enough of them in richmond, seems like everyone here is either a realtor or a developer these days. The problem here is not the law, there are many ways for the powers that be to get around the law, they have shown us this many times in the past. The real problem is twofold, one… corruption on the part of our elected “leaders” and two… apathy and sheer ignorance on the part of the public in Richmond and Vancouver. We are being sold this “Green ECO Agenda” so hard that we are all too busy sorting our garbage into 6 different containers instead of looking around and seeing what is actually going on.
    We need a major awakening on all fronts, but anytime you bring any of this up with the citizens of Richmond the majority run away with their hands over their ears.

  2. 2
    al Says:

    Having attended the GP meeting held today…

    Regardless of one’s views re the GCL, ALR etc, it became clear to me NO ONE…I repeat NO ONE has a clue how Metro Van RGS Bylaw 1136 will ultimately unfold if it is passed.

    That is the concern

    It is full of ambiguity, lacking clarity, subject to interpretation, etc.
    Thus, it is meant to befuddle staff and especially Councils….and then the REAL agendas will come out of their dormancy and shed their cocoons.

    The Metro mafia wants to pre-determine growth for the next 30 years…when even some of our Councillors stated they won’t be around.
    That is too much power in too few hands.

    Metro Van is composed of approx. 38 directors, and Van has the most ie 6…Richmond has 2…

    Do we the public want to lose our input for 30 years ? Or have appointed UNelected 38 people out of 4 Million BC citizens , and perhaps beholden to small UNaccountable UNelected Metro Van bureaucracy ?

    This Bylaw 1136 is basically a document to entrench the aforementioned…pure and simple. The rest is window dressing I’ve seen in numerous other documents .

    Metro Van’s role is a supplier of basic civic services, nothing more.(ie Water, Sewers, Waste Management
    If one reviews the document , it is clear the main variable is sewerage allocation. They clearly want to focus on hi density as a Metro OCP, so that they can symbiotically dedicate sewer infrastructure to hi density.

    Is this green?

    Local Gov’ts have become addicted to the DCC’s, property taxes etc that accrue form hi density. It is their main funding source. Duly Note Richmond’s displacement of Commercial/Light Industrial zoning in the City Center for residential hi rise and thus avoid Nimbyism.

    One Councillor let it slip that if (3) land use designations in Bylaw 1136 are the only impediment , the RGS should go through?
    Feather in cap ?

    Crap !!!!

    If Council is not 100 % sure….then back off and demand Richmond’s best and better interests and past autonomy are protected.

    Otherwise we lose what we previously had….

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