"It’s not too late to protect our park space,” says Vancouver COPE Park Commissioner Spencer Herbert. “If my motion was seen by the NPA as a partisan political move, then I urge them to re-introduce it as their own, call it whatever they want, and it would have my support. Protecting parks is just too important to the future of our city."
Herbert was referring to his motion for a “no-net loss policy” on park space that was defeated by the NPA majority at last night’s (November 26) meeting of the Vancouver Park Board. If approved, a no-net loss policy would have required any park space lost to development to be replaced.
Herbert says no-net loss is needed because development and Olympic related construction is covering green space with asphalt and concrete. Over the next two years, up to two acres of parks will be lost as the Vancouver Aquarium expands in Stanley Park, and as facilities are built in China Creek, Trout Lake, Killarney and Hillcrest Parks.
"NPA commissioner’s say Vancouver has only lost 0.8 percent of the city’s park base to development, and we don’t need to be concerned,” said Herbert. “But if we continue down this path, there will be no more green space left."
Herbert’s motion had called for Park Board staff to develop a no-net loss policy by April 2008.
“It’s a false argument to say you can only have protected parks, or you can only have community facilities, but you can’t have both,” said Herbert. “We can and must have both, or Vancouver is the lesser."