Abbotsford Coun. Ross Siemens File photo

AbbotsfordFirst councillors recuse themselves from voting on developer’s project

Coun. Ross Siemens cited an “apprehension of bias” regarding proposal by Quantum Properties

The four members of the AbbotsfordFirst slate recused themselves en masse Monday from a development project proposed by Quantum Properties.

Speaking for the AbbotsfordFirst members, Coun. Ross Siemens cited an “apprehension of bias” among members in withdrawing from discussions on a proposal to divide a single Sandy Hill property into five lots.

AbbotsfordFirst’s president Markus Delves is the brother of the applicant and an employee of Quantum Properties.

An apprehension of bias means that a reasonable person could perceive that a decision would be biased.

In March, AbbotsfordFirst member Coun. Sandy Blue said the slate would consider how to deal with a Quantum application if one were to arise, but that none were foreseen at the time.

Quantum is a prominent builder in Abbotsford and is the developer of the Mahogany at Mill Lake highrise. That project was approved in 2011, before any AbbotsfordFirst members served on council. Delves became president of the municipal party last October.

The Sandy Hill project was originally on the agenda for council’s April 23 meeting but was deferred. Without the AbbotsfordFirst members, and with Coun. Les Barkman absent for that meeting, council would have lacked the required five-person quorum to make a decision. The deferral of the proposal was made to ensure the city would have a quorum.

AbbotsfordFirst hasn’t yet stated how many candidates it intends to run in this fall’s election, and none of the four incumbents have yet announced their intentions. But if all four run again, and with Dave Sidhu having declared his intention to run for the slate, it’s possible AbbotsfordFirst could have five members come November.

In such an event, in order to have a quorum, the city could ask a judge to decide whether AbbotsfordFirst members who had declared an apprehension of bias were or were not actually biased. The city has gone that route before in another matter, with a judge having ruled that six councillors who declared an apprehension of bias could weigh in on a matter.

As for the Sandy Hill development, the five remaining councillors voted to move the matter to a public hearing.

The proposal would see a single panhandle property located at 35133 Christina Place and backing onto Cedar Springs Trail divided into five parcels.

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

Just Posted

Archway Community Services in Abbotsford. (Photo courtesy of Archway)
New program in Abbotsford offers support for young parents

Archway Community Services provides outreach, including classes and referrals

Swoop Airlines. (Contributed)
Daily direct flights between Abbotsford and Toronto start Wednesday

Swoop announces new operations at Toronto Pearson Airport

Chilliwack-Kent MLA Laurie Throness watches the results on election night. The ex-Liberal’s tumultuous campaign and the narrow margin for victory ahead of the mail-in ballot count leaves the future of the riding’s seat in limbo for at least the next week. (Facebook/Laurie Throness)
B.C. VOTES 2020: Future for incumbent Throness uncertain as riding awaits results

Chilliwack-Kent candidate hopeful, resigned waiting on final count

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash
Trick-or-treat drive-thru takes place at Tradex in Abbotsford

Treats and giveaways handed out at event on Saturday, Oct. 31

The Abbotsford Trail Running Club has transformed the Valley Vertikiller into the Valley Verticuddler for 2020. (Matt Bolam photo)
Abbotsford Trail Running Club transforms Valley Vertikiller into Verticuddler for 2020

Local club has raised close to $3,000 for Central Fraser Valley Search and Rescue with event

FILE – Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides the latest update on the COVID-19 pandemic in the province during a press conference in the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, October 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. shatters COVID-19 records with 817 weekend cases; masks now expected indoors

Three people have died over the past three reporting periods

Commissioner Austin Cullen listens to introductions before opening statements at the Cullen Commission of Inquiry into Money Laundering in British Columbia, in Vancouver, on February 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. money laundering inquiry hears of $800,000 and more in bags, luggage, backpacks

The lottery corporation has said it consistently reported suspicious transactions to Fintrac

Some of the characters in the League of Legends video game. (Photo: na.leagueoflegends.com)
E-sports trial at B.C. high schools to start with ‘League of Legends’ team game

For fall launch, Vancouver’s GameSeta company partners with BC School Sports

Graphic on promo material for Best Buy Canada’s Tech Wonderland event.
Drive-through ‘Tech Wonderland’ coming to PNE site a few weeks before Christmas

Best Buy Canada-backed ‘holiday’ event to raise money for charity

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Aaliyah Rosa. File photo
Crown says murder of seven-year-old in Langley was planned, deliberate

The trial of KerryAnn Lewis began Monday in New Westminster

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read