Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Metro Vancouver residents support protecting farmland and preserving industrial land

Two of the tenets of regional land-use policy in Metro Vancouver is to protect farmland and preserve industrial land. There is a healthy tension between municipalities and the regional district when it comes to land-use. Municipalities tend to push towards development with the “highest and best use” at a given point in time, while the regional district tends to look at a longer timeframe when it comes to the best use for land. The regional district is a federation of municipalities in Metro Vancouver; each municipality agreed to be bound by the regional district’s land-use policy.

Metro Vancouver recently polled people who lived in our region, asking them if protecting farmland and preserving industrial land is important. They also asked people under what conditions would they consider allowing farmland or industrial land to be developed for residential or commercial uses.

The poll revealed that people believe that agricultural land:

  1. Provides a local source of fresh food
  2. Offers environment benefits such a providing green space, clean air, flood management, and habitat for wildlife
  3. Supports future generations with options for local food production and food security

People in the poll believed that industrial land:

  1. Supports a significant number of jobs in our region
  2. Provides suitable locations to meet the day-to-day needs of the region such as warehousing, repair, and manufacturing
  3. Attracts companies to do business here

People in our regional strongly believe in protecting farmland. The only case where the majority of people polled would support converting farmland to other uses would be if the land was not suitable for farming or other agricultural uses. People polled strongly support keeping residential growth within existing urban areas.

When it comes to converting industrial land to other uses, the majority of people polled would only support conversion if industrial land was vacant, not being used for industrial proposes for over half a decade. The majority of people polled also believed that industrial activities should have priority access to certain locations such as rail corridors, waterfronts, and highways.

Industrial uses along the waterfront.

This poll confirms that people support protecting farmland and preserving industrial land. It also confirms that people want to see residential and commercial uses (such as offices and retail) built in current urban areas.

In Langley City, we are doing our part. Current industrial land is protected as is our limited amount of agricultural land in our Official Community Plan.

The full poll results can be downloaded from Metro Vancouver’s website.

Top three responses.

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