LETTER: ALR exclusion opposed by Bertrand Creek Enhancement Society

Bertrand Creek Enhancement Society are opposed to the the exclusion of Aldergrove parcel

Editor:

RE: ALR Exclusion Application for 3250 264th Street -Application ID 53333

We, the members of the Bertrand Creek Enhancement Society (BCES), are opposed to the the exclusion of this parcel from the Agricultural Land Reserve. We ask that the Agricultural Land Commission reject this application as inconsistent with the first purpose of the Agricultural Land Commission; to preserve farmland.

The Bertrand Creek Enhancement Society is a non-profit watershed stewardship group dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of Bertrand Creek. The exclusion of this parcel and subsequent development will result in the the loss of habitat, exacerbate pollution issues, and threaten feeder streams. The impact on Bertrand Creek ecosystems and farmland will not be limited to this parcel. Issues surrounding ecology and agricultural viability are not separate issues. They are different aspects of the same problem.

Farmland in British Columbia is a precious resource. The conservation of this treasure ought to be a concern to all levels of government. Despite this the Township of Langley continues to designate land in the ALR surrounding the Aldergrove core, including this parcel, as being within the urban containment boundary and thus slated for development. The Township Council has acknowledged this inconsistency in the Township Rural Plan (Section 5.4.1).

Meanwhile the Township Council continues to forward ALR Exclusion applications to the ALC.

This issue should be resolved before the Commission favourably considers piecemeal applications to exclude lands from the ALR in the rural areas around Aldergrove.

The Aldergrove Community Plan calls for higher density in the Aldergrove core. This plan if fully implemented would decrease pressure on the ALR and the environment. The Township Council persists in encouraging sprawl outward from the Aldergrove core by supporting applications like this one. The commission’s purposes include a mandate “to encourage local governments… to enable and accommodate farm use of agricultural land and uses compatible

with agriculture in their plans, bylaws and policies.”

Should the commission decline this application the Township might be suitably encouraged to improve their approach to agriculture and the Agricultural Land Reserve.

Kirk Robertson, on behalf of Bertrand Creek Enhancement Society

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