WATCH (above): Despite a call by the City of Vancouver to buy the property from CP Rail, the future of the corridor remains uncertain. Jennifer Palma reports.
UPDATE: The City of Vancouver says it is now prepared to buy the Arbutus corridor from CP Rail. The exact figures the city is willing to pay has not been released but it is expected to be in the millions. The July 31 deadline imposed by CP Rail for area residents to remove the community gardens along the old rail line is looming. And despite the City of Vancouver’s call to buy the property, the future of the corridor remains uncertain.
Residents along the Arbutus rail corridor on Vancouver’s west side are receiving letters from the city this week.
The letters, signed by Mayor Gregor Robertson, reiterate the city’s opposition to CP Rail’s plans to re-introduce cargo trains along the corridor.
CP began notifying residents last month to remove community gardens and any other structures from the right-of-way so they can re-start cargo train service. The last time trains ran on the tracks was 11 years ago.
Robertson says the city has gotten an independent appraisal on the land, and is willing to pay “fair market value” for the land.
“The City is committed to seeking a fair deal with CPR for the Arbutus Corridor lands, so that we can maintain and enhance the Corridor for local residents. We have had discussions for many years and we continue to seek a reasonable agreement. Again, we are hopeful that CPR will accept an offer of fair market value,” said the mayor in a statement.