News Views: What’s new?

Owner of the former Pelton tree nursery in Maple Ridge wants to take the land out of the Agricultural Land Reserve.

The owner of the former Pelton tree nursery in Maple Ridge, the Aquilini Investment Group – which operates some of the largest blueberry and cranberry farms in the world – wants to take the land out of the Agricultural Land Reserve.

The company that also owns the Vancouver Canucks bought the property, 202 acres located at 203rd Street, north of Golden Ears Way, formerly the Pelton Reforestation Nursery, last September.

It is the third attempt to remove the land from the agricultural reserve.

The first failed in 2004. Then in 2010, the Agricultural Land Commission unanimously rejected an application because the property had “significant agricultural capability.”

So what will be different this time around?

The Aquilini group is willing to put agricultural land in elsewhere to take out the former Pelton property, on which it envisions a business park. The company also ensures that the replacement property would be farmed.

Mayor Nicole Read wants the city to at least consult with the public before council decides whether to forward the exclusion application, and suggested that residents – not “strongly entrenched” interest groups – might prefer a tax break and job creation.

But, back in 2006, according to Stats Canada and a city staff report, Maple Ridge had the second highest percentage of residents  in the region working within its city borders.

Local farmers in the area are already expressing their opposition to the exclusion application.

And the land commission, in its last ruling, said that removing the former Pelton land would affect the viability of nearby farms, some with historic designations.

As well, planning director Christine Carter told council that staff at the Agricultural Land Commission said nothing has changed from the previous removal application.

Except the owners of the land, and members of council, and city staff.

The latter two have enough on their plates, with the recreation plan and housing the homeless, without dividing the community in a debate over farmland.

But maybe third time’s a charm?

 

– Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

LOOKING BACK: A ride down memory lane or in this case Dewdney Trunk Road

Maple Ridge’s museum director offers a history lessson on how the major thoroughfare came to be

$75K will mean gifts for Maple Ridge man’s kids

Meneo Asperin had a rush of emotion when he thought he’d won $75 on BC/49

New Maple Ridge park to be finished this summer

Park located on the former site of the Anita Place Tent City

VIDEO: Supporters turn out to honour art gallery curator

LETTER: 40 people turned out to thank Barbara Duncan for her contribution to the arts in Maple Ridge

‘This year is unlike any other’: Trudeau delivers Canada day address

Sophie Gregoire Trudeau and the Prime Minister release video celebrating the national holiday

Lower Mainland teacher facing child pornography charges

Elazar Reshef, 52, has worked in the Delta School District

Missing Fraser Valley woman has not been in contact with family for several months

The RCMP are asking for the public’s help in locating 35-year-old Chantelle Chenier of Chilliwack

Rescuers halt Coquihalla River search due to darkness, after reports of person in river

No information to indicate a child is involved, RCMP state, after this information surfaced on social media

Man who rammed gate near Trudeau residence with truck faces multiple charges

The man, who police have not yet officially identified, will be charged with multiple offences

All community COVID-19 outbreaks declared over in B.C.

Abbotsford manufacturer cleared by Dr. Bonnie Henry

Kelowna RCMP commander calls for more nurses during wellness checks after complaint

Southeast District Commander wants to increase Police and Crisis Team program

‘Tarantula moth’ spotted in broad daylight on Vancouver Island

Polyphemus moths are one of the largest insects in B.C.

B.C. First Nations vow to keep fighting after Trans Mountain pipeline appeal denied

Squamish Nation, Tsleil-Waututh Nation and Coldwater Indian Band made the application

Most Read