PROPOSAL - GREEN SPACE BYLAW in VICTORIA
A few years ago, an environmental quality review in the City of New York lead to an innovative law that prevented the net loss of green space (in fact, "open space") within the city limits.
What that means is that if public green space -- parks, esplanades, school yards, beaches, fields, green spaces, etc. -- are lost for any reason, a piece of land of equivalent size *and quality* must be added to the public weal.
The law is intended to "mitigate for the alienation or conversion of public parkland typically by acquiring replacement parkland of equal or greater size and value servicing the same community of users."
The idea is *not* to enable or simplify the process by which developers would remove green space, and allow them to swap out other pieces of land, but rather to ensure that any loss of green space is replaced with parcels of land elsewhere in the city so that the net total amount of green space is never reduced within the city limits, and ideally is expanded over time.
I propose a similar bylaw in the City of Victoria, so that if green space is ever lost for any reason -- and already, the City is not supposed to reduce green space -- then the City is obligated to add to public property an area of land equal to (or greater than) any lost green space, *and* both the quantity and quality of land is considered, as it is in NYC.