Agency vague on Riverview Hospital land use 0
Building on the Riverview Hospital grounds in Coquitlam, B.C. on Sunday October 6, 2013. (CARMINE MARINELLI/ 24 HOURS)
The Riverview Hospital lands will maintain the same amount of open space as there currently is on the massive property, BC housing said Monday.
What that means for condos being developed on the Coquitlam site remains unclear.
The government agency made a presentation to Coquitlam City council Monday afternoon to outline the process by which it will decide what to do with the land parcel.
The former mental health facility owned by the province has slowly been closed since the 1990s. It has been sitting mostly empty ever since and its future has been heavily debated with many concerned Victoria will sell the land off to developers.
“All costs associated with the future use, such as heritage-building restoration, infrastructure upgrades and improvements, community amenities, etc., must come from revenue generated from the property,” BC Housing said in a post-presentation release.
It said the province would make a commitment to maintain “as much open space as exists now.” BC Housing, however, wouldn’t reveal if that meant building residential properties as an option.
The presentation noted the grounds aren’t part of B.C.’s so-called surplus assets disposal program that sells off assets in a bid to balance the budget.
The agency added it would continue consultations with community groups and stakeholders in the area regarding the property’s development.
Coquitlam coun. Mae Reid said Sunday she wanted to see the property used for university research facilities or future mental health services.
She’s worried Victoria will merely pretend to consult with locals and ram through its agenda for the site.
In September, the B.C. government resisted calls from municipal leaders to reopen the facility for mental health purposes.