Abbotsford’s largest development proposal proceeds to next step

Vicarro Ranch plan given second and third reading by council on Monday

Dave Holmberg speaks in support of the Vicarro Ranch development proposal at a public hearing on Monday.

Dave Holmberg speaks in support of the Vicarro Ranch development proposal at a public hearing on Monday.

Abbotsford’s largest development proposal in over a decade was given approval by council on Monday.

The Vicarro Ranch development, which covers about 383 acres in the McKee Peak Mountain and Eagle Mountain Area, would see the construction of about 1,400 residential units on what is currently the Trethewey family’s cattle ranch.

More than 100 people attended a public hearing on Monday to discuss the project, and  neighbouring residents raised concerns about the effect of the development on the environment, wildlife, and the potential increase in traffic in the area. Some residents raised safety concerns about increasing traffic on the Whatcom Road connector, which they say is already dangerous and congested.

Sten Matell, who lives on nearby Harvest Drive, said people on his road do not want to see their dead-end street become a throughway to the new development.

“This is a family-oriented street,” he said, adding that many opponents are not opposed to development, but do not want their street to be impacted.

But proponents of the plan praised the Trethewey family for reserving nearly half of the area as green space and the proposed upgrades to trail systems on the land.

Dave Holmberg said the Trethewey family has always shown respect for the Abbotsford community and continues to do so through the proposed development, which will benefit the neighbouring area.

“It’s important that we look forward in this community.”

Typically, if concerns are raised at a public hearing, council will defer its decision to a later meeting in order to consider the opposition. But council unanimously gave the plan second and third reading.

“I heard nothing that will change my views,” said Coun. John Smith, adding that many of the concerns have and will be addressed by the developer.

The plan will now go to fourth reading and final approval by council.