Canadian Pacific (CP) will restart its clearing efforts along the Arbutus Corridor on Tuesday, according to a letter sent to residents living along the Corridor over the weekend.
The company will remove gardens, vegetation and structures on its corridor property for its plans to reactive the railway as space to storage rail cars. Work on this phase of “brush cutting and removal of encroachment” will start at West 70th Avenue and continue northward over a period of about four weeks.
When this process is complete, the company will begin any required railway infrastructure upgrades and seek federal regulatory approval for trains using the tracks.
“We take the safety of our communities, employees and contractors very seriously and ask you all to do the same,” reads the letter by CP. “It is neither safe nor legal for anyone to use CP’s land along the Arbutus corridor as a commuter route (walking, running, cycling), for storing personal goods, or for gardening (planting or removal).”
“The Arbutus corridor is a valuable asset for CP and we remain committed to our shareholders in optimizing its use.”
This follows the B.C. Supreme Court’s ruling three weeks ago against the City of Vancouver’s attempts to acquire an injunction to stop CP from demolishing gardens on the Corridor for the purpose of reactivating the railway. Chief Justice Hinkson ruled that CP is within its right to clear its privately-owned lands and that “gardeners, pedestrians, cyclists, and motor vehicle operators who have been using the corridor have no right to such use.”
The company has stated it will not settle for anything less than $100-million from the City of Vancouver for acquiring the 45-acre, 11-kilometre strip of land. CP maintains that restrictive zoning that designates the Corridor for greenway and car-free transportation purposes does not permit the company from gaining a full market value of its property.
CP believes the Corridor’s real market worth is more than $400 million, but it is “prepared to accept far less in order to reach an agreement” as it recognizes the importance of the right-of-way to Vancouverites.
However, the municipal government has only offered $20-million for the piece of real estate in the city’s westside neighbourhood.
Feature Image: @Bammer via Twitter