Demolition of garden structures and removal of vegetation will continue on the Arbutus Corridor as talks between the City of Vancouver and Canadian Pacific Railway to find a compromise have collapsed.
A railway spokesperson told the CBC that a meeting earlier today between the company and senior officials with the municipal government ended without any progress made towards coming to an agreement. CP says the city continues to undervalue the 45 acre, 11 kilometre long corridor that runs from False Creek to the Fraser River.
Earlier in the summer, Mayor Gregor Robertson proposed to buy the corridor for $20-million. However, CP immediately rebuked the offer, stating that is is far from the mayor’s promise of a “fair deal.”
CP believes the corridor is worth a minimum of $100-million if zoning permits commercial and residential development. However, current zoning upheld by the Supreme Court of Canada does not permit development, restricting the right-of-way’s use to greenway and car-free transportation uses.
The municipal government wants to retain the corridor for future uses that include a possible north-south running light-rail line to complement the Canada Line.
On August 14, after many weeks of warnings to trespassers, CP began bulldozing the gardens and structures that were on their railway private property to allow for work to be done to potentially reactivate the tracks. Continued demolition work was later postponed to permit today’s negotiations.
Letters were sent out to residents in June, asking gardeners to remove their structures, plants and crops no later than July 31.
Canadian Pacific has owned the Arbutus Corridor lands for nearly 130 years. The last train to run on the railway was fourteen years ago serving the Molson Brewery at False Creek, but the brewery’s method of transportation has since switched to trucking.
Feature Image: Bammer via Twitter