CVN letter to Council (29-Mar-2022): Millennium Line UBC Extension Alignment and Integration (Opposed)

[Note – Appendix attached at bottom]
March 28, 2022
City of Vancouver Council

Dear Mayor Kennedy Stewart and Councillors,

Re: Millennium Line UBC Extension Alignment and Integration

The Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods (CVN) is opposed to the staff recommendations in this report and concerned that, once again, Council is being asked to make a major decision before meaningful neighbourhood consultation has taken place. The proposed recommendations would bring major changes to the neighbourhoods of Kitsilano and West Point Grey.

It is entirely premature to be deciding on proceeding with station area planning when a subway extension to UBC is far from even being decided. The business case has not been produced, and an extension to UBC has not been declared a regional priority. This is at the bottom of the list of TransLink’s regional Transport 2050 priorities, as it is only the sixth priority of seven total. Only after all other priorities are funded would this subway extension even be considered.

The staff report recommends proceeding with planning for towers at the hypothetical stations, although the concept is decades away, if ever, from ever becoming a funded project. For your consideration, attached are a few of the many issues raised by the affected neighbourhoods for your consideration.

Please only accept this report for information and refer it back to staff.

Thank you,
Steering Committee,
Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods

Member Groups of the Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods

Arbutus Ridge Community Association
Arbutus Ridge/ Kerrisdale/ Shaughnessy Visions
Cedar Cottage Area Neighbours
Dunbar Residents Association
Fairview/South Granville Action Committee
False Creek Residents Association
Grandview Woodland Area Council
Granville-Burrard Residents & Business Assoc.
Greater Yaletown Community Association
Kitsilano-Arbutus Residents Association
Kits Point Residents Association
Marpole Residents Coalition
NW Point Grey Home Owners Association
Oakridge Langara Area Residents
Residents Association Mount Pleasant
Riley Park/South Cambie Visions
Shaughnessy Heights Property Owners Assoc.
Strathcona Residents Association
Upper Kitsilano Residents Association
West End Neighbours Society
West Kitsilano Residents Association
West Point Grey Residents Association



A Few of the Issues to Consider:

City approval of subway station locations could be included as part of Vancouver Plan:

• If these station locations become part of the Vancouver Plan, the development on and around the stations would also be part of the City’s Official Development Plan (ODP)
• If the province approves their proposed legislation this fall, rezonings of projects in an ODP could be approved without a public hearing

A proposed station at Jericho Lands instead of WPG Village 10th Ave. & Sasamat St.:

• Bypassing WPG Village would further undermine the existing struggling neighbourhood centre and is in conflict with the WPG Community Vision
• A station at Jericho Lands would mean even more towers than currently proposed in order to raise CACs to pay for a station

There is currently no business case for a subway extension to UBC:

• It is not a regional priority and there is no funding
• The kind of tower development that goes with subways is not supported in Kits and WPG
• Data-based population growth projects do not require towers, only incremental 1% per year
• Promotes land speculation and inflated land values
• Jericho Lands towers would become a major part of the business case for the subway extension to UBC that could become required by the province to fund part of the subway and station since there is no current justification for a subway extension

Ridership needs to be re-evaluated:

• Post-COVID impacts of work and school from home part-time has not been considered
• UBC is building a new satellite campus in Surrey, possibly more throughout the region in the future
• Most UBC ridership is on subsidized U-passes that have limited funding for operations
• Lack of funding would mean cuts to the broader transit system, as is typical in all subways, but more so for UBC
• With density increases approved throughout the city grid, transit demand will be going up citywide

Lack of meaningful public consultation:

• There has been no meaningful public consultation on a subway extension to UBC
• The TransLink process has been flawed and biased, without people being properly informed on the issue or most people who are affected by this even aware of it

It is entirely premature to be considering station locations for development planning purposes prior to a business case being made for a subway extension to UBC, proper evaluation of actual ridership completed, or any meaningful public consultation.