RAV Mitigation Nixed
Vancouver city council voted on March 29 to create a new "community liaison officer to ensure resident and business concerns are met" before construction of the $1.72-billion Richmond/Airport/Vancouver Rapid Transit project. However, a majority on council (Mayor Larry Campbell, COPE councillors Jim Green, Raymond Louie, and Tim Stevenson, and NPA Coun. Sam Sullivan) rejected COPE Coun. Anne Roberts's proposal for additional measures for businesses along Cambie Street between 2nd and 63rd avenues and on Granville Street north of Georgia Street.
Roberts introduced an amendment calling for the city to work with RAVCo, a TransLink subsidiary, and the B.C. government to identify the economic impact of cut-and-cover construction on merchants. Roberts also wanted the city to examine mitigation measures that could be conducted by RAVCo and the provincial government.
COPE Coun. Tim Louis claimed that retailers face "economic executions by the dozens" because of RAVCo's endorsement of a cut-and-cover tunnel. This is far more disruptive to street traffic than a bored, underground tunnel.
Green, however, predicted that Roberts's amendment would create legal and financial liabilty for the city. He warned that if the amendment passed, the city might have to compensate homeowners every time it built a sewer line. Roberts replied that she didn't think a "$2-billion megaproject" would set any such precedent for changing sewers in front of somebody's house.
Louie pointed out that the city doesn't compensate businesses for major road or sewer projects.
COPE councillors Fred Bass, David Cadman, and Louis supported the amendment; NPA Coun. Peter Ladner was absent.