COPE Park Commissioner Spencer Herbert
thanks the residents of Vancouver for saying no to a proposal to build a
privately-operated 150-foot concrete observation tower in a Vancouver landmark,
Queen Elizabeth Park.
"When I first heard about this private
tower proposal, I knew Vancouverites would not support it," said Herbert.
"Erecting a huge tower in a natural setting, and overshadowing the gardens
that Queen Elizabeth Park is known for, and then charging people $10 to get a
view of what they used to get for free, makes no sense to me. Thankfully
tonight the NPA commissioners have finally agreed with Vancouver residents that
this tower does not belong in one of Vancouver’s finest parks."
"This tower could not have been
toppled without the ordinary people of Vancouver speaking out," said
Herbert. "The NPA would not have
reversed their position had it not been for the advocacy of many concerned
Vancouverites who stood up for our parks."
Park Board surveys show that only 27
percent of those asked support a 150-foot observation tower.
"Approximately 70 per cent of those
surveyed were opposed to the tower," said Herbert. "And about the
same number want the Park Board to restore some mountain views that have been
obscured by tree growth over the past few years. We must now look at
options – including doing a tree inventory to see what it would take to restore
the views while minimizing environmental disruption."
"This NPA majority park board has
brought other wacky and bizarre ideas including robotic dinosaurs in Stanley
Park, and now this 150 foot concrete tower in one of Vancouver’s most beautiful
natural spaces," said Herbert.
"Both have been thoroughly rejected by the public, who were
incredulous we were even considering them. I hope this board will listen
to the public and recognize that we are a park board, and not an amusement park
COPE Commissioner Loretta Woodcock notes
that residents who spoke passionately about the Queen Elizabeth Park should not
be labelled as Nimbys.
"There have been so many changes in
their neighbourhood that residents want something to remain constant,"
said Woodcock. "The Park is important for them to stay in touch with the
past and into the future. It’s not always the solution to build more buildings
because those new buildings eventually become old ones and then PB is left with
paying for their refurbishment."