Many of our neighborhoods are park-deficient. Increasing population and densification increases the vulnerability of these park-deficient neighborhoods. To ensure that all residents have equitable access to green space, the Vancouver Park Board works with the City on a long-range property-acquisition strategy to acquire sites for future park development and expansion.
Green spaces are result of careful property acquisition
Many of our much loved parks and green spaces – English Bay, Emery Barnes, Point Grey Road – have been developed by thoughtful assembly of private and commercial property over many decades.
We have had recent success with this strategy in the opening of several well used neighborhood parks, as a result of foresight and planning and careful property acquisition for green space. Lillian To Park at 17th and Yukon and the park at 6th and Fir are two such recent examples.
On occasion the assembly of necessary parcels takes many years, and in these cases the City makes the property available for rental. We currently have people living in properties designated as future parks in the Renfrew Ravine and China Creek neighborhoods.
City and Park Board working on future expansion of John Hendry Park
Recently there have been reports surrounding a property at 3030 Victoria Drive purchased by the City in 2016 for the future expansion of John Hendry Park, commonly known as Trout Lake. The property backs onto the park. The property purchase and demolition was approved by City Council at an in-camera meeting last year, as is standard and prudent for real estate transactions involving public funds. If City interest is disclosed, prices could become inflated, thus the requirement for confidentiality.
At the time the property at 3030 Victoria Drive was purchased, it was believed adjacent properties may become available in the near future. This has not materialized. It was never our intention to see this property remain empty for 18 months, pending a “green” demolition.
The Park Board Property Acquisition Strategy has identified Grandview Woodlands/Cedar Cottage as a park-deficient neighborhood. The community was consulted about the future expansion of the park in the John Hendry Master Planning Process.
We are in the process of assessing our options for 3030 Victoria Drive, which include working with housing agencies for short-term rental of this property.