Editorial — Lawyering up over land dispute

Metro Vancouver and Langley Township are at loggerheads over university district, and it will cost taxpayers plenty.

Taxpayers are the losers as Langley Township and Metro Vancouver do battle in a lawsuit over the Township’s plans to create a university district near Trinity Western University.

Two levels of government have “lawyered up” and are spending money at a furious pace to try and prove who is right. Taxpayers are on the hook to fund both these organizations.

While the Township does have a good point in saying that it believes land use decisions should be solely within its purview, the council majority’s intransigent attitude on the university district is a key reason that this dispute has escalated into a full-blown legal battle.

Metro Vancouver, which has very limited planning and land use powers, does have the abilty to set down a regional growth strategy which designates which areas should be considered for urban and which should remain rural.

In the case of the university district, the Township chose to insert two very different areas with differing land uses within the district, which is meant to allow for expansion of Trinity Western University over the coming decades.

As noted in this space on previous occasions, land to the northwest of TWU has already been taken out of the Agricultural Land Reserve. It is logical that this land, which is hilly and has limited agricultural possibilities (other than pasture) could be used for university expansion or related services.

On the other hand, the Wall farm subdivision, to the southeast of the university, is located in the midst of a flat, arable farm, which is within the ALR. Putting 65 homes in the midst of the farm is simply a bad land use decision — the type the Metro Vancouver guidelines try to prevent.

It has no physical access to TWU — unless residents of the subdivision plan to walk to class along the railway tracks (a very dangerous option).  Yet the Township has said the suites within these homes could potentially be rented by students.

The Wall farm is separated from TWU by the busy rail line and the Salmon River. A subdivision there  sets a terrible precedent and will lead to other farmers lobbying for urban uses on portions of their farms,  where there are no urban services.

Local governments should decide on land use, but Metro Vancouver is well within its rights to try and prevent such a project from proceeding.

Just Posted

Langley toddler with sun ‘allergy’ waiting for bone marrow transplant

Charlie Lock, 2, needs treatment to reverse damage caused by rare disorder EPP

Vancouver Giants sign forward Lukas Svejkovsky

The Vancouver Giants’ newest acquisition is being described as “an incredibly skilled… Continue reading

VIDEO: Township fire crews battle blaze in abandoned house

Thursday night fire is latest in a series of empty Willoughby homes to burn

‘Sabrina’ series will film late into the night in Cloverdale

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina will be on location at ‘Cerberus Books’ until early Saturday

Thunder down Victoria Shamrocks in Western Lacrosse Association action

Langley team closes the season with two games against Burnaby

BC Games’ Athletes Corner: What’s your favourite pump up song?

Check out what’s playing in the earbuds of BC Summer Games athletes before they compete

RCMP help to save goats from wildfire

The fast-approaching wildfire, sparked Thursday, forced the evacuation of five homes

VIDEO: Near drowning captured on popular B.C. river

Search and Rescue manager says the popular pastime of floating in the summer is inherently dangerous

Crosswalk vandalism leaves black mark for Cowichan as B.C. Games begin

Rainbow crosswalk defaced just days after being painted

Photo gallery: BC Games Day 1

A brief look at action from the 2018 BC Summer Games in the Cowichan Valley

UPDATED: Anti-pipeline campers digging in as eviction deadline expires

The City of Burnaby had ordered the Kinder Morgan pipeline protesters out for violating bylaws

Trump was taped talking of paying Playboy model: AP source

Source says former personal lawyer Michael Cohen secretly recorded discussion prior to 2016 election

VIDEO: How to throw a frisbee

Ultimate frisbee player Amy Mackay shows off the proper technique

Site C dam project plagued by problems: expert

E. Harvey Elwin expresses concern about internal BC Hydro and government documents

Most Read