RICHMOND is continuing to enjoy robust, sustained growth with more than $2.4 billion in new development during the current Council term, said Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie in his Annual Address on Thursday. The new growth is supporting the achievement of key City objectives, including providing funding of a new Capstan Station on the Canada Line, expected to be built within the next few years; a new City Centre North Community Centre; a major expansion of local child care spaces; and hundreds of new affordable housing units.
“Our Official Community Plan provides a comprehensive blueprint for Richmond’s future. Sustainable growth within the highly dense City Centre is based on transit-oriented development while our single family neighbourhoods, farmland, open space and natural environment are preserved,” said Brodie in his address at a luncheon meeting of the Richmond Chamber of Commerce. “Our inventory of employment lands supports business growth and retention to ensure we maintain a vibrant economy.
“The development community has embraced our vision as they make significant investments in Richmond. Total construction value of building permits for 2017 was $709 million for our third highest year ever.”
Brodie reviewed a number of other recent accomplishments and future plans during his annual address. Highlights include:
- Completion this spring of an ambitious, decade-long public safety building program that has included construction of five new fire halls and purchase and retrofit of the Richmond Community Safety Building, home to the Richmond RCMP detachment. All the new buildings are post-disaster rated to ensure continuity of public safety services after a significant earthquake.
- Further expansion of the Richmond RCMP complement with funding provided for an additional 16 new officers this year. In total, Council has now funded creation of 40 additional police officer and six municipal police support staff positions in the current Council term.
- The opening of three new child care facilities in recent years with a further five more under development. These new facilities will add an estimated 233 licensed child care spaces for the Richmond community.
- The opening of the Storeys affordable housing complex in late 2017, which has become a national model for multi-agency cooperation in meeting social housing needs. The project was built through the City’s Affordable Housing Strategy, which has led to construction of hundreds of new units of affordable housing throughout Richmond.
- Richmond’s numerous sustainability initiatives have contributed to an overall 6% reduction in community greenhouse gas emissions over the past decade, despite a corresponding 7% growth in population, saving $13 million in residential energy costs in one year alone. Civic energy savings include a cumulative reduction of over 8,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions, equal to taking 2,500 cars off Richmond roads and reduction of $3 million in total operational costs.
Full text of the Mayor’s Annual Address is available online at www.richmond.ca.