By Elizabeth Gautschi, Civic Affairs Convenor
Metro Vancouver has an agreement to purchase 97 hectares of forested and waterfront land on the southwest tip of Bowen Island for a proposed new park, for approximately $40 million. In January 2023, Metro Vancouver applied to Bowen Island Municipality to amend the Official Community Plan and rezone the parcels from rural residential to a passive park designation, with a variance to allow for supervised overnight tent camping.
The first phase of public engagement for a proposed new regional park at Cape Roger Curtis on Bowen Island will take place from February 10 to March 20, providing a number of opportunities for the region’s residents to give their feedback and help shape the long-term park vision and concept. To participate click here.
City of Delta
The Delta Optimist reports that the City of Delta is looking at how to better protect the Beach Grove neighbourhood from flooding. Most of the seawall in Beach Grove is under a right-of-way, constructed under the Fraser River Flood Protection Program, and is Delta’s responsibility. Several sections were constructed as early as 1969 and 1972. Various repairs have been completed, but the Beach Grove neighbourhood remains prone to multiple flood-related hazards. The city says with recent updates to the provincial guidelines, the existing seawall does not meet the current requirements to provide safe protection against flooding due to the wall height, wave overtopping protection and seismic requirements. According to the city, upon adoption of a design solution, Delta will seek further funding from senior government levels to assist with the detailed design and construction of the flood protection upgrades.
City of New Westminster
A news release from the City of New Westminster announced that the City has received $800,000 from the provincial government’s Community Emergency Preparedness Fund (CEPF), administered by the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM), to put towards rehabilitation of the Queensborough dike to better protect the growing residential and commercial community against floods. The dike rehabilitation project is in alignment with the Flood Management Strategy, which was first developed in 2009-2011 to identify and prioritize measures to provide protection to its flood susceptible lands. The Strategy designates Queensborough, which has 350 hectares of designated floodplain, as the highest priority for flood protection improvements in the city.
City of North Vancouver
The City is helping to future-proof existing condos and apartments by offering top-up rebates so multi-unit residential buildings can get a jumpstart on being electric vehicle (EV) Ready. By 2035, every passenger vehicle sold in Canada will be electric under the federal government’s newly proposed regulations. To help prepare for widespread EV adoption, and to encourage residents to make the switch early, the City will top-up current provincial rebates offered through CleanBC’s Go Electric EV Charging Rebate program. This program supports existing condo and apartment owners in retrofitting buildings to accommodate the high number of EV charging stations that will be required in the future. For many people, the decision to purchase an EV depends on their access to convenient and reliable at-home charging. With the majority of City residents living in condos or apartments, supporting access to EV charging in these buildings is a key strategy for the City in enabling EV adoption as outlined in the City’s Electric Vehicle Strategy.
City of Surrey
The current mayor of Surrey, elected on a promise to shut down the Surrey Police Service established by the previous mayor and council, and retain the RCMP, must wait for a final decision on the issue by the Public Safety Minister and Attorney General of BC. In late January, the minister issued a statement saying officials have received and reviewed submissions from the city, the Mounties, and the fledgling Surrey Police Service on the question of who will police the city but that more information is needed. “It’s clear that considerable work has gone into developing these plans and reports, and I appreciate their timely submission,” he said in a statement. While the city council awaits a decision, officers from both the RCMP and the SPS remain on the job and the taxpayers of Surrey are paying for two police forces.
City of Vancouver
The Stanley Park Bike Lane is again in the news. A CBC news report confirmed that at a public meeting on February 13, Vancouver Park Board commissioners approved Option C for the future of the controversial “temporary” bike lane, which is the option that removes most of the bike lane. At the very most, 30% of the existing 8.5-km-long, on-road bike lane will be retained. All ABC commissioners voted in favour with the one Green Party commissioner voting against the motion. Additionally, the commissioners approved ABC amendments directing Park Board staff to report back no later than November 2023 on a new bike lane proposal for 2024 that incorporates 2023 summer usage data, stakeholder input, and park user experience. There will be more consultation and stakeholder engagement later in the year.