When I moved to Agassiz many years ago, I was pleased to see a residential reserve in its Official Community Plan. It showed me that this community is forward-looking and has been planning for growth in the future.
As a trained agriculturalist and soil scientist, I have always been and still am, very supportive of agriculture, and of the BC Agricultural Land Reserve for the protection of agricultural land for food production.
Therefore, when I consider the ALC Block Exclusion Proposal-Teacup Lands, I look at this proposal with mixed feelings. And it has become clear to me that this is not simply a ‘I like or I don’t like’ issue. Rather, this is an issue where we should look beyond our personal opinion and carefully weigh the pros and cons in terms of what is best for this community. Do we sacrifice some agricultural land for the sake of allowing this community to grow modestly and being more prosperous and allowing for more amenities to be built locally rather than having to drive to Chilliwack? Or do we subscribe to a stagnant growth strategy for this community, just keeping the status quo? I believe that a balanced approach is a win-win for this community.
The District of Kent has been very prudent over the years with residential growth and development away from agricultural land compared to many other municipalities that have gobbled up hundreds and even thousands of acres of agricultural land for development annually. The District has now come to a point where it has basically exhausted residential development opportunities on other than agricultural land. Therefore, the time is now for the Residential Reserve (Teacup) lands to be used for its intended purpose according to our Official Community Plan: residential development.
Laurens van Vliet