Jericho Lands redevelopment in Vancouver enters next phase of public consultation

Jul 14 2020, 7:03 pm

No concrete draft policy statement and details for the Jericho Lands redevelopment have been made at this time, but the project has now entered the next phase of public consultation.

Based on the feedback received during last year’s initial consultation, the private development consortium and the City of Vancouver have released the draft guiding principles for the 90-acre site’s future redevelopment in the West Point Grey neighbourhood.

The largely undeveloped site is bounded by West 4th Avenue to the north, Highbury Street to the east, West 8th Avenue to the south, and Trimble Park to the west. It will be the neighbourhood’s largest redevelopment, adding thousands of new residents.

The emerging guidelines create an emphasis on sustainability and the environment by utilizing existing natural features such as the ridgeline, urban forest, wildlife habitat, and watershed, including a suggestion that buried streams on the property could be daylighted.

The redevelopment will be a “new community hub” that integrates with the surrounding areas, “re-energizing nearby high streets, and tying the ridge to the sea.”

There have previously been informal discussions with creating a new retail district at the northeast corner near West 4th Avenue, and improving the site’s connections across this arterial thoroughfare to reach Jericho Beach Park to the north. This corner of the property could see the highest densities.

Jericho Lands 8th Avenue Vancouver

View of the Jericho Lands from the site’s southwest corner, looking northeast from West 8th Avenue. (Google Maps)

West Point Grey Village

Aerial view of West Point Grey Village, Jericho Garrison Lands, and the surrounding single-family residential neighbourhood. (Google Maps)

In January 2020, the municipal government, UBC, and the consortium signed a memorandum of understanding to support the extension of SkyTrain Millennium Line from the future Arbutus Street terminus to reach the university campus. And in a Mayors’ Council meeting in early 2019, Stewart noted that during internal discussions, the MST-DC suggested offering the land required for a station on their site.

“Future residents will be part of a vibrant community with opportunities to live, work, play, learn, shop and create within a short walk or easily accessible by transit. Arts and culture will be tangible, with opportunities for creation, display and performance. New public amenities and facilities will be hubs of social connection and activity, reinforcing the role of the Jericho Lands within the neighbourhood and city,” reads the draft guidelines.

“Future rapid transit will anchor the site and bring people to this special location, linking it to the broader city and region. The unique terrain of the Lands will shape movement patterns, corridors and connections and build a network for green mobility by foot, bike and transit. These networks will connect to the surrounding neighbourhoods, tying them together and reinforcing safe, healthy places for wellness and gathering. Innovation and emerging technologies are opportunities to minimize car dependence, rethink parking strategies and reduce carbon emissions.”

As a “place of gathering,” the redevelopment guidelines include a pillar for reconciliation, creating a “unique Indigenous cultural experience.”

The consortium is led by three local First Nations — Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh — and federal crown corporation Canada Lands Company. In two separate deals in the middle of the last decade, they acquired two parcels that form the site from the federal and provincial governments for a combined $717 million.

Feedback from this latest round of consultation, performed virtually through the middle of September, will be used to create a draft policy statement, which is essentially a master plan that details the site’s land use, density, building types and heights, transportation system, environmental considerations, public parks and open spaces, community amenities, and development phasing.

The ongoing health crisis’ impact on how consultation can be performed has delayed the timeline for the creation of this master plan that will guide future rezoning. The draft guiding principles were supposed to be ready for consultation earlier this year. But city council is still expected to review the draft policy statement for approval sometime in 2021.

Kenneth ChanKenneth Chan

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