(THE NEWS/files) Annette LeBox and former MLA Michael Sather had opposed the exclusion.

Agricultural Land Commission rejects application for former Pelton property

Golden Eagle Farm Group proposed business park for west Maple Ridge site

The Agricultural Land Commission has rejected a plan by the Golden Eagle Farm Group to put a business park at the corner of 203rd Street and Golden Ears Way in Maple Ridge.

The proposal called for development of employment lands and a food hub – where local produce would be packaged – as well as an agricultural innovation centre and relocation and expansion of the Haney Farmer’s Market.

That would have required removing 56 acres (22 hectares) from the Agricultural Land Reserve. Part of the proposal also included adding the same amount of land to the agricultural reserve in a separate location, in Pitt Meadows, to compensate for the land being removed.

In making its April 9 decision, the ALC executive committee noted that while the land formerly housed the Pelton tree nursery and buildings, there is also potential for other agricultural uses, such as greenhouses, livestock production or nurseries.

Those are all uses that can occur within the ALR and contribute to agriculture, the decision said.

It also challenged the applicant’s contention that farm infrastructure has reduced the property’s agricultural capability, saying that rationale could be used to exclude any property from the ALR that has farm buildings.

The agricultural commission found that the use of the property as a tree nursery “does not preclude the properties from present or future agricultural use and therefore that the properties remain appropriately designated as ALR.”

Similarly, the committee rejected the proposal to add the Pitt Meadows parcel of land in exchange for excluding the 56 acres.

“The executive committee is not obligated to consider swapping land based on agricultural capability,” the ALC said.

READ ALSO: Maple Ridge council to consider three ALR exclusions.

Maple Ridge Coun. Judy Dueck had supported the removal application.

“I thought it had a lot of benefits,” she said.

But the city will have to live with the ALC’s decision, she added.

An exclusion application in 2010 by a previous owner of the property was also unsuccessful.

Dueck wasn’t sure what the landowner plans for the property next.

Golden Eagle Farm Group, part of the Golden Eagle Group, a subsidiary of the Aquilini Investment Group, which owns the Vancovuer Canucks, presented its plan to the public at an open house in February 2018.

Representatives for Golden Eagle Farm Group were not available for comment.

The commission’s decision to reject the application was unanimous.



pmelnychuk@mapleridgenews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Mayor Mike Morden said Thursday that the application looked to meet or surpass all existing ALC policy, saying the decision, “sends clear messaging to anyone holding property in the ALR.”

Just Posted

The Asante Centre in Maple Ridge gets a boost from the CMA

A $20,000 grant was awarded for the centre’s FASD peer mentorship program

Letter: Time change has outlived its usefulness

More negative effects on people and communities then positive ones

Rotary duck race winners given sports car

First big win for Maple Ridge mother of three boys Jody Makela

Maple Ridge’s first retail cannabis store opens Monday

Spiritleaf is just the second private pot shop in the Fraser Valley

Burrards lose to Shamrocks in double overtime

WLA championship series moves to Maple Ridge Sunday

QUIZ: How much do you remember about Woodstock?

Weekend music festival in Bethel, New York, was held 50 years ago

Advocates ‘internationalize’ the fight to free Raif Badawi from Saudi prison

Raif Badawi was arrested on June 17, 2012, and was later sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail for his online criticism of Saudi clerics

RCMP, search crews hunt for 4-year-old boy missing near Mackenzie

George went missing early Saturday afternoon

Canadian entrepreneurs turning beer byproduct into bread, cookies and profits

Some breweries turn to entrepreneurs looking to turn spent grain into treats for people and their pets

Canada ‘disappointed’ terror suspect’s British citizenship revoked

Jack Letts, who was dubbed “Jihadi Jack” by the U.K. media, has been detained in a Kurdish prison for about two years

Chrystia Freeland condemns violence in Hong Kong, backs right to peaceful assembly

There have been months of protests in the semi-autonomous region

B.C. VIEWS: Log exports and my other errors so far in 2019

Plastic bags, legislature overspending turn out differently

Most Read