Bob Mackin in the Courier has obtained (apparently) exclusive audio recordings of Chief Campbell of the Squamish FN on March 23 discussing a vision for the lands.

I’ve been following the two Jericho land sales.  They are such magnitude and location that their eventual fate will have a major impact on Vancouver’s look, feel and density. Really, their future is a fork in the road to what the West Side of the City can become.

It is unfortunate that the audio, or Mr. Mackin’s interpretation of it, seems to highlight the confrontational aspects of this situation.  However, the vision seems very sensibly to focus on density way above the classic Point Grey / West Side single family home. The area already has townhomes and towers, and all indications are that more of this is a preferred (if not inevitable) future. And yes, there will be pearl-clutching galore.

EXCLUSIVE: Leaked audio says towers part of First Nations’ Jericho Lands vision

Campbell explained that achieving higher density would increase the land value and make it easier to gain financing to payoff the provincial loan. He mentioned the potential to build single-detached houses on the top of the property, townhouses down the slope and midrises and highrises along West Fourth Avenue. He told attendees to expect opposition.

“If you can get a 2.0 [floor space ratio] or more, you can get a lot of highrises, but that means that the discussions with local residents, they’re going to give us feedback, they’re going to give us pushback,” he warned. “They’re going to argue that we’re blocking their views, that they have a say. The local politicians over there are already beaking-off and chirping. You’ll see in the media that [David] Eby, the NDP critic for the province is already talking, as well as Joyce Murray, the federal MP.”

There is no mention in Mr. Mackin’s description of the audio clips’ content of transit, transit-oriented development or the connection to Jericho Beach Park. But there is a long road ahead as this development unfolds:  2-3 year-long zoning discussions with the City, community amenities, density — all the usual stuff.