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The University Endowment Lands are located immediately west of the City of Vancouver. Statistics Canada reports a total land area of 14.13 square kilometres (5.46 sq mi). About half of the UEL is made up of Pacific Spirit Regional Park, a mostly forested land that was originally set aside for development which never materialized. Located on Point Grey, the UEL also boasts tall cliffs near the water, with steep drops of approximately 70 metres (230 ft) down to the beaches below.
The University Endowment Lands' residential population is small and the non-university population includes mostly high-income professionals as the land there is very expensive. The other residents are mostly students living in the university's residences. The 2001 census reported an official permanent population of 7,816. The daytime university population is around 40,000 and includes undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty and staff. As with most universities, diverse cultural and ethnic groups make up the daytime university population, making the UEL very multicultural.
Pacific Spirit Regional Park, at the eastern end of the Endowment Lands, creates a physical buffer between the University and the adjacent Vancouver neighbourhoods of West Point Grey and Dunbar. Because of this, there are only five roads leading from Vancouver into the UEL: North West Marine Drive, 4th Avenue/Chancellor Boulevard, 10th Avenue/University Boulevard, 16th Avenue, and South West Marine Drive.
However, the large number of students and staff commuting to UBC on a daily basis means that the area is easily accessible by public transit. UBC Loop is the western terminus of many TransLink bus routes, and the bus system is heavily used due to a discount bus pass system called U-Pass.
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_Endowment_Lands & http://www.discovervancouver.com/GVB/ubc-endowment-lands.asp
In 1907, the provincial government passed the University Endowment Act. This Act provided for the reservation of up to two million acres of Crown land in the Province of British Columbia to be sold or leased to provide funding for the creation of a B.C. University. This was mostly agricultural land in the Cariboo region of the province. In 1911 the University Site Act, set aside 175 acres of land in Point Grey for the University of British Columbia.
By 1920 it became evident that the land reserve created by the University Endowment Act (at this time there remained approximately 750,000 acres of agricultural land in the Cariboo) did not have a ready market value to generate the anticipated income streams so the scheme was abandoned.
With the failure of the University Endowment Act, the provincial government passed the British Columbia University Loan Act. This new Act allowed the Lieutenant-Governor, to sell, at public auction, approximately 3,000 acres of Crown land located adjacent to the university site in Point Grey for residential purposes. The revenues from the development and sale (or lease) of these properties - the new endowment lands were to be put in a University Endowment Account for use by the university.
By 1925, the first lots were offered for sale or lease. At the same time the University Endowment Lands Administration Act (Administration Act) was passed which established the structure for the administration and regulation of the UEL. Although, several amendments have been made to the Administration Act since 1925, it continues to be the governing act for the UEL.
The Administration Act enables the UEL to act like any other municipality in the GVRD with one notable difference; there is no elected representation. The provincial government directly creates/approves development bylaws, taxation, service levels and land use development and control policies. An appointed manager, who is an employee of the province oversees the day-to-day functions of the UEL. The only elected representative of the UEL is the Electoral Area A representative on the Board of the GVRD.
Today the University Endowment Lands comprise approximately 1,000 hectares of both crown land and privately held residential and commercial properties. These lands include Pacific Spirit Park, the University Golf Course, approximately 2,700 residents in single family and multifamily homes, schools, churches and 10,000 square meters of commercial space.