Monday, January 26, 2015

Riverview Heights

      In 1983, West Lawn closed and farming operations at Colony Farm were discontinued. In 1984, the provincial government sold 57 hectares (141 acres) of Riverview lands to Molnar Developments. Shortly afterward, this land was subdivided and became Riverview Heights, with about 250 single family homes.

      In 1984-5, the B.C. Enterprise Corporation, BCEC, part of  the Ministry of Forests and Lands, “quietly” called for proposals to sell government lands.
       And in 1985 and Molnar Construction Limited, won the right to develop 140-acres of the Riverview hospital property, from seventeen other “competing “ bidders.
       Andre Molnar was the person behind this deal, a sweet deal it was. The winning bid was $20,565,000 to be paid off as the property is drawn down for development, by May of 1988 $12,214,088 was paid; total balance due on the 3rd of July 1990; with no interest accruing.
Deputy Minister of Forests and lands, under the Bill Bennett, and William "Bill" Vander Zalm regimes was Mr. Robert "Bob" Flitton, a Social Credit insider,  Peter S. Hyndman was the government lawyer involved in many of the transactions.  All of this was part of 25 different land sales, that the government was proceeding with during this time; Westwood Plateau, acquired by Li Ka-shing, with much the same conditions was also completed.
Robert “Bob” Flitton, in 1983
Initially the cost per lot was $20,400, which increased to $34,000, then $66,650 and more 
       In 1989 Andre Molnar was appointed to the  British Columbia Housing Management Commission, the appointment ended in 1992.
Andre Molnar did considerable development work in the area operating under various names:  Molnar Construction Company; Molnar Enterprises Limited… and is still in business primarily in the USA. If I remember correctly he declared bankruptcy with one or all of his companies in B.C, so that may explain why he now works in the states.    MolnarGroup
      Riverview Heights park, the taxpayers of Coquitlam also had to buy some parkland for $528,669 from the senior government, and a school site from the province, price unknown. So today we have  Riverview Park and Riverview Park Elementary school

          So we have 140-acres removed from the hospital lands, but there is more than that removed, Molnar had the northerly portion; more research will find out who developed the southern portion.  I know that there has been interest shown in developing the orchard area of the remaining hospital grounds; one day a few years ago many survey posts were planted with the patients later removing them, and informing the public about the activity, which when the public roared with disapproval; nothing more was said or done to the orchard; the orchard is one of the first agricultural activities done at  Essondale in the early 1910’s.

      Many people have also noted that all the building activities on the site in recent years have all occurred in the northern section of the site, with a rapid abandonment of buildings in the southern section to the elements.

The area outlined in RED once part of the Riverview hospital property.
The area outlined in GREEN Riverview forest, a city of Coquitlam park,
it could also have been fully developed if not for a few concerned citizens,
including some foresters bringing attention to its value as a park.

Have a peek at some survey maps, of the hospital lands sold through the years.
North western portion  ( the Molnar lots 1985)
Middle section ( Fars F.R. Holdings ) (1984)
Southern section ( 1983 )
The remaining hospital grounds

Some of the details can be found in the Hansard reports:
Province of British Columbia
34th Parliament, 2nd Session,  Debates of the Legislative Assembly (Hansard)
March 9, 1987 to March 11, 1988
Some lively debating occurred in the legislature surrounding these land deals.
Riverview Heights land, price of lots 4518 
Riverview Heights land sale, information re 4485  —   4488  — 4499
Riverview Heights land, servicing costs 4514   —  4518 
Riverview Heights land, subdivision of  4515  — 4518 
Riverview Heights land, value of Q. 3756

So we have questionable activities, by questionable people; ( a quick online search, will bring up many instances of the people named here ) no wonder the public is very wary anytime Riverview is mentioned or survey pegs are seen on the property. 

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Save the Riverview Hospital lands

The Riverview Hospital lands, are under pressure to be developed into market housing. Help to save the lands as a healing sanctuary for the mentally ill of OUR Province.

Please join the Riverview Horticultural Centre Society,( RHCS ) Facebook page. Twitter too!

Please sign the On-line petition or download a Word document petition ,which is a more official type of petition.
Blogs, about the hospital grounds
Mike Farnworth,MLA; Facebook forum " Protect the Riverview Lands"
And another Facebook group: Riverview Preservation Society
this group also has a petition to sign.

Click-able Map of the Riverview site

BISCO -- Brookside-Leeside-Roadside -- Centre Lawn -- Colony Farm
Crease Clinic -- East Lawn -- Essondale Hospital
Finnie's Garden -- Henry Esson Young -- Hillside unit
Home for the Aged-Valleyview -- North Lawn
Nurses homes -- Pennington Hall -- TreeFest -- West Lawn
John Davidson; "Botany John" blog. He was the first Provincial Botanist, who created British Columbia's first Botanical Garden at Riverview.
Other groups involved Riverview Horticultural Centre Society
Who also have a media NEWS Blog
You can also download a 42 page report titled, For the future of Riverview created by the Riverview Task Force.
Or Burke Mountain Naturalists, report: The Riverview Hospital Site, Respecting its Past,Realizing its Future
Coquitlam has designated the buildings and grounds, as a heritage site.
Download the Statement of Significance; SoS report PDF

Tour through the grounds

Paul Buikema, of Progress Landscaping, created this video.

Treefest 2011 slideshow

A slideshow of images from the Tree festival of 2011. Created in HD. Enjoy.

Riverview trees

Finnie's Garden -- slideshow

Finnie's Garden -- Pond restoration slideshow

TreeFest -- slideshow