Development Can Be A Good Thing and A Bad Thing
Bird on the Fraser River in Richmond, BC - development issue

Development Can Be A Good Thing and A Bad Thing

I am concerned about the future of Richmond. Richmond City Council has endorsed a staff report for an “Iconic” TOLL bridge to replace the Massey Tunnel. Richmond City Council has approved plans for another 50 towers in the Centre of Richmond. Richmond City Council has promised to save farm land as they watched Port Metro Vancouver buy up farm land. Richmond City Council has allowed Port Metro Vancouver to buy more land along the Fraser River when they know that this will lead to industrialization of the river.

Do you see a problem here?

We need City Councillors that will fight for Richmond and not stand back and watch her be destroyed. I have worked as an ordinary citizen to stop multiple bad developments in my own neighbourhood, and have even joined legal action against the provincial government to force them  to conduct a proper environmental review for the shipment of jet fuel on the river. Our legal action is completely funded by VAPOR – and has received no assistance from the City of Richmond. We have held fundraisers and reached out to the public for donations, and I have to say, the commitment and hard work this requires is staggering. So, why do people like me work so hard to fight the fights (particularly against over-development) we won’t always win? The reason is simple: Someone has to.

Garden City Land Development

Remember when Richmond City Council approved high density housing for 50% of the Garden City Lands? Michael Wolfe and I fought for 3 years with the Garden City Lands Coalition to stop this ill-conceived plan, and today the City of Richmond owns 136 acres in the city centre that will allow for a piece of heaven in the middle of a concrete jungle.

The Lingyen Temple Massive Expansion

Here in Shellmont, I have worked for 10 years to stop four proposals from the Lingyen Temple for a 232,000 sq ft colossal expansion. I will continue to try and work with the temple to convince them that they must obey the same bylaws that the other institutions have obeyed.  But why has Richmond City Council not made it clear to the Temple development team that unless the expansion follows the No.5 Road back lands policy, that the application will be denied ?

Also in Shellmont, I rallied my neighbors to stop townhouse developments that would have seen all the traffic routed through our lanes. The process took 3 long years, with countless presentations to Richmond City Council, and finally they  agreed to change their position and route the traffic to Steveston Highway.  It should not be this hard to get their attention.  Our daily lives should not be disrupted for 3 years just to be heard.

Shellmont Pub Proposal

Also in Shellmont, a pub was proposed for Sandhill Plaza that would break the City Pub bylaws. So Richmond City Council voted to change the bylaws so they could approve it. The neighbourhood  could not understand why City Council took away their right to a pub survey and why the bylaws that limited pubs close to a major highway was ignored. In the end, the pub was not built because the license owner committed multiple serious infractions in their host city of Ladner.

I want a City Council that will stick up for the rights of the average citizen and protect existing neighborhoods. I want a council that listens.

Development is good when it benefits a community and is bad when it threatens a community.

Now is the time for change. It’s your choice. Say nothing and you’ll be doomed to more of the same. Do nothing and watch Richmond continue down the same path. Or get to know the candidates and vote for a new Richmond City Council that will protect you, your family and your community.

 

2 Comments

  1. The centre of Richmond cannot in all honesty hold that many Towers and still work in an cohesive manner, Already transit is a nightmare and the thought of 80 thousand more people in an area that small is mind boggling, I think the city council is doing a disservice to the community and the residents.

    • Hi Barbara

      Thanks for your comment. I talked with planners at City hall and they defend the plans saying the construction will be over many years and they will spread from the oval to number three road. I am just really glad that myself and others worked for so many years to save the 132 acres at the Garden City lands, at least there will be some green space in the city center. The real problem in the down town core is it has gone too far and there is not much one can do at this point other than work with developers to acquire land for new schools , units set aside for affordable housing and park space. With the city having such a strong hunger for development we need to be very aware of the plans that could come up for the neighbourhoods outside the city centre. At Broadmore we have seen the first example of densification around shopping malls, I suspect this new trend will continue and we need to be aware of that and decide if this is something we accept or not.

      As I go out in the community with popcorn in the park and go door to door I hear over and over again that folks are at the breaking point and want to see a slower more sustainable level of development. It will remain to be seen if people vote their hearts and make a change.

      RITE Richmond believes that people are ready for change and want some new faces, fresh idea’s and elected officials that take their opinions into account when they vote on issues.