Councilor Fox’s response to the Langley Times Editorial has caused me to interrupt my holiday…. “Township Council is creating more farmland”? Did I read that right?

Posted: July 4, 2013 in Uncategorized

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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