Vicarro Ranch proposal goes to public hearing Monday

Project is Abbotsford's largest development proposal in over a decade

Abbotsford’s largest development proposal in over a decade will go to public hearing on Monday.

The proposal for the Vicarro Ranch project in east Abbotsford covers about 383 acres in the McKee Peak Mountain and Eagle Mountain Area – currently owned by the Trethewey family and used for small-scale cattle ranching. The Highlands development is located to the north of the site and Eagle Mountain to the south.

The plan includes five development areas, allowing for single-family lots, duplex lots, townhouses and apartments, with a total combined potential density of 1400 residential units – 580 single-family, 120 duplexes, 260 townhouses and 260 apartment units.

A city staff report states that the lands are characterized by significant fish and wildlife habitats, mature trees and vegetation and natural features. The area is also home to several natural and man-made ponds. The plan states that a minimum of 46 per cent of the area will be used for open spaces, private and public parks and trails.

About 100 people attended a public meeting in September on the project. The city received 43 comment sheets at the meeting, with 39 per cent of respondents in support of the proposed concept, 44 per cent opposed and 20 per cent undecided.

On the comment sheets, some residents of the surrounding area expressed concerns about the impact on traffic on Whatcom Road, which runs through the proposed development area. Many also expressed concerns about potential commercial developments increasing local traffic, with some respondents indicating that the community already has sufficient commercial development available on Whatcom Road.

Some respondents indicated they appreciate the amount of green space that has been maintained in the plans, but others still had concerns about the impact on the environment and wildlife, including potential effects on the waterfalls at the end of Harvest Drive.

The public will have an opportunity for further comment during a public hearing at the Nov. 4 meeting of council at 7 p.m. at Matsqui Centennial Auditorium.

For details of the Vicarro Ranch plans, visit abbotsford.ca/vicarro.

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