Friday, March 21, 2008

TransLink's Property Purchase Process

Ken Hardie over at TransLink sent me an email outlining a little bit more about the TransLink property issue that I blogged here.
We would not find ourselves in the position of being able to purchase properties along a corridor before there was fairly broad public awareness of the possibilities that a rapid transit line would be constructed. The reason being is that, as before, TransLink is legally bound to support the region's growth management strategy -- currently the Livable Region Plan -- that is adopted by all the municipalities.

The process of developing that growth management strategy involves a review of potential rapid transit corridors. For example, the Millennium, Evergreen and Canada Line corridors have all been identified in the LRSP for over ten years. All of the bus rapid transit corridors in the province's plan are on the map as a result of transit planning that has involved a great deal of public consultation. TransLink would not be able to quietly assemble land and then suddenly announce to the world that it was going to build a rapid transit line through or by those properties.

What we have done in the past, though, is purchase properties that we know we're going to need for a project as they come up for sale -- we did this in a few locations along the Evergreen Line. The difference now is that we can purchase additional property over and above what we need for the project itself, in the interests of generating some of the benefits from higher property values back to the public, which has paid for the line in the first place.

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