We Town, as envisioned by the developers, would be home to nearly 30,000 people and 18,000 workers. But an independent consultant cast a skeptic eye at the proposal.

We Town concept shelved by Abbotsford council

Narrow vote against futuristic concept after planning costs revealed

Abbotsford council voted Monday afternoon to shelve an idea to build a massive collection of high-rises on the western slopes of Sumas Mountain in Abbotsford.

The developer of the Auguston neighbourhood had given the city a conceptual plan to build a neighbourhood that it said would house nearly 30,000 people and become a high-tech employment hub.

Council first saw the proposal in October, when an independent consultant said the idea could provide a massive economic boost but came with myriad unanswered questions and several potential obstacles.

RELATED: Planning price tag revealed for futuristic ‘We Town’ concept in Abbotsford

RELATED: Futuristic development on Abbotsford hillside met with optimism, skepticism

At the time, council voted to include the concept within a planning process about to start for the surrounding area, although Mayor Henry Braun and two councillors opposed further consideration of We Town, saying it clashed with Abbotsford’s Official Community Plan, which was adopted in 2016.

On Monday, council was told that considering the concept in planning work would add at least $675,000 to the cost of that project and delay several other initiatives. Braun spoke for nearly 20 minutes, telling fellow councillors that the concept was in the wrong place and that by proposing the creation of a second city centre, the idea would undermine work to densify and transform Abbotsford’s existing commercial core.

Couns. Dave Loewen and Kelly Chahal – both of whom voted in October to include the concept in planning work – shifted to the anti-We Town camp, while Couns. Brenda Falk and Ross Siemens remained opposed. That slim five-vote majority was enough to doom a budget amendment required for the resources needed to continue pursuing the We Town concept.

Couns. Patricia Ross, Bruce Banman, Sandy Blue and Les Barkman voted to continue considering the We Town concept, with Banman and Blue saying the cost was minimal, given the potential payoff.

Planning work will now move forward as originally anticipated, without the inclusion of the We Town concept.

Watch abbynews.com on Tuesday and check out Wednesday’s paper for more.

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

Just Posted

CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of Oct. 18

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Abbotsford’s Jake Virtanen, Vancouver Canucks playing waiting game for new contract

Yale Hockey Academy product files for arbitration with Canucks, hearing set for Oct. 28

Schnitzelz restaurant returns to Abbotsford

Fried meat establishment moves from Aldergrove to Abbotsford

Abbotsford student dies after medical incident in class

Rick Hansen Secondary School offering additional counselling for students who require it

$93,000 in COVID-19 emergency support available to Abbotsford charities

Applications now open for grants through community foundation

167 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death recorded as B.C. enters 2nd wave

Three new healthcare outbreaks also announced

At least 49 cases of COVID-19 linked to wedding in Calgary: Alberta Health

McMillan says the city of Calgary has recently seen several outbreaks linked to social gatherings

Wreckage of decades-old plane crash discovered on mountain near Harrison Lake

A team of Sts’ailes Community School students helped discover the twisted metal embedded in a glacier

ERT, VPD response to White Rock home connected to homicide: police

Search underway in the 15800-block of Prospect Crescent

‘I am not leaving without my son,’ says mother of missing Manning Park hiker

Family and friends continue to search for Jordan Naterer, after official efforts suspended

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Bear kills llama on Vancouver Island, prompting concerns over livestock

Officers could not track the bear they feel may not fear humans

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

B.C. dad pledges to appeal quashed call for mandatory masks, distancing in schools

Bernard Trest and Gary Shuster challenged health, education ministries’ return-to-school plan

Most Read