The city of Richmond has an important decision to make next month regarding the vast Garden City Lands, which is included in the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR). The land is prime property as it is located in Central Richmond and consists of 136 acres of open green space, however it is agricultural land which has not been utilized for 14 years. Now the question remains, should the land be kept in the ALR and not be developed, or should it be developed so it can be used now.
Those who wish to have the Garden City Lands remain in the ALR argue that the city of Richmond needs more open green spaces instead of replacing the lands with concrete high rises which will lead to a suffering of livability. In addition, since a portion of the land belongs to the federal government, it should be utilized in a manner which will benefit the taxpayers rather than big corporation who will reap massive profits.
On the other hand, some argue that the lands should be removed from the ALR as the land has not been farmed for over a decade and has just been sitting there unused. By developing this land, it will benefit the citizens of Richmond due to the lands being in proximity of the city centre. Also if the land will be developed, there will be an establishment of a $10 million Agricultural Endowment Fund.
The Suburban Don feels that this land should remain in the ALR for now, as it is a large parcel of land which can be utilized as a community park rather than another high-rise. The land is in a prime location, however the citizens of Richmond would receive more benefits if the land was used as a park. As of right now, the Don feels that Richmond needs more parks for families to enjoy their time in the city centre, where it seems green space has been decreasing. If a high rise were to go up in the area, the land would be gone forever and this decision is a big one that needs more time and discussion to be resolved.