Between one and half, and two acres of Vancouver park space will soon be covered by asphalt and building development. And the Park Board has no policy to replace lost green space.
The biggest loss – 1.34 acres – is in Stanley Park where the Vancouver Aquarium is expanding its facilities. Smaller chunks of China Creek Park, Trout Lake, Killarney and Hillcrest Park will also be lost as new ice rinks and Olympic related facilities are constructed over the next two years. Meanwhile no new park space has been added.
Now COPE Park Commissioner Spencer Herbert wants the Park Board to adopt a No-Net Loss policy to make sure that when green space is lost to development, equivalent space is replaced.
“As I looked at park development over the last two years, I noted that we have lost approximately 1.5 to 2 acres of green space which has been, or will shortly be put under buildings,” said Herbert. “I’ll be bringing a motion to the Park Board on November 26 calling for a no-net loss policy of green space that will guide future decision making. If passed, this motion will put Vancouver on the road to becoming the first city in BC, to have a ‘City Park Reserve’.”
Herbert envisages a park reserve with provisions similar to the Agricultural Land Reserve. When a community centre or other facility expands into park space, any lost land would have to be replaced, either through shrinking the size of parking lots, or through a combination of acquisitions and expansion in other areas.
Attached: No-Net Loss Policy Motion
November 14, 2007
Moved by Commissioner Spencer Herbert
Whereas in the last two years the Park Board has seen the planned elimination of green space for increased building footprints in China Creek, Stanley, Hill Crest Riley, Trout Lake, and Killarney Parks
Whereas a policy to guide decision making on such expansion proposals, and that protects existing green space, while still providing the flexibility to deal with pressures for increased space in community facilities, is needed;
Whereas with Vancouver’s population increasing, green space in parks will be of even greater necessity and value to the well bring of the community;
And Whereas pressures on our parks for development and other uses are rising while net green space has not kept pace;
Therefor be it resolved that the Park Board request that staff research, and develop a policy on no-net loss of green space that would be used to guide future decision making
And Be It Further Resolved that staff report back to the board for further guidance by April 2008.