Brow of the Hill, New West deserves a neighbourhood park. Act now to save greenspace!

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Dear Neighbours,

For nearly 40 years the empty lot at 1009 Cornwall Street has been used as passive green space for our neighbourhood. This beautiful little sanctuary is the home of mature walnut and ginkgo biloba trees that are over 100 years old. The natural environment provides home to urban wildlife and much-needed respite from the heat in an area with little green space. This is the perfect location for a permanent neighborhood park. Just imagine having a place nearby for kids to play or a place for a quick retreat under the shade of mature trees. Think of the community that could be built.

It has come to our attention that 1009 Cornwall will be listed for sale on the open market within weeks. This existing green space, and with it our neighbourhood’s best opportunity for a new park, will soon be gone. However, all hope is not lost. The property owner has confirmed that they are willing to sell to the city for fair market value. We also know that the city has considered purchasing this property in the past.

The City of New Westminster must step up to act now to purchase and protect this green space as a permanent park. We are calling on all neighbours and other concerned citizens to join us in demanding action before it is too late.


What Can You Do To Help?
It is time that we stood up and took action. Here are actions you can take NOW:

  • Sign this petition to voice your support.
  • Share on social media, especially to local community groups.
  • Contact mayor and council directly at clerks@newwestcity.ca to share your thoughts. Phone numbers are available at https://www.newwestcity.ca/city_hall/contacts
  • Email us at 1009cornwallpark@gmail.com. We are looking for volunteers to help canvas for signatures and raise awareness in any way we can.
  • A group of neighbours will speak to city council in person on June 10 at 6pm. Each person gets up to 5 minutes. We need as many voices as possible to passionately help state our case.

* Please note that monetary donations are NOT NEEDED, please ignore change.org request that automatically appears after signing, we cannot disable this feature


F.A.Q
Q: Is this a reasonable request? Land is expensive!
Absolutely, this is a reasonable request. The City of New Westminster plans and budgets for parkland acquisition. The City also collects Community Amenity Contribution money from new development (including over $1M recently for new condo developments in our area). The City has enquired about this property in the past but has failed to act. It would have been cheaper to act decades ago. Acquiring parkland will continue to become more expensive the longer the city fails to take action. The large size of this lot, its single family zoning, and the fact that it is vacant (no demolition cost) make it more cost effective to purchase than any other nearby property. Amortized over the long term the cost is nominal.


Q: What do city plans have to say?
Every single city plan going back 20+ years confirms that Brow of the Hill has the least park space of any neighbourhood and is now the #1 priority for parkland acquisition given that Pier Park is complete. Compared to Downtown, Brow of the has only 1/3rd of the park space per person. Compared to Queens Park we have less than 1/10th the park space, yet our neighbourhood is home to 2.5x more people, most of whom live in apartments. Here are some quotes that directly support our ask:

2008 Parks and Recreation Plan: “Neighbourhoods that are notably deficient in all parks classifications in terms of total area and also in parks within walking distance include Brow of the Hill and significant portions of Uptown. Acquire 4 hectares of neighbourhood parks in the Brow of the Hill neighbourhood. Locate neighbourhood park space in Brow of the Hill in the area of Queen’s Avenue, from 8th Street down to 12th Street.”
1999 Brow of the Hill Action Plan: “Village greens (small, lot sized parks) should be considered. Continue to implement the Parks and Recreation Master Plan, 1998 to 2002 recommendation D-4: Explore the establishment of additional park land in the Brow of the Hill area “
2017 Official Community Plan: “Initiatives to acquire new park space should prioritize neighbourhoods that do not meet the recommended ratio, and neighbourhoods where growth is anticipated.”