What would you do with 90 acres of land in West Point Grey?
If you had 36 hectares (90 acres) of available land on Vancouver’s west side, how would you use it? Plans to develop a prime parcel of real estate in exclusive West Point Grey are slowly underway at the City of Vancouver, with the potential for a mix of housing—including affordable housing—as well as community centres, retail centres, parks and open space. Over the summer, council endorsed the Jericho Lands Policy Planning Program, kicking off a two-year process to create a policy statement to redevelop the Jericho Lands, one of the last remaining consolidated large sites within the City boundaries. This program is now in the background phase, with consultation with small group stakeholders such as neighbourhood groups, community centre boards and business improvement associations expected to start before the formal launch of the planning program next year.
Where is it?
The site is bounded by West 4th Avenue, Highbury Street, W 8th Avenue and Discovery Street. The sprawling property encompasses two large land parcels. The eastern parcel is 21 hectares (52 acres) jointly owned by the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations (MST Nations) and Canada Lands Company (CLC), a Crown corporation. The western parcel is wholly owned by the MST Nations. Prior to 2014, the Department of National Defence owned the eastern lands, the site of the former Jericho Garrison, while the provincial government owned the western lands until 2016. Both portions were sold for redevelopment potential. Parts of the property are currently leased to West Point Grey Academy, a private school, and the Vancouver Park Board.
Who is in charge?
Council will comprehensively plan the redevelopment with the CLC and the MST Nations working in partnership. Under the Jericho Lands Policy Planning Program, principles, objectives, and policies will be established on reconciliation, affordable housing, land use, density, height, public benefits, transportation, built form, character, sustainability, infrastructure and phases of development. Council will accept a financial contribution of $2,860,000, paid in instalments, from the project proponents, the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil Waututh Development Corporation and the Canada Lands Company, to fully recover the program costs.
A city spokesperson said staff are working with the CLC and MST to identify a background study and information needs, which includes securing consultants and staff. Small group stakeholder engagement (such as with neighbourhood groups, local business improvement associations and community centre boards) will likely begin prior to the formal launch of the planning program. “This early input will help shape the broader community and stakeholder engagement and consultation strategy,” the spokesperson said. And if you live in the area, you’ll have a chance to have your say to in a few months. The wider formal public launch is expected to begin in January or February next year. You can find out more about the development here or read the full report to council.