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Public feedback to be sought on Steveston community garden

A councillor who called a community garden a 'pigsty' apologizes.
The community garden on the Railway Greenway at Moncton Road.

The City of Richmond will be consulting the wider neighbourhood in late summer about a controversial proposed community garden in Steveston, but the ultimate decision will be up to council.

The garden would take over a greenspace currently used as a park along the Railway Greenway just south of Steveston Highway, close to Branscombe House.

When residents of the adjacent Birchwood Estates heard about the proposed garden, they approached city council to voice their opposition.

At Tuesday’s parks, recreation and cultural services meeting, city staff clarified they will consult people adjacent to the proposed garden as well as residents in the broader community.

The public consultation will take place between mid-August and mid-September.

The results will then be collated and analyzed by staff and brought back to council.

Coun. Bill McNulty pointed out, at Tuesday’s meeting, he wants to see a full consultation process on the Branscombe garden “because it’s council members who have to answer if the community is not happy.”

City spokesperson Clay Adams clarified to the Richmond News neither the Branscombe Community Garden site nor any other new ones on Railway Avenue or elsewhere in Richmond will proceed without council approval.

Projects that have a high impact on the public have a more “robust” consultation, city staff outlined in its report to the committee; this might include signage, design plans on LetsTalk Richmond (an online forum), a public survey and feedback, a public meeting and updates and reports to the committee.

McNulty apologetic about ‘pigsty’ comment

McNulty apologized at the parks and recreation meeting about a previous comment concerning the state of another community garden, saying he had “offended a number of people at the gardens on Moncton Street.”

At the last parks and recreation meeting, in conjunction with a discussion about the proposed community garden close to Branscombe House, McNulty said the community garden on the Railway Greenway at Moncton looked like a “pigsty” nine-tenths of the year.

“For that, I want to apologize to those gardeners on Moncton Street,” he said.