Editor: In 2001, Southgate Christian Fellowship purchased 15 acres of land that was in the ALR. They have now applied to the Township of Langley to remove part of this land and do us all a favour by building a church and various facilities for everyone to use.
Well, guess what, everyone doesn’t go to your church.
Even more important is why would the church purchase ALR land in the first place?
They already pay no property taxes so they must have known there was a good chance they could get it out.
So far they have succeeded in getting council to approve removing five acres. They wanted all 15 acres removed. Their reasoning was that the land is not being used. Well it could, be and probably will be in another 20 years.
Another point worth noting is that Kirk Miller from Kirk Miller and Associates, who submitted the non-farm use application, is the former chair and general manager of the B.C. Agricultural Commission. He is now a professional lobbyist helping individuals and organizations get what they want from government.
John Moonen appeared before council with pastor Dave McTaggart as the delegation for the church. Mr. Moonen has been a political strategist and campaigner for a variety of MLAs, MPs and cabinet ministers.
I readily admit it is a difficult task to maneuver all the political levels, but it doesn’t seem right that a person who has worked to save our farmland as Mr. Miller has is now is helping to destroy it.
It also should be noted that the people on staff who are hired to advise council on proper procedures, such as planning, did not support this proposal to remove acreage from the reserve.
In fact, they stated the proposal is inconsistent with the Township Assembly Use Location Guidelines and the provisions of the Rural Plan, Official Community Plan and Metro Vancouver Regional Growth Plan.
I can only hope the three people who sit on the south coast panel to determine the fate of our agricultural land are going to do the right thing and refuse this application for removal.
Church or no church, praying isn’t going to bring back our precious farmland once it’s built upon. Shame on them for even trying, and shame on council for cutting them a deal and letting this application proceed.
Five acres will be just a start. Acreage will have to be taken for road allowance and then what is left? Not much.
Please contact the ALR for the south coast region to register your concerns. If the agricultural land commission panel approves it, then back it goes to council for rezoning so keep informed .