Q15: 20 Questions for Langley Township Council candidates

Rick Green (for MAYOR) – No, it is very clear that they have little respect for ALR land. One just has to look at the Wall Development of 69 Townhouses in the middle of prime farm land to understand their position in ALR protection. 

Petrina Arnason – NO. The majority of TOL Council has recently supported a number of urban developments within the ALR. This “spot zoning” results in further land speculation and an increase in land prices which precludes the continuation of farming in those areas as the land becomes unaffordable.  The Township Council should work more collaboratively with Metro Vancouver and the ALC in order to ensure that such applications are not endorsed and to further ensure that any “benefit to farming” potentially arising from these developments are proportional to the harm arising from undermining our agricultural land base.

Solon Bucholz – NO. We are seeing an increasing trend with the existing council to spot zone in the ALR, as demonstrated with the controversial Wall Development, against the wishes of the community and the Agricultural Advisory committee. This not only permanently destroys our valuable farmland but puts tremendous strain on the aquifers and infrastructure that support these rural areas. The July 2013 amendment to the rural community plan now allows proposals for cluster housing on ALR further demonstrating the townships lack of regard to protect lands in the ALR. This is disappointing with 40% of the total farming receipts in the GVRD coming from township farmland, and thousands of residents depending on employment from these farms. The importance of preserving these lands is a clear priority for the current and future residents of the township of Langley.

David Davis – No. The last term of council is proof that we are not.

Charlie Fox – Yes, we have removed 0 acres of land from the ALR this past term and I have supported each and every ALC (the protective agency for farmland in the province) decision this term.

Clint Lee – No, recent decisions by this council (Wall development and Tuscan Farm, for example) clearly show a disrespect for ALR land. 

Patricia Lessard – NO, by approving the development of 69 town homes on the Wall property in the ALR and 65 homes on the Tuscan Farm property shows that Council has not been committed to agricultural land.

Bob Long – Yes – and it is always the ALC that makes the final decision on the use of ALR lands.

Jackie Mandzak – No. We have seen ALR land removed for development and used for development while remaining in the ALR, despite the fact that it should be protected and it does not conform to the Metro Vancouver growth plans.  Once the land is removed, it is gone. No land is given back to the ALR in exchange.  We should be encouraging landowners to utilize the lands in the ALR to their full potential, as neighbouring municipalities do, rather than removing it to accommodate growth and the wishes of a few. 

Kevin Mitchell – NO.  Recent examples of the wall property and tuscan farm prove the current council, with notable exceptions are willing to “spot zone” away our rural heritage and agricultural viability.

Scott Nichols – No. Case in point is the Wall/TWU property, the Tuscan farms and the Hendricks Development in Murrayville.

Angie Quaale – No. For me, “protecting” the agricultural land also includes making sure the protected land is actually being used, not just protected.

Kim Richter – NO. There is too much ‘spot-zoning’ for residential development happening in the heart of Township agriculture lands (i.e. Tuscan Farms, Wall Development in the University District, Salmon River Uplands). I have opposed this and will continue to oppose this.

Dave Stark – No. Majority of this council has started to believe, and repeat all the excuses necessary to pull valuable land from the ALR. “You can’t farm on it anyway. We have so much of it. This is just a one-time decision.” It has become more, and more acceptable to minimize the significance of farmland. I am the only candidate who has declared ZERO TOLERANCE to removing any land from the ALR. I make this bold, and definitive statement because our farmland is too important for future generations. All other candidates, including incumbents will vow to protect farmland. History has shown that following through on this promise, has been very poor. Thus, my black & white statement.

Michelle Sparrow – No. In the last three years, I can think of five notable large urban developments which were approved on agricultural lands, this is an alarming trend. Whether the lands still remain in the ALR with their approval for urban development or it was removed outright, is just semantics, and more so in my opinion an indicator of a large loophole in respects to the ALC’s decision making process. The fact that our agricultural lands are being allowed to be developed with urban developments is in my opinion, one of the biggest threats to our community and to what makes Langley Township such a unique place to live. 

Blair Whitmarsh – Yes – adequate but it can always be improved.

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