The City of Abbotsford is considering asking the Agricultural Land Commission to exclude two blocks of land from the Agricultural Land Reserve, including land south of Marshall Road near Abbotsford International Airport. Vikki Hopes/Abbotsford News

City should increase price to develop former farmland, Coun. Moe Gill says

Abbotsford currently requires $20k contribution to agriculture enhancement fund

The City of Abbotsford should consider increasing the cost for developers who want to build on land removed from the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR), Coun. Moe Gill suggested last week.

Developers must currently pay $20,000 into an Agriculture Enhancement Fund for each acre of former ALR land they wish to rezone for industrial purposes. The policy stems from a promise the city made to the Agricultural Land Commission a decade ago when it successfully applied to have hundreds of acres of farmland excluded from the ALR.

But Gill thinks the city should consider upping the amount developers must contribute to the fund, given the rising cost of the land in question. He noted that the price of farmland has doubled in the past decade, to more than $100,000 an acre now.

At the request of council, staff will review the memorandum of understanding that outlines how the fund is managed and how money is raised. That will include considering the $20,000-per-acre fee currently in place.

Gill made the suggestion following a presentation by Wendy Neufeld of the Abbotsford Community Foundation, which administers the fund and distributes grants. Neufeld told council that the endowment of the fund now has $655,303, while more than half-a-million dollars have been distributed in grants since 2012.

Grants are awarded to projects and concepts that aim to encourage innovation, increase productivity, build capacity and promote sustainable practices in the agricultural sector.

This year grants will go to a project hoping to convert manure into odour-free and easily storable nutrient products, a new hybrid grow house from Lepp Farms, and a robotic pest-killer.


@ty_olsen
tolsen@abbynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

#MeToo at work: B.C. women share horrifyingly common sexual assaults

It happens to more people than you might think and impacts women inside and outside of the workplace

Pooch poop banned from Abbotsford’s trash cans, but dog walkers say no alternative

Rules mean people should technically take home poop after they pick it up

Abbotsford man charged with two child porn offences

Investigation against Jeremy Allen Willms, 42, began in April

UFV and union headed to labour relations board

Union says it’s facing ‘extraordinary’ challenges

VIDEO: JRfm’s Holiday Fun Day sets up shop again at Langley Events Centre

Great music accompanies family fun as JRfm raises diapers and donations for Basics for Babies.

SLIDESHOW: Abbotsford Police City Basketball Tournament – Wednesday

Action from day one at the city-wide basketball event

Disney buying part of 21st Century Fox in $52.4B deal

Disney is buying a large part of the Murdoch family’s 21st Century Fox for about $52.4 billion

Bountiful polygamist believed he couldn’t be prosecuted: lawyer

Winston Blackmore’s lawyer says Blackmore did not believe he could be prosecuted

Woman charged after altercation injured baby in Toronto

Charges have been laid after a four-month-old baby girl was critically injured in Toronto

Anderson extends invitation to Liberal voters

Interim B.C. Conservative party leader invites “disenfranchised Liberal voters” to join his party

5 to start your day

Women share stories of workplace sexual assault, colds and flus keep Maple Ridge kids home and more

Ottawa Senators forward Chris Neil announces retirement

Veteran Ottawa Senators forward Chris Neil spent 15 seasons with the NHL team

Trudeau’s office confirms staffer being probed over allegations

PMO confirms staffer being probed over allegations of reported “inappropriate behaviour.”

Police kill gunman north of Toronto

Police shot and killed a gunman during a hostage situation at a bank north of Toronto

Most Read