A petition against the City of Pitt Meadows' application to exclude several large pieces of property from the protected agricultural land reserve has got more than 400 signatures.

Petition against NLC application growing

Residents claim that City of Pitt Meadows not forwarding information

A petition against Pitt Meadows’ plans to remove a large chunk of farmland from the agricultural reserve has more than 400 signatures and continues to gather steam.

Although the city’s exclusion application has already been sent to the Agricultural Land Commission, Sandi Banni is still receiving signed copies of the petition.

“There are more pouring in daily,” said Banni, a resident of Dorado, a gated community adjacent to the properties in question.

The commission has yet to set a date for making the decision that would pave the way for development on 50.9 hectares (125 acres) of land in the North Lougheed Corridor.

Of the land being considered for development, only around 17.5 hectares (43 acres) are zoned highway commercial.

The remaining 33.1 hectares (81 acres) would have to be removed from the provincially protected land reserve.

The battle between the city and residents who oppose the plan, however, is becoming increasingly bitter, with Banni and her neighbours accusing the city of ignoring their wishes.

Residents who commented on a land use study for the area overwhelmingly supported a concept that set aside 16 hectares (39.5 acres) for farming or other agricultural uses, like a land trust or food processing facility.

Banni claims the city is not forwarding information she submitted to agricultural land commission.

She and other residents also believe there isn’t enough demand in the city to support another shopping centre.

They’ve also asked the city to consider widening Old Dewdney Trunk Road and add a dedicated “farm” lane to help farmers inconvenienced by commuter traffic.

“It appears those suggestions have also fallen on deaf ears at city hall,” said Banni, who has been directing her emails to the city’s mayor, Deb Walters.

Walters, however, assures residents that the city is not hiding opposition to the exclusion application from the commission. And although opponents might beg to differ, she has listened to their concerns.

Walters explained that information received before and up until the public hearing, held in mid-September, was forwarded to the commission, along with the city’s application.

Any petitions or documents received after the public hearing must be mailed directly to the commission.

“You know what the sad thing is, and it’s frustrating for me, is that people think you don’t listen because you disagree with them,” said Walters, adding that councillors have been receiving feedback from other residents who support the application, including farmers.

Council, however, is not unanimous in its support of the application. Walters and councillors Doug Bing, Gwen O’Connell and Tracy Miyashita voted in favour of it, while councillors Bruce Bell, Janis Elkerton and Dave Murray do not support it.

Just Posted

Ryder helping others stay dry for holiday season

Raised more than $4,200 to purchase boots and winter gear for people living in poverty in Maple Ridge.

Maple Ridge asks more about backyard chickens

Report says people positive about poultry

Burrards named to Warriors opening roster

Five Maple Ridge WLA players make the Vancouver NLL team

Pitt Meadows approves hiring two more career firefighters

Will fit into 5.75 per cent tax increase, says CAO

Ridge hospital foundation helps with mental health

Donates a possible $500k for youth wellness

Knights win second straight junior bantam title

Meadow Ridge takes provincial championship

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

Vancouver says court decision allows it to close illegal pot shops

The city says it filed 53 injunctions against businesses that were operating outside its regulations,

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

‘I was just praying someone would come along’

Dress like Santa to ski for free in Whistler

Nearly 90 centimetres of snow has fallen since Wednesday, with more expected into the weekend.

Kazakstan’s U20 team takes 4-3 win over Lower Mainland university squad

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

Fashion Fridays: How to change your beauty routine

Kim XO, lets you in on her style secrets each Fashion Friday on the Black Press Media Network

Most Read