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Statement regarding proposed BC Hydro underground substation in downtown Vancouver

April 12 2018

Nelson Park

BC Hydro has approached the Vancouver School Board, the City, and Park Board with a new proposal to build an underground electricity substation in the West End on the Vancouver School Board (VSB) property adjacent to Nelson Park.

The proposal is to build an underground electricity substation on the Lord Roberts annex site adjacent to the park. This proposal involves trenching and cabling for underground high-voltage transmission lines through Nelson Park.

Approval required by Board of Education, City Council, and Park Board

In order for this new BC Hydro proposal to move forward, it will require approval by the Vancouver Board of Education, City Council and the Park Board. The City is the registered owner of the land comprising the park and owns adjacent streets. Therefore, the City will be required to enter into any leases or statutory rights of way that may be required for the proposed substation. The Park Board has exclusive jurisdiction over permanent and temporary parks.

BC Hydro is currently working with the Vancouver School Board to consult the public about the proposal. Education authorities will make a decision on the proposed project in late June. If approved by the Vancouver Board of Education, the Park Board and City of Vancouver would then be engaged at a later date. There would be a separate, future public engagement to deal with issues of primary importance to the City and Park Board.

City and Park Board will monitor public engagement

The City and Park Board will monitor upcoming BC Hydro/VSB public engagement  in preparation for an eventual submission to both organizations should the Vancouver Board of Education approve the concept.

Staff from the City of Vancouver and Park Board have been working with BC Hydro and the Vancouver School Board in the past weeks to explore the proposed plan and will perform due diligence so that elected representatives of each organization can make an informed decision in the future.