Arbutus corridor will not be cleared immediately, says CP

CP Railways says it has no plans to immediately start dismantling community gardens on the Arbutus railway corridor after its July 31 deadline, but it will be moving ahead with the plan eventually.

Railway company told residents they have until July 31 to remove gardens, sheds and vehicles

Over the years, many local residents have built community gardens in the disused space, growing fruit, vegetables and flowers. (Jenni Sheppard/CBC)

CP Railways says it has no plans to immediately start dismantling community gardens on the Arbutus railway corridor after its July 31 deadline, but it will be moving ahead with the plan eventually..

Spokesman Ed Greenberg told CBC News on Tuesday that any encroachment on the railway's right of way would be dealt with as work progresses.

"At this time, CP's approach on August 1 is not to begin immediate dismantling of community gardens, but we have a plan in place on how to continue track improvement in this area and will handle the removal of encroachments as work progresses," said Greenberg.

"Should encroachments still exist on CP track as work progresses, a suitable plan will be developed to remove each one in an appropriate manner."

The railway announced it planned to return the derelict line to operating standards earlier this year, after negotiations to sell it to the city reached an impasse over the value of the land. In recent years it has become a popular site for community gardeners.

In a letter to residents earlier this month, the company said it has placed surveying stakes along the borders of its land, and will remove any property left after July 31, such as sheds, storage containers, vehicles and community gardens.

The railway line has not been used in about 14 years and the city has restricted any future development by rezoning it as an urban greenway.

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