Farm market approved for expansion

Ralph’s Farm Market has received permission to build a new farm market behind the existing structure, which will eventually be dismantled. - Miranda Gathercole/Langley Times
Ralph’s Farm Market has received permission to build a new farm market behind the existing structure, which will eventually be dismantled.
— image credit: Miranda Gathercole/Langley Times

A busy farm market has opted to build a brand new facility rather than expand by constructing an addition as initially planned.

At a public hearing last month, Township council approved a development permit that will allow Ralph’s Farm Market to build a 13,900 square foot building immediately east of its existing store at 22728 Fraser Hwy.

The new building will include a 600 square foot caretaker’s suite, and will replace all existing structures and canopies on the site.

It will be business as usual during construction, said Elizabeth Merk who owns the market with her husband, Ralph.

The development permit, which is a prerequisite for a building permit, gives council the opportunity to review the form, character and siting of the proposed building.

A report indicates that the structure will be clad with horizontal and vertical board and batten hardie plank siding, and vertical pre-finished metal wall cladding in a red-brown colour with ivory wood trim, and timber and black metal accents.

The report notes, too, that the parking lot, which has space for 69 vehicles, will not be affected by the changes.

The existing building will be demolished, and in order to meet the Township’s tree protection and replacement policy, the company will be required to plant 26 trees on that site.

The business has expanded more than once since it opened more than 20 years ago, including a grocery section to augment the fruit and produce sections.

However, just how much of the building is devoted to grocery and sundry items is limited by the zoning. Rural farm markets not located in the Agricultural Land Reserve may sell produce grown on and off the property, but the area used for the sale of grocery and sundry items cannot exceed 10 per cent of the gross floor area of the farm market building.

Approximately 0.14 acres of the site is within the ALR.

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