Patrick Condon’s latest piece in The Tyee is generating a lot of buzz over the hypothetical possibility that city-owned land along False Creek might be sold off; however, it’s up the Evergreen Line (or do we call in the Millennium Line extension now?) in Coquitlam where the big land sales are happening.
As part of the City of Coquitlam’s proposed 2020-2025 five year financial plan, the city is looking to take in nearly 12% of its revenue from “municipal land sales.” This follows from a 2010 council policy that seeks to achieve several objectives, including providing an immediate return to Coquitlam residents.
Looking at last year’s plan, Coquitlam had raised $154 million from municipal land sales between 2015 and 2018 and projected to raise $35-40 million every year from 2019 to 2023.
Doing a quick search of a couple other community’s financial plans (Vancouver, Burnaby, Surrey), I couldn’t find any others budgeting for significant revenues from land sales. Coquitlam is in the midst of developing Burke Mountain, which likely accounts for a large portion of these sales (read more on the land development updates from the City’s website).
Whether or not this is a good return for the City is up for Coquitlam voters to decide. I do find it interesting thought to consider the relative amount of debate over the even hypothetical possibility of the City of Vancouver selling off some of its land versus the incredible amount of land being sold in a community just down the road.