Langley Township council said no to a proposal to bring in 21,000 truckloads of fill to an acreage in North Aldergrove.
Greenline Management asked for permission to haul away 25,700 cubic metres of peat, and to dump 120,400 cubic metres of fill on property at 26453 52nd Ave.
Virtually every neighbour property complained about the impacts they believed it will have, and several characterized it as "fill farming."
"If they're going to raise it up on the other two sides, we'll be down in a hole," said Will Born, who lives in a one-acre lot that borders the site on two sides.
"It'll eventually flood us out, if that goes through," he said.
Lisa Weih worried that the site could gain up to five metres in height, impacting drainage. She said ponds on the site have already been filled in and wetlands drained.
Like other residents, Weih has a relatively shallow well drilled to about 40 feet, and she is concerned that if contaminated material is dumped on the site, it could hurt her water quality.
Neighbours also worried about property values, a point driven home by several other speakers.
Residents who live near other fill sites around the Township said they have seen serious problems. Shane Dyson said he had his property reassessed and it lost two thirds of its value and was partially flooded after filling to one side and clearcutting of trees to the other.
The council voted not to send the application on to the Agricultural Land Commission.
That will make it much harder, if not impossible, for the landowner to get ALC approval to begin bringing in fill.
Councillors worried about outdated information in the application, which has dragged on for several years, and about the sheer amount of fill.
Members of the public have repeatedly complained about "fill farming" in recent years.
Allegedly, some landowners apply to the ALC to fill parts of their property, saying they want to improve agricultural values. However, the real purpose is to charge developers for dumping large amounts of fill from excavations and construction sites.
Rural landowners have complained about land that has been filled to excessive depths, after which no farming was ever done.
The Township began cracking down on soil deposit applications last year.