Artists’ impression of proposed urban farm in Langley City taken from report to council. Supplied

Proposed urban farm in Langley City placed on back burner

Council votes to accept final report on controversial proposal without proceeding to the next phase

Langley City Council has put a controversial proposal to build an urban demonstration farm along a Hydro line on the back burner by voting to receive a final report on a possible design, without taking any further action.

The decision on the Langley Urban Agriculture Demonstration Project at Monday night’s meeting followed presentation of a scaled-down plan to redevelop the 23-acre (9.4 ha) BC Hydro transmission right-of-way between 200 Street and 204 Street.

READ MORE: A farm beneath BC Hydro power lines in Langley?

As prepared by the Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) Institute for Sustainable Food Systems, the final concept plan, if built, would have left most of the site unchanged, with 22 per cent being used for vegetable growing, orchards and “micro-production gardens.”

“This proposal also aims to address the concerns of residents by scaling back production elements, enhancing the natural character of the site and outlining a plan for long-term management that involves community collaboration,” said KPU research associate Emily Hansen.

The report estimated the project would cost $981,000 to build, and $95,500 to operate.

It did not say where the money might come from, other than listing possible sources that included grants, corporate donations and the sale of produce from the farm.

The idea of an urban farm did not sit well with some City residents, who complained the project would ruin the character of the area and create traffic and parking issues along with a potential pest problem.

About 40 people filled the council chambers at an Oct. 2 meeting to demonstrate opposition to the project that the City, Metro Vancouver regional authority and KPU were looking into.

READ MORE: Urban farm a bad idea, residents tell Langley City

A staff report to council observed the feedback at the open-house consultation meetings on the project was mostly negative.

“A majority of those who provided input during the consultation process did not support the use of the site for urban agriculture,” it noted.

Council had a choice of simply receiving the report, or receiving it and also directing staff staff to “investigate the business case for future phases of the project, including funding partners, community resources and neighbourhood support.”

When it came up for discussion, Coun. Nathan Pachal called for simply receiving the report without going further.

That was approved unanimously (Coun. Jack Arnold was absent due to illness).

Mayor Ted Schaffer took the opportunity to take issue with some comments made on social media, which he said suggested the urban farm was a “done deal.”

The fact the City is taking a look at a proposal doesn’t mean a decision has been made one way or the other, the mayor said.

“I take exception (to that suggestion), personally,” Schaffer said.

“I don’t see a done deal around this table at all.”

The mayor said he was “thoroughly disgusted” by some of the comments directed at City staff and members of council.



dan.ferguson@langleytimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

VIDEO: Giants winning streak halts against Everett Friday at home in Langley

Following their first loss since November, G-Men hope to regroup and defeat Victoria on Saturday.

Two local squads meet up at senior girls tourney in Langley

The 2018 Girls Tsumura Invitational continues Saturday with the finals.

Kazakhstan’s U20 team takes 4-3 win over Langley university squad

Thursday night’s game is one of three the visitors are playing at the Langley Events Centre.

VIDEO: Kids team up with Langley realtor to build holiday “homes”

Realtor Matthew Rufh hosted a gingerbread house-building party for the Langley Boys and Girls Club.

Cloverdale’s annual winter ice palace to open Dec. 21

Cloverdale Arena’s 21st-annual ice palace will open on Dec. 21

VIDEO: Royals reveal the images on their Christmas cards

Prince William and his wife Kate are shown outside in casual clothes, their three young children in tow

ICBC to apply for 6.3% hike to basic insurance rates

Crown Corporation said it will be submitting its next basic rate application to the British Columbia Utilities Commission Friday

Media, robotics, Indigenous studies coming to B.C. Grade 12 classrooms in 2019-20

Provincial tests are also being changed for students in Grade 10 to 12, the Education Ministry said

Stranded B.C. trucker writes final wishes before being rescued 3 days later

‘I was just praying someone would come along’

Canfor Corp. extending temporary curtailment of sawmills in B.C.; cutting hours

Vancouver-based company says the decision is due to declining lumber prices, high log costs and log supply constraints

Canada’s prospective world junior team members await final roster decisions

Thirty-four players were invited to the national junior selection camp

Family searching for B.C. professor last seen at Colombian salsa club

Ramazan Gencay, a professor in economics at Simon Fraser University, was last seen in Medellin

Rash of bomb threats a learning opportunity for response capacity, Goodale

Thursday’s wave of bomb threats swept across communities on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border

Swap food for fines at Fraser Valley Regional Library

From Dec. 14 through Jan. 22, library patrons can “pay” their fines while helping local food banks

Most Read