Aldergrove forest land up for sale

Environmental group Watchers of Langley Forests (WOLF) is making a last-ditch effort to stop the sale of a piece of Aldergrove land.

WOLF is urging residents to come to next Monday’s Dec. 1 afternoon council meeting to express their disapproval of the sale.

“It pains me that the Township has chosen to continue on this path,” said Aldergrove resident Jessica Horst, who lives nearby and has advocated for the area to become parkland. 

“Langley kids, especially those at nearby Shortreed Elementary, are losing out on a great resource,” she said.

The land, known to locals as the Creekside forest, is located south of 28th Avenue and just west of the boundary between Langley Township and Abbotsford along the 276th Street alignment.

The land itself was part of a parcel that includes the nearby Aldergrove sewage treatment plant.

The 19.1 acre site was deemed surplus and earlier this year, the Township council voted to rezone it to allow 61 houses to be built there.

About 40 per cent of the site will remain treed because of nearby Bertrand Creek, and the streamside setbacks that prevent construction too close to the water.

WOLF has been pushing to preserve more of the land, particularly the southern portion of the lot, where about one third of the homes would be built. That area is the most heavily forested portion of the site.

Although the land was rezoned early in the year, there was initially no partner to develop the land and build housing. Mayor Jack Froese recently indicated there was some interest in the project.

An ad on the Township Page in local newspapers on Nov. 20 noted that the land is officially for sale. All Township land sales must be publicly advertised.

The reason behind the rezoning and land sale has been to raise some of the capital costs of building a planned indoor pool and rec centre in Aldergrove.

Although most candidates support getting underway with the pool project, there have been objections to the Creekside sale as well as other land sales in the Glen Valley area.

The issues of land sales and the Aldergrove pool were among those hotly debated during the recent election.

WOLF’s Kirk Robertson is hoping that the new council, with three new members including WOLF founding member Petrina Arnason, might reconsider.

“The decision to rezone and sell is ripe for review by the newly elected council,” said Robertson. “I hope that they will get an opportunity to do so “ 

The new council will be sworn in the evening of Dec. 1.

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