Jericho Lands planning program: Online survey ends today (April 25)

Image: Location of Jericho Lands. Credit Google Maps from CoV website

The Jericho Lands is a 36-hectare (90-acre) site located in Vancouver’s West Point Grey neighbourhood and is bound by West 4th Avenue, Highbury Street, West 8th Avenue, and West Point Grey Park.

The Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations (collectively the MST Partnership) in 2014 formed a joint-venture partnership with the Canada Lands Company (CLC) to develop three sites across Metro Vancouver, including the 52-acre Jericho Lands East. In 2016 the MST Partnership acquired the adjacent Jericho Lands West property from the BC Government. The Jericho Lands is within the unceded traditional territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and sə̓lílwətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.

An online survey by the City of Vancouver to guide a policy statement today (April 25) at midnight. Below are some comments and links to related reading. Here is the link to the City’s survey and updates page: https://shapeyourcity.ca/jericho-lands

This is a significant project for many reasons. To name a few, its size, the special partnership of First Nations, the site’s interconnections with planning for the surrounding area, connections with transportation and transit, and its role in housing potentially anywhere from 1,000 to 25,000 more people. Many developers and Translink have an eye on what is going on here, seeing it as a critical piece in their dreams for massive changes as part of a extension to UBC for the Millennium Line from the currently planned Arbutus terminus of the “Broadway Subway.” The section to Arbutus is purportedly expected to start running in 2025.) Translink this week just launched a new consultation on its dream of a subway extension to UBC, which would come with as-yet uncounted costs, and raise the hopes of developers (and speculators) all along the way.

From the City of Vancouver website:

We are looking for your feedback as we develop a policy statement for the Jericho Lands. … The Jericho Lands planning program is a comprehensive planning process which will help create a policy statement to guide future development of the site. The program is being developed at the request of the landowners, a joint venture partnership between the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh (MST) Partnership, and the Canada Lands Company (CLC). The policy statement will create a framework which will guide future redevelopment of the site and help create a new community that is sustainable, socially and culturally inclusive, and highly livable.

The planning program will explore options that address important priorities including:

  • Ways to advance our collective work toward reconciliation
  • Creating a complete community with a range of housing options with different income levels and tenures
  • Providing new housing within a walking distance of existing and future transit routes, including a potential SkyTrain extension to UBC
  • Providing shops, services, childcare, and employment space to support the new community and the rest of the city
  • Recognizing and celebrating cultural and heritage assets
  • Creating new parks and open spaces, and a comprehensive package of other community amenities to be determined through the process

The City’s online survey comes with discussion guides for Emerging Site Planning Ideas on the themes of Natural Systems and Open Space, Connections and Mobility, Inclusive Neighbourhood, and Sustainability and Resilience.

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Readers are encouraged to read up, save the guides for future reference, and take the survey. And to watch out for future updates. Below are some comments obtained from the West Point Grey Residents Association, and further below, some links for further reading.

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Some points from WPGRA based on input from the community.

Community Context

  • The Jericho Lands are part of West Point Grey and should be planned in this context since it will have a major effect on local retail establishments, community services, traffic and other factors
  • Any commercial on the site should not compete with the local shopping areas of 4th & Alma, Broadway & Alma, 10th Ave., all of which are struggling and need local area support.
  • Ensure there are expanded amenities in WPG to serve the increase population, including schools, community centre, daycare, parks, etc.
  • Replace and expand the current community centre facilities that are now onsite at Jericho Hill.
  • Protect local neighbourhood views of mountains, water and city from Trimble Park and along 8th Ave. from the south
    SW corner area of Jericho Lands used as part of Trimble Park should be retained as park
  • Use slope of site to reduce development impacts on community views from the south
  • Ensure that development on the edges of the Jericho Lands is stepped back, ground oriented, human scale and compatible with the surrounding community of WPG
  • Consider the Arbutus Walk as a model for development, rather than the higher density suggestions in the city guides.

Mobility

  • Promote barrier free access throughout the site
  • Provide onsite parking for residents of Jericho Lands and vehicle access to residential buildings for those who need it for accessibility for seniors and families.
  • Provide walking and cycling paths across the site, including from the south to access the beach.
  • Minimize traffic impacts and increase pedestrian and bike safety on bordering streets.

Transit

  • Provide adequate frequent electric transit, but account for the fact that increased rapid transit service could be decades away, and may not include a subway extension since it is not funded nor a regional priority now or likely into the future.
  • Densifying large portions of WPG as a prerequisite for rapid transit would be very detrimental to the neighbourhood.
  • Subways either require or subsequently attract very high density development.
  • Use development fees and taxes for civic amenities, not to pay for transit that should be provincial and federal funded.
  • Not enough transit demand west of Arbutus to justify a subway, especially post-COVID with part-time work/school from home.

Site Sustainability

  • Re-establish historic streams and protect Jericho Beach ponds and wetlands
  • Have generous parks and green space onsite – keep mature trees
  • Provide for electric car charging
  • Avoid noise and light pollution
  • Be a model for sustainable development

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LINKS

City’s permanent page for Jericho Lands Planning Program and newsletter signup: https://vancouver.ca/home-property-development/jericho-lands.aspx

Main website for the project (Inspire Jericho) including a link for updates: https://inspirejericho.ca/

Draft guiding principles released for giant Jericho Lands project (John Mackie, Vancouver Sun, Juyly 15, 2020) https://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/draft-guiding-principles-released-for-giant-jericho-lands-project

Jericho Lands redevelopment in Vancouver enters next phase of public consultation (Kenneth Chan, Daily Hive, Jul 14 2020) https://dailyhive.com/vancouver/jericho-lands-vancouver-guiding-principles

Jericho Lands planning proceeds slowly, especially with pandemic: There is talk of anywhere from 1,000 to 25,000 new people living on the Jericho Lands, now owned by a First Nations consortium (Douglas Todd, Vancouver Sun, Sep 21, 2020) https://vancouversun.com/opinion/columnists/douglas-todd-jericho-lands-planning-proceeds-slowly-especially-with-pandemic

Here’s What We Know about Vancouver’s Huge New West Side Development: Three First Nations are leading massive changes to the vast Jericho Lands. (Christopher Cheung, May 29, 2019) https://thetyee.ca/News/2019/05/29/Vancouver-Jericho-Lands-West-Side-Development/

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