Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Rural News in the Township of Langley

With the August Civic Holiday behind us, things at municipal halls across BC will slowdown until September. I was looking at the July 25th council agenda for the Township of Langley and came across some interesting items that will affect the rural area in Langley.

Back when the Agricultural Land Reserve was formed, a provision was added which allows the pre-ALR owner of the land the right to subdivide a lot allowing the retention of the land around a house while allowing for the sale of the remainder of the land. It is meant as a means to provide compensation for the original land owner, but one of the side-effects is the fragmentation of agricultural land. Two Homesite Severance applications came before Township council.

The subdivision of a 6.1 ha (15.0 acres) parcel located at 2145 – 272 Street to create a 0.86 ha (2.13 acres) homesite lot and a 5.21 ha (12.87 acres) remnant lot.

The subdivision of a 6.8 ha (16.9 acres) parcel located at 4017 – 224 Street to create a 0.81 ha (2.00 acres) homesite lot and a 6.02 ha (14.88 acres) remnant lot.

As the ALR continues to fragment, I have to wonder if there is another way to protect actual farmland in the region because right now the most important roll of the ALR seems to be as a de facto urban growth boundary.

In other rural business, the Salmon River Uplands area in the Township is not in the ALR but has not been allowed to develop. The following Notices of Motion was presented at the July 25th afternoon meeting by Councillor Richter.
1. Zoning over the Salmon River Uplands/Hopington Aquifer Area (the “Area”) has been in place for in excess of 40 years;
2. Previous attempts to rezone the Area to provide for less density in 1998 and 2005 were not endorsed by Council;
3. The prohibition of rezoning and subdivision of the Area is required due to environmental concerns in accordance with the 1995 moratorium enacted by Council.

Now therefore be it resolved:
That Council seek a legal opinion as to how the 1995 resolution can be enshrined and have the same force and effect of a bylaw so as to prevent future rezoning and subdivision in the area until such time as the original environmental issues leading to the 1995 moratorium, including water quality and quantity, have been resolved.

Dark Gray is Salmon River Uplands. Click Map to Enlarge.
When the 1995 moratorium is lifted, there will be huge pressure to see this area urbanized and you can bet that an election will be fought over this area.

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