Friday, January 31, 2014

Port of Vancouver to Annex Tenant’s Land

By Mark Edward Nero

After not being able to successfully negotiate a deal with the owner, the Port of Vancouver Commission on Jan. 28 voted to use its eminent domain powers to acquire a parcel of land it wants to use as part of the port’s $275 million West Vancouver Freight Access Rail Project.

The 1.1 acres is currently controlled by port tenant Pacific Coast Shredding, a subsidiary of scrap metal company Metro Metals Northwest that owns a total of about 14 acres at the port.

Under the resolution approved by the Commission, the port will launch a legal process to decide what would be fair compensation for the acre of land. The port had been unable to come to an agreement with Pacific Coast Shredding on a price during negotiations, so under the terms of its lease, the matter of compensation is being turned over to a neutral judicial proceeding.

The West Vancouver Freight Access project – which consists of construction of a new train access through existing facilities and includes new rail infrastructure – aims to speed freight movement. The Pacific Coast Shredding acreage that is needed for the project would be part of a $38 million rail entrance intended to eliminate a chokepoint on the regional rail system and to reduce congestion by as much as 40 percent.

Construction of the project, which began in 2007, is about 50 percent complete, according to the port.