Canadian Pacific Railway says it won’t be taking down property and community gardens along the Arbutus corridor come August 1.
Over 15,000 people living along the corridor have been given notices by CP asking them to clear any property that runs along the train tracks by July 31.
CP began asking people to clear the line in April. They say gardens and small structures along the line are causing problems and must be removed so CP employees can do their job.
Ed Greenberg with CP says the company won’t begin immediate dismantling of community gardens after the deadline passes.
But we have a plan in place to continue track improvement in this area and will handle the removal of encroachments as work progresses.
Should encroachments still exist on CP track as work progresses, a suitable plan will be developed to remove each one in an appropriate manner.
CP has stayed committed to a formal a set-by-step process that began in April and it is our intention to continue this approach as we move forward and identify any items still encroaching on the railway’s right-of-way.
Greenberg says the company has been communicating with area residents by sending out letters, attending community meetings and having one-on-one discussions, and has received good feedback so far.
WATCH: CP wants Arbutus corridor train track cleared
There have not been any trains on the line for 14 years.
In 2005, the Supreme Court ruled that the City of Vancouver has final say on developing the corridor.
Mayor Gregor Robertson has repeatedly said he is against the reactivation of cargo trains along the route.
“The corridor is a unique, green route running from False Creek to the Fraser River, crossing several residential neighbourhoods, and our vision for it is to maintain it as greenway for residents of Vancouver until there’s a viable case for rail transit use,” says Robertson.
The mayor says the city is prepared to buy the land along the corridor for “fair market value” after an independent appraisal.
With files from Amy Judd and Justin McElroy