Challenges derail arrival of new Canada Line station on Cambie Street in South Vancouver

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      The new Canada Line station earlier envisioned in South Vancouver is not arriving soon.

      It may not even come at all.

      A City of Vancouver report has identified challenges in the delivery of an additional Canada Line station at Cambie Street and West 57th Avenue.

      The future station was part of the broad policy statement adopted in 2014 by city council for the redevelopment of the Pearson Dogwood lands in the Marpole neighbourhood.

      The Onni Group has purchased most of the 10-hectare property from Vancouver Coastal Health for condo development.

      The developer is planning to build 2,160 condo units on the Pearson Dogwood lands located between Cambie and Heather streets, and West 57th and 59th avenues. The plan also includes social housing, replacement of facilities for people with disabilities, a park, and an urban farm.

      Susan Haid, city assistant director of planning for Vancouver South, submitted a report included in the agenda Tuesday (June 27) of council regarding the rezoning application submitted by the Onni Group.

      “Though it is desirable to achieve a future station at 57th Avenue there are a number of key challenges,” Haid wrote in her report. “Currently, the station is not considered in regional transportation plans and is not considered a regional priority such as the Broadway Corridor line.”

      “Existing transit access and the lack of east-west bus connectivity is also a challenge,” Haid continued. “While the existing design of the Canada Line considered future stations at 57th and 33rd Avenue, the design provided no access or tunnel connection to the line and construction is anticipated to be technically complex and highly costly.”

      “Given this, the future station is considered a longer term possibility,” Haid informed council.

      A view of the proposed redevelopment of the Pearson Dogwood lands located between Cambie and Heather streets, and West 57th and 59th avenues.

      Haid indicated in her report that as part of the rezoning application, an 8,000-squre-foot parcel will be  “dedicated to the City at the northeast corner of the site at 57th Avenue and Cambie Street to accommodate a potential station entrance and sub-ground connections”.

      In addition, a cash contribution of $20 million “will be secured from the applicant in the first two phases of development as a contribution towards the construction of a future station”.

      “Staff will seek similar contributions from future major project rezoning proposals adjacent to the site while also pursuing opportunities and discussions with TransLink and other key stakeholders to pursue the potential to realize a future station,” Haid wrote.

      One such major project is the future redevelopment of Langara Gardens. The eight-hectare rental complex co-owned by the Peterson Group and Concert Properties is located north of the Pearson Dogwood lands across West 57th Avenue.

      However, Haid also left open the possibility that the future Canada Line station may not get built at all.

      “Should the station not be attainable in the long-term future, the financial contribution towards a future station would be re-allocated to address the amenity priorities identified for Pearson Dogwood and those in and around the Cambie Corridor consistent with the respective public benefit strategies,” Haid wrote in her report. “This approach is consistent with the policy report approved by Council in 2014 for the Pearson Dogwood Policy Statement. Future allocations would be reported to Council through the Capital Planning Program.”

      The rezoning application by Onni Group for the Pearson Dogwood lands will be subject to a public hearing.