Richmond community survey shows support for Garden City Lands development

    Residents would like to see playing fields, recreational and cultural
    uses on the site

    RICHMOND, BC, Sept. 17 /CNW/ - The majority of Richmond residents would
like to see playing fields, recreational and cultural amenities on Garden City
Lands, according to poll results being presented today to Richmond City
Council's General Purposes Committee. These uses would require application to
the Agricultural Land Commission to either remove the land from the
Agricultural Land Reserve or obtain special approval from the Agricultural
Land Commission for "non-farm use". Most poll respondents also agreed that the
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed in 2005 between the City of Richmond,
Canada Lands Company and Musqueam First Nations is a "reasonable compromise"
that meets community needs.
    Greg Lyle, Managing Director, Innovative Research Group Inc., who
conducted the survey and is presenting the results to the General Purposes
Committee of Richmond City Council today comments, "The poll shows that growth
is considered a fact of life for Richmond residents, but there is clearly a
desire to protect green space. Seventy five per cent of residents want to make
sure that green space is protected which is consistent with the most popular
potential uses of the land including playing fields, community gardens and
village greens".
    While a majority of poll respondents supported green space and a variety
of other community uses for the property, more than half (54 per cent) said
they did not believe the Garden City Lands were suitable for farming. More
Richmond residents support (41 per cent) than oppose (34 per cent) the Garden
City Lands proposal. Under the terms of the MOU, the land must be removed from
the Agricultural Land Reserve in order to proceed with providing parkland,
green space and public amenities as envisioned by the MOU partners and desired
by the majority of Richmond residents.
    The survey found strong support for the City's plan to conduct full
public consultations to determine how to use the City's share of the property,
and residents were supportive of the agreement when they were informed that
the development plans by Canada Lands Company and Musqueam First Nation would
be subject to the City of Richmond's Official Community Plan and City zoning
and bylaws.
    The survey was conducted by Innovative Research Group Inc. and
commissioned by the MOU partners to better understand public opinion regarding
the Garden City Lands tri-partite agreement and to consider those views within
the context of the broader community agenda. The poll surveyed 508 Richmond
residents by telephone between July 26 and July 29 of this year. Twenty-two
interviews were conducted in Mandarin or Cantonese. The survey is a first step
in what will be an extensive public engagement process to ensure that Richmond
residents are informed and part of the decision-making process as the MOU
partners move forward. There will be a series of open houses in October and
other opportunities for public comment.

    Innovative Research Group Inc. is a national public opinion research and
strategy firm with offices in Toronto and Vancouver.

    Ce document est également disponible en francais.

For further information:

For further information: or to request an interview with Greg Lyle
following his presentation to Richmond City Council General Purposes
Committee, please contact: Ted Townsend, City of Richmond, Tel. (604)
276-4399; Gordon McIvor, Canada Lands Company, Tel. (416) 952-6111; Caroline
Cooper, NATIONAL Public Relations, Tel. (604) 773-5154

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