Direct municipal government involvement with the planning of the Jericho Lands redevelopment in the Vancouver Westside has been given the green light.
Earlier today, Vancouver City Council approved the Jericho Lands Policy Planning Program, which will create the master plan that guides the future rezoning of the 90-acre site.
The sprawling property in West Point Grey is framed by West 4th Avenue to the north, Highbury Street to the east, West 8th Avenue to the south, and Trimble Park and Queen Mary Elementary School to the west.
The Department of National Defence owned the eastern lands, the site of Jericho Garrison until 2014, while the western lands were owned by the provincial government until 2016. Portions of the western lands are leased to West Point Grey Academy and the Vancouver Park Board.
Both the federal and provincial governments sold these properties to a joint venture entailing three local First Nations and federal crown corporation Canada Lands Company for a staggering $717 million for the amalgamated site’s redevelopment potential.
Highly preliminary development concepts by the proponents have been created, but they have not been released at this time given the early stage of planning. But it will certainly be a significant development given the high cost of land and the expectation of a future westward subway extension of the Millennium Line from Arbutus Street to UBC.
According to a City staff report, priorities for the master plan include the creation of new housing opportunities, including affordable housing. There will also be retail and services, childcare, community space, and parks and public open spaces.
“For the Jericho Lands, the planning process will seek to create opportunities for sharing culture, storytelling, and healing. It is intended that, similar to the Heather Lands, the Jericho Lands site will be unique in character, by incorporating Indigenous values and principles into the planning and design of the site,” continues the report.
“Large sites like the Jericho Lands provide opportunities to deliver a range of housing options along the housing continuum including those which address the insufficient supply of rental housing in Vancouver, particularly units that are affordable to low- and modest-income households.”
The planning process towards rezoning approval will be conducted in four phases over the next two years. The process is similar to other neighbourhood-sized planning processes conducted for Pearson Dogwood, Langara Gardens, the old Oak Transit Centre, and the Heather Street Lands at the old RCMP headquarters.
The Heather Street Lands redevelopment, approved earlier this year by City Council, is spearheaded by the same proponents as the Jericho Lands.