Archive for July, 2013

TO All Members of the Metro Vancouver Parks Committee:

On behalf of all users of Campbell Valley Park I want to sincerely thank all members who voted against the proposal to reactivate the Langley Speedway. I am confident that IF Metro wishes help or input from the grassroots to flesh out ideas for generating revenue there are many resources available to assist.


Thank you again


Rick Green

Township of Langley


To ALL Metro Vancouver Parks Committee Members: I hope all of my former colleagues are doing well!

I am following up my earlier email and BLOG Post on the proposal to reopen the Langley Speedway in Campbell Valley Park offering my initial thoughts on the proposal and presentation by Murray Jones of the Historical Speedway Society. There is a very real lesson here in the move by Metro to agree to the designation of “Historical” under the guise of them agreeing NOT TO reactivate the track back in 2006. Gosh (could use much stronger words) it has only taken them 7 years and here they are cap in hand asking for it to be reactivated. What is that saying, give them an inch and they will take a mile! I sincerely hope many have learned from this experience, I just hope that mistake hasn’t severely cost us by destroying this GEM of a park for years to come.

I have to admit that I am shocked that this proposal from the Speedway Society is or has gained the notoriety and/or consideration that it has, given the historical detail that has been provided by staff based on past actions from the Parks Committee and Metro Board. This proposal is so fundamentally wrong in so many ways it is hard to know where to begin. But here is just a start –

  • The Historical Speedway Society is exactly that, historical with a very clear understanding that it would not be reopened.
  • I would suggest that the investment that Metro Vancouver has made thanks in part  to proceeds by the Pacific Parkland Foundation was made with a clear understanding of the mandate given each park.
  • The safety issue will, without a doubt, end up causing serious equine accidents in the park which will end up being litigated against Metro and member municipalities for years. This isn’t a threat it is a fact – Horses and Cars do not mix!!
  • The cost of a comprehensive study will be significant as described by staff. Metro cannot accept that funding from the proponent, as much as we would all like that, to pay for this study due to the obvious – Perception of a conflict of interest which would put in question any final result.
  • The proponents rambling about commitments and donations is exactly that, rambling. Until the commitment is in writing it means absolutely nothing.
  • Imposing this track on the community with it’s traffic congestion and required road upgrades to mitigate these problems would be a serious financial burden. There is no clear financial return for Metro, which is supposed to be why this is even being considered, let alone funding to cover the significant costs to undertake this project. It is suggested that the required study could cost $500,000 of taxpayers money? Taxpayers have had enough, that should be clear to all concerned by now. This will be a NET COST!

I urge all of you to very seriously consider ALL of the presentations that have been made to you requesting that this proposal cease to be considered. The negative impact on the environment, noise pollution, effect on wildlife, naturalists, equine community, Pacific Riding for Developing Abilities and much more would destroy the decades of hard work to build what we have today. Why? It just doesn’t make any sense.

There are an ample number of other option (locations) in the lower mainland that all of those who say they are willing to come up with all this money can go and develop a facility that would meet their needs and standards. I am not against car racing, I am just in favor of common sense. Claiming to do it to make money for Metro Vancouver Parks is an absolute smokescreen, it is a ruse and has always been intended to be a ruse. It is what it is – an attempt to circumvent the previously agreed to policy, design and use agreement for Campbell Valley Park.

Please, just say NO!!!

Rick Green

As I have said in a previous post, Charlie Fox is THE most condescending individual I have ever met. His letter to the editor response / rebuttal to a previously written Langley Times Editorial (Tuesday June 25th, 2013) that criticized the Township of Langley and Council for their ALR exclusion applications is beyond the pale.

NOTE: While often critical even I have praised this Frank Bucholtz editorial.

I was going to take the summer off, unless the Township or Council did something ridiculous, which seems to be a weekly occurrence. Well, as outrageous as the Aldergrove ALR exclusion proposal was, I am going to write on it in September, Fox’s groveling and feeble letter to the editor was just too much!

Well, let’s dissect his response – Fox states “What you have published today is false, misleading and biased” – “Your readers deserve the facts” – Great idea Charlie, when are you going to start using facts?

Charlie you are correct on one thing, The Tuscan Farm property was zoned one-acre lots prior to the advent of the Agricultural Land Reserve. But let’s tell the whole story – The Tuscan Farm Property along with the majority of land in the Salmon River Uplands was and still is zoned one acre lots pre ALR. So what?

As a side note – It is interesting that the previous owners of this property tried unsuccessfully to have it excluded from the ALR on a number of occasions. After reaching their limit of frustration, it was sold and low and behold the new owners were able to find quick access to ALR approval. Now who was on the ALR South Coast Panel that gave that approval? Not suggesting anything, just asking the question? How was this possible?

If we take Councilor Fox’s argument to it’s illogical conclusion we would take all of the Salmon River Uplands and approve it for housing! Previous and/or the existing zoning of land in the ALR has absolutely nothing to do with exempting that land out of the ALR. As far as Councilor Fox’s argument, that this is allowing the owner to bring the balance of his land back into production? What? So I guess Charlie we should develop every piece of ALR land for housing where a small part is located in a gully or a ravine or what, maybe something that is just a little inconvenient, under the premise that we will save adjoining agricultural land. What complete nonsense! Anyone that has an ounce of understanding of farming will know, if the land is not being farmed today or in the recent past, it is because the owners don’t want to farm it and more often than not they have an ulterior motive. OH and by the way Charlie, to actively farm you need the freedom to use legitimate farm practices along with access and egress WITHOUT being restricted by or bothered by an Urban environment. Ask the people of South Delta / Tsawwassen about the difficulty and impossible task they have in farming the Southlands, which is surrounded by housing! Is that what we are trying to do here?

As to the money and/or community benefits you say we will receive? Is that all it takes to get exclusion approval is to cut a cheque? Why is Council unwilling to manage their property assets properly and implement CACs within Urban Development Applications? This Council has repeatedly dismissed any idea of implementing these ideas. Unbelievable, but they are willing to use this as incentive to drag land out of the ALR?

The Wall Application! This application is absolutely off the charts. First it was conditionally approved in 2007 by the South Coast Panel of the ALR. This application was rejected a few times previously until their 2007 conditional approval. Who were the Commissioners on the South Coast Panel at the time of this approval? Just asking! This latest attempt to buttress it and combine the Wall application with the University District application is an attempt to get a private land deal approved thanks to the needs of Trinity University. It is an absolute affront to Trinity University, using their Application to serve the needs of some friends and insiders.

To the suggestion that we will now have a net increase of farmable lands? What an unmitigated joke. No Charlie, that farmland can be farmed as is. It doesn’t need traffic congestion surrounding it to be farmed. This doesn’t make farming easier, it makes it impossible!

Well, what can we say about the Aldergrove proposal – Given the actions of this council it is the tip of the iceberg. If Council really wants to help Aldergrove out and see that it is built out to it’s potential, try working on the greater Community Plan, try working with the business community on their Core Plan, start talking density (you have those options in the NEW Core Plan) unfortunately the majority of council are using the age old excuse of the need for development. Yes they need growth BUT you have all of the tools and developable land necessary, just get on with it and stop talking down to and insulting residents. I would suggest most residents, in my opinion, have forgotten more than you know!

In summary, I sincerely hope that the Metro Vancouver Board will hold this council’s feet to the fire and stop the insanity of their self-serving development within our community. (Serving who is the question?)

Rick Green

Back to my Summer Holidays – We are working on a number of intriguing posts, back the first of September!

Protect your Democratic Rights – Protect your NEIGHBORS Democratic Rights – stay informed, stay involved and VOTE!!!

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