As the draft Brookswood-Fernridge Community Plan nears completion, a group of south Langley residents are voicing their frustration that their properties have not been included.
Calling themselves the Fernridge 20th Group, the residents are requesting a modification to the community plan to incorporate their block of land bounded by 200 Street to the east, 198 Street to the west, 16 Avenue to the South and 20 Avenue to the north.
These “orphaned 80 acres” are “sandwiched” between Campbell Valley Regional Park and a panhandle slated in the draft plan as Single Family 2 (1o,ooo square-foot lots), and is removed from the rest of the southern farm area by 16 Avenue, said David Sahlstrom, who spoke to Township council Monday night (June 12) on behalf of resident, Lorne Bustin.
Although the land is in the Agricultural Land Reserve, the lots are currently fallow and house small estates, Sahlstrom said. There is no commercial food production being done, and the Fernridge 20th Group believes the lots do not meet Metro Vancouver’s Regional Growth Strategy objectives. Almost half the area also has soil composed of sands, gravels and cobbles, which have poor moisture and nutrient retention, he said.
The residents believe it is unfair that they will have to deal with increased traffic from the neighbouring subdivisions, but will not receive the same level of services, such as water, sewer and gas.
“We get all the problems, and due to what can only be described as a discriminatory decision, ended up with none of the rewards,” Bustin wrote in a delegation request to the Township.
To have this block added in, however, involves a lengthy process with many levels of approval, Mayor Jack Froese said. Because the land is outside of the urban containment boundary of the regional growth strategy, and is in ALR, the Fernridge 20th Group will first have to go to the Agricultural Land Commission, and then through the Township of Langley’s Official Community Plan, the Brookswood Fernridge Community Plan and Metro Vancouver.
Mark Bakken, Township CAO, advised Sahlstrom that if they want to proceed, they should start with a non-farm use application to the ALC.