This letter is in response to two letters appearing in the April 2 edition of the Agassiz-Harrison Observer regarding the Teacup property Agriculture Land Reserve exclusion debate.
I want to point out that this property, according to the B.C. Ministry of Environment’s B.C. Soil Information Finder Tool, available online, consists entirely of The Agricultural Capability Class 2. This means this is prime agricultural land in a community which has agriculture as its foundation. This land should remain for agricultural production. Agriculture provides jobs. Agriculture is the local industry. This addresses questions raised by Min Wendel in his letter about jobs other than temporary construction jobs. Also, maintaining prime agricultural land in the community for agricultural production is vital in today’s climate of uncertainty of food security around COVID-19 and climate change.
I find it ironic that Mr. Van Vliet is supporting the removal of prime agricultural land from the Agriculture Land Reserve in support of housing. Was he not the chair of the Agassiz Community Garden Society, which had to relocate from their former location due to the property use changing? Did he not have a hard time finding a suitable new location for the community garden?
There is currently housing being developed on Mount Woodside, which is in keeping with the preservation of prime agricultural land for agricultural use and agricultural jobs. There is also still room for redevelopment – infilling of existing residential areas within the existing town site. There is no need to remove this Teacup property for residential housing.