TransLink in the RGS
These images convey the important role of TransLink under the Regional Growth Strategy, which counts TransLink the same as a local government on the Metro Vancouver board. There was not enough public dialogue or debate about these matters and their implications.
This article in the Vancouver Sun shows the implications of what is effectively the impact of “land lift” (land value increase from rezoning) along TransLink lines.
Excerpt: The neighbourhood, until now the undistinguished home to a mix of sprawling warehouse-type and other not-so-upscale businesses, has been hit by the assessment equivalent of a perfect storm. The opening of the Canada Line led to rezoning for mixed uses including new homes, and it coincided with a nearby waterfront residential development on the land next door to the acclaimed Richmond Oval built for last year’s Olympics….The result is soaring land values. Assessments have, in some cases, tripled.
Metro Vancouver is adopting the “Hong Hong” model of transit development, by which TransLink will benefit from the “land lift” in order to build more transit. Under the Regional Growth Strategy, a large amount of land in the most urbanized municipalities (i.e., Vancouver, Burnaby, etc.) would be designated as “frequent transit development corridors” where TransLink would benefit from rezoning.
Combine that with new powers for TransLink as “an affected local government” sitting with equal powers beside municipalities on the Metro Vancouver Board, and TransLink’s politically-appointed board in the future will be in a governance structure that gives them significant powers over land use planning. The chair of the TransLink board has sole discretion to determine what content of Board meetings is confidential (new Articles giving this power enter into effect on June 13, 2011), yet there appear to be no guidelines on how this discretion is to be exercised.
All these arrangements above appear to have been created without adequate public debate. Search the Internet for any meetings or media coverage of these relationships mentioned above. There has been a failure to have independent analysis and debate in the public interest.