225 acres of west Bradner is again being considered as a new industrial site. This time the City of Abbotsford itself is applying for the exclusion. The DEADLINE to respond to the city with your concerns is on June 20th, 2016 - although the city did not provide a meeting time or location. This news and deadline was received on Friday June 17th, 2016 - which gives the community just 3 days warning... over the weekend. Back in February 2016, the Agriculture Land Commission (ALC) denied an application by an industrial developer.
Pacific Land Group on behalf of 0903475 BC Ltd. (Ron Emerson and Joseph Segal) applied to exclude 22 properties located in west Abbotsford, in our rural farming community of Bradner BC, that would industrialize 225 acres of prime farming land.
The City of Abbotsford recently updated it's Official Community Plan (OCP). The 3rd reading of the draft will be heard and considered during the council meeting on June 20th, 2016 and adoption is currently anticipated to take place at the June 27, 2016 at the city's Regular Council meeting.
In addition to the west Bradner exclusion the city is also applying to exclude ALR lands in the Airport Reserve A (54.4ha) and B (17.2ha). the new OCP is not being voted on at the June 20, 2016 meeting; rather, tomorrow is the scheduled Public Hearing for Bylaw 2600-2016, "Official Community Plan Bylaw, 2016".
The Draft OCP states that once land is designated industrial, it will not be returned to anything but industrial (Draft OCP Part II 1 - 4). This latest exclusion application and OCP contradict each other. The Draft OCP states that...
"No industrial designated land will be supported in changing to non-industrial designated uses."
Although this is very short notice, it is extremely important that all residents of Bradner state their opinions on this upcoming development. Click for a full list of the City of Abbotsford contact information.
Besides the effect of losing a large part of the Bradner community to industry, there are other things to consider. Traffic is already a nightmare in our area and would increase dramatically. The original plan was to tie into the North Bradner Reservoir as part of the water supply for the industrial park, that is most likely still on the table. Water pressure is already bad especially during power outages - then add an entire industrial park to the equation. This would severely affect the Jubilee neighbourhood.
Mark Neill, Director of Planning, City of Abbotsford does not know who would be paying for the off ramp at Lefeuvre Road that will come with this project.
Abbotsford Counsellors and Mayor were elected and hired to serve the public. Henry Braun barely won the election and made it known at the Bradner Town Hall that he was against this exclusion and industrial development project which put him over the top with the voters. Then once he’s in its a different story. Shifting into the idea that 4,500 jobs for locals will be created!!! Even though the High Street Development was thought to produce jobs... yet the un-employment rate rose after the shopping centre was built - suffocating local businesses into closure.
Mt Lehman Voices
Mt Lehman opposes this development and stands up for the Community they live in.
The west Bradner lands meet 3 of the 4 criteria, as do the Airport lands (Airport Reserve A (54.4ha) and B (17.2ha). The city is planning on applying for exclusions on BOTH. The 4 broad criteria for pursuing industrial land are:
Neill also said that "Monday’s council meeting will be the last chance before the new OCP goes to council for consideration and then on to the ALC. After Monday there will be ZERO chance for input to council by the public". During the conversation Neill used words such as 'studying' areas for industry zoning, and said that there will be "lots of time for input if and when the ALC approves the City’s request for exclusion". And when pressed, Neill admitted that the city will very aggressively pursue the West Abbotsford Industrial Park and it could be as soon as “latter part of 2016” when it all goes through and actually only a year before the first buildings are erected. (Which is odd timing considering those within Abbotsford's borders requesting building permits take forever to approve)
Mayor, Henry Braun voted against this project when he sat as a Councillor but now he is in full support, even though it is undetermined who will pay, and it will likely be the taxpayers.
Along with terms such as Abbotsforward and City in the Country we are seeing a great divide in values between city and country life. Farmers are more and more under pressure by those in the core who have not shown respect for agricultural land in their actions but only in their words. Now the ability to re-claim industrial lands is being stripped away too...
Abbotsford's "City in the Country" Plan
Properties recommended for industrial growth in the City in the Country Plan (CICP) and Industrial Reserve.. Following review by the City of Abbotsford, nine candidate areas were proposed to the Provincial Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) for industrial growth, based upon suitability assessment criteria that included:
Conditional exclusions from the ALR for industrial growth...
On July 29, 2005, the ALC concluded its review of the City’s application to exclude properties from the ALR for industrial and business park development.
Based upon the ALC’s review, it provided conditional exclusion for properties in four candidate areas occupying approximately 180ha (445 Acres) as follows: Mt. Lehman (92ha), Cascade (2.3ha), Clearbrook (59.3ha) and Peardonville (formerly Mt. Lehman South – 26.5ha). The ALC based its decisions upon the suitability of land to accommodate agricultural production, and to accommodate the City’s more immediate business park and industrial growth needs.
Notice of Public Hearing
to consider the City's new Official Community Plan Bylaw. Take notice that the Council at the City of Abbotsford will hold a Public Hearing at 7 pm on June 20th, 2016 in the Matsqui Centennial Auditorium, 32315 South Fraser Way, Abbotsford, BC, under the provisions of the Local Government Act to consider the following bylaw.
At the Public Hearing, all persons who believe their interest in property is affected by the proposed bylaw shall be afforded a reasonable opportunity to be heard or to present written submissions respecting matters contained in the bylaw that is the subject of the hearing.
OFFICIAL COMMUNITY PLAN BYLAW, 2016 BYLAW NO. 2600-2016
PURPOSE: If Bylaw No. 2600-2016 is adopted, Bylaw No. 1483-2005, cited as "Official Community Plan Bylaw, 2005", Bylaw No. 0584, 2003 cited as "Fraser Valley Regional District Official Community Plan for Electoral Area 'H', Sumas Mountain Bylaw No. 0584, 2003" and any and all amendments will be repealed and a new Official Community Plan will be adopted. The Official Community Plan Bylaw, 2016 regulates permitted uses and densities for properties and sets a vision for future growth and development in Abbotsford. All lands within the City of Abbotsford are subject to this Bylaw.
The bylaw and relevant background documentation may be inspected in the Planning Services Division (2nd Floor), Abbotsford City Hall, 32315 South Fraser Way, Abbotsford BC on June 20th, 2016 from 8:30am - 4:30pm. Planners will also be available in the Matsqui Centennial Auditorium an hour prior to the Public Hearing on June 20th, 2016 to answer questions and discuss the Bylaw. Information about the Official Community Plan update project can be found at www.abbotsforward.ca.
Contact Planning Services staff at 604-864-5510
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