Council has already addressed the fill on ALR lands issue
Re: the farm use issue on Finn Road.
I attended the “SRO” general purposes meeting last Monday at Richmond City Hall, which had the Finn Road Agricultural Land Reserve controversy on the agenda.
Being myself fairly well-versed regarding the ALR, the Agricultural Land Commission Act and regulations, I find it very unfortunate to state that it has been my experience that most ALR ideologues appear to be very ill-informed on the aforementioned. Such self-imposed ignorance leads to decisions and actions often based primarily on emotion and ultimately coalesced into the dreaded “mob” mentality. Monday’s meeting could best be described as “kangaroo court” meets “deer in headlights.” Council and staff were clearly capitulating to a vocal minority, and, in my honest opinion, were desperately trying to appease the mob.
Council has already addressed this fill on ALR lands issue via the soil bylaw 8094 passed in 2007. Given that fact, there was no evidence that the Finn Road site proponents was doing anything illegal. However, late into Monday’s GP meeting, lo and behold, as if on cue, copies of a five - page document from the ALC dated Jan. 18 were submitted to those in attendance. It appeared that some agreement with the ALC had been cobbled together over the weekend to break the gridlock and allow the Finn Road project to continue. This 11th hour “enforcement” seemed to warrant the applause of the majority of the audience. However, council and staff still wanted to micromanage the situation and layer on more red tape , but clearly this item was still a legalese minefield. This is typical of what happens when the ALC Act and local government bylaws interact; they often mix like oil and water.
What some of these more radical ALR ideologues seem to forget, if not outright ignore, is that they are parking on public property to block legal access to private property. They are also under the delusion they have widespread community support. No, in fact, what these ALR ideologues are doing is fomenting an inevitable backlash by fed-up ALR property owners whose rights are increasingly being trampled on and are being further expropriated without compensation. Enough is enough.
This Finn Road issue could ultimately become a major turning point regarding the ALR’s future, both in Richmond and rest of B.C.