Monday, November 3, 2014

Exclusive: Township’s secret meeting with Agricultural Land Commission to redraw the ALR in Langley

Township of Langley proposed redrawing of the ALR would see around 200 acres of landed added to the reserve if approved by the Agricultural Land Commission. Select map to enlarge.

It is no secret that the Township of Langley has been looking at ways to get certain parcels of land out of the Agricultural Land Reserve for some time.

Going back to when the Agricultural Land Reserve was founded, there are two sections of the Township where land pretty much gets auto-excluded from the ALR: Gloucester Industrial Estates and Salmon River/Upland. The Salmon River/Upland area contained many small lots before the ALR came into effect. It was noted early on by the Agricultural Land Commission that even though the area was within the ALR, the size of the lots were too small for most farm uses.

Beside these two areas, the Township has been looking to remove about 480 acres of land from the ALR around Aldergrove since the mid-1990s. The Township believes that this removal of land from the ALR is required for the long-term viability of the community.

Recently the Township has moved forward with its proposed University District. The University District is similar in size to Fort Langley. While the Township may have won its court case with Metro Vancouver to allow the District, the majority of the land for the District is still within the ALR. As I posted in 2012, the ALC did not support removing this land from the ALR.

Earlier this year, I got wind that Township Council and Staff had a meeting with the Agricultural Land Commission to talk about redrawing the lines of the ALR. I submitted a Freedom of Information request about this meeting. I received the meeting minutes from that meeting and a presentation that the Township delivered. I have posted this to the Document Archive of this blog. I suggest that you check out the presentation.

In the presentation, the Township outlines the history of the ALR within Langley. It also outlines significant plans and exclusion applications within the ALR.

The really interesting slides show what the Township would like to see for the ALR in that community.

The Township of Langley proposed to remove land near Trinity Western University to support the University District. It also proposed to remove land in the Brookswood/Fernridge area to support development in that community.

The Township also proposed to remove the parcel of land that would be automatically excluded anyway in Salmon River/Uplands and in Gloucester. Finally, the Township proposed to remove land from the ALR around Aldergrove.

In exchange the Township would put other parcels of land within the ALR. The Township’s plan would actually see a net increase of 200 acres into the ALR. The Township of Langley would also create a new zone for all land within the ALR and require a minimum lot size of 8 hectares.

The presentation and meeting minutes contain more information.

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