Marpole resident questions source of funds for potential Arbutus Corridor land purchase

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      A Marpole resident is questioning which funds Vancouver is considering dipping into if CP Rail agrees to sell the Arbutus Corridor land to the city at “fair market value”.

      In a letter to Mayor Gregor Robertson and Vancouver park board chair Aaron Jasper, Don Larson has indicated he hopes that the potential purchase of the lands doesn't pre-empt a new 10-acre park planned for Marpole.

      “We would trust the City would not be raiding the $75,000,000 for new and expansion projects outlined in the current Capital Plan proposal in order to pay for this Arbutus Corridor,” he stated in the letter.

      “Further, we would trust the City would not be raiding the $24,000,000 in Community Amenity Contributions from the April 2nd approved Marpole Plan.”

      Larson outlined his concerns in response to a letter from Robertson being sent to residents along the Arbutus Corridor this week.

      In that letter, the mayor indicates that the city has had an independent appraisal done and is “prepared to pay fair market value for the land”.

      “Unfortunately, to date CPR has not been receptive to our offers,” the July 15 letter states.

      “The City will continue to work towards reaching a reasonable, fair agreement with CPR that is reflective of the Arbutus Corridor ODP.

      “We are clear in our vision for the Corridor. The City does not support the reactivation of cargo trains and we have expressed this directly to CPR.”

      Community gardeners along the Arbutus Corridor, which has not been an active rail line for almost 14 years, have received notices to remove “unauthorized encroachments” on CP property by July 31.

      “After July 31, any authorized property remaining within the boundaries of our right-of-way will be removed warranted by our track maintenance work,” a CPR notice posted in the neighbourhoods reads.

      An online petition calling on the mayor to preserve the Arbutus Corridor as an ongoing green space has drawn more than 800 signatures.

      The petition notes that the Maple Community Garden, one of the plots along the Arbutus Corridor, was established 25 years ago, and incorporates organic food production, soup kitchen garden beds, beekeeping, and rest spots for community members.

      “Now this garden and those situated along the Arbutus Corridor are threatened. With less than a month's notice CP Rail has ordered that they all be dismantled,” the petition to the city reads.

      “If you truly aspire to achieving the World's Greenest City, we urge you to support community gardens by entering into meaningful negotiations with Canadian Pacific to develop a sustainable plan for maintaining this precious green space.”




      Jul 21, 2014 at 3:37pm

      Highly doubt CPR will sell the land. It's extremely valuable,and Vancouver will have to dole out a lot of money for this.

      I would rather have the money used to create new parks which will benefit a lot of people rather than spending it on this type of purchase.

      Scam detector

      Jul 21, 2014 at 3:52pm

      CP can't do anything with the land besides run trains along it, if they want to waste money doing it that is their right. I live by the tracks, barely noticed the trains when they did run and frankly am not too concerned about the fear mongering this time. The Musqueam should reclaim the rail line and the city should keep out of the issue.

      anonymouse 1962

      Jul 21, 2014 at 4:13pm

      The petition has more than 800 signatures.. The city has more than 600,000 residents. Not a major issue for most people in this city but Vision making hay with the crème de la crème!

      Alan Layton

      Jul 21, 2014 at 9:28pm

      I've said about all I can about this subject, but I don't think the naysayers realize what we'll lose if this rail line is converted into commuter rail. Just because it's in a pleasant, green and quiet part of the city is no reason to destroy it.

      Anybody can walk or ride the Arbutus Corridor line, at any time, and the summer is the best time. So why not see what will be lost.

      Environmental concerns

      Jul 22, 2014 at 2:04am

      "Even out swap" for the Granville Island Coal Terminal....similar to the "transfering of Square Meters" area on Annacis Island to Burns Bog. THAT was a accounting Greenspace ALR trick so the Coastland Mill on Annacis Island could deveolp some ALR land.

      Watch this one! Get out a magnifying glass- and run it down- hard.


      Jul 22, 2014 at 6:16am

      The rail line is looking much better through Kitsilano. It used to be overgrown with plants and trees. Since CPR has cleared the route, It is much easier to walk along it. CPR can go a head and run trains if they want but they probably won't have many customers.

      Jon Q. Publik

      Jul 22, 2014 at 9:27am

      Quick do something before Adrienne Carr calls for a referendum!


      Jul 22, 2014 at 10:27am

      Cpr does not own the land they have exclusive use but only as a transportation corridor. Do nothing, let it sit. This council is so predictable that they have fallen for the deception. There are no plans to run freight but Cp must do maintenance to improve their claim. As for the people who live along the line you have had bonus land which you do not own and when you bought your property you knew it abutted a rail line. Do not spend any money, this issue will settle itself

      Petition at 4,000 and rising

      Jul 23, 2014 at 1:11pm

      There are in fact 4,050 signed petitions (numbers rising daily) gathered by supporters of the Green Space and community gardens on the Arbutus Corridor. These will be submitted to City Hall over the next days but the hard copy petition is doing very well indeed.