An Agricultural Land Commission map shows the existing ALR boundaries (the green line) where the ALR extends into the Willoughby slope. To the far west of the map is 208th Street, the boundary extends as far as 210th in the west and north to 76th Avenue.

Parkland, development planned for Willoughby’s Tara Farm

The land in the eastern Willoughby slope could become a mixture of development and parkland.

A 52.6 acre property in Willoughby could be subdivided and turned into roads, housing, and a 32.8 acre park.

Langley Township announced the proposal for Tara Farms, at 21198 Smith Crescent, in a press release on Nov. 22.

The plan is to turn the southeastern 32.83 acres of the property into a passive park, with the Township buying it from the current owners for $4.92 million.

The Township’s announcement emphasizes it will preserve a treed portion of the site.

The remaining 19.75 acres would be used for roads and development. Of the land, 4.5 acres would become part of the planned 212th Street Connector, which would be part of a link between 208th Street and 212th Street.

“A number of residents and members of Council expressed concern about this application, based on the forestation of the land, the natural habitat and wildlife it is home to, and its environmental significance,” Township Mayor Jack Froese said in a statement. “If the ALC allows the subdivision to take place, the Township will purchase a large portion of the land so it can be incorporated into the municipal Arbour Ribbon and enjoyed by everyone for generations to come.”

But it will be up to the Agricultural Land Commission whether the plan goes ahead. The property is within the ALR.

The landowner has applied to subdivide the land and have it excluded from the land reserve.

The Township park purchase will only go ahead if the Land Commission approves the subdivision.

The planned development of the remaining lands would result in $1.5 million to $2.3 million in development cost charges (DCCs) being paid to the Township, which would be used to offset the cost of buying the Township’s park portion. The remaining money will come from a parkland acquisition fund and DCC reserves.

Developers pay DCCs with every new development, to pay for new public infrastructure such as roads, water mains, and local parks.

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mclaxton@langleyadvance.com

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