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Terms & Conditions

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Monday’s Council meeting: ALR exclusions

Over 50% of Monday night’s Council agenda concerns proposed ALR exclusions within the City of Langford. While there are well over 55 letters, there are 40 unique individuals or organizations that wrote one or more submissions in opposition to one or more of the proposed ALR exclusions, including 2 unreadable submissions (possibly due to the process of scanning them in for the agenda package), and 1 submission in support of the proposed ALR exclusions (from one of the people seeking an ALR exclusion on their property). Some of those submissions were carbon copied to an email address advertised on this blog. Of the submissions CC:ed, 10 submissions do not appear to be in the agenda, so there could be an additional 10 submissions in opposition to some or all of the proposed ALR exclusions.

While ALR decisions are ultimately decided by the provincial body, the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC), local governments are part of the application process and effectively have a veto, as they can choose to simply not forward the application. The application is made through the local government which has three available courses of action:

1) to deny the application and not forward the application to the ALC,
2) to forward the application without support to the ALC,
3) to forward the application to the ALC with a letter of support from the local government.

Ironically, this Monday, directly after the “Farms, Farmers and Food Security” rally at the BC Legislature this past Saturday, Langford City Council is considering:

1) supporting the following parcels of land to be excluded from the ALR:
i) The entire property at 3569 Happy Valley Road;
ii) 0.79 acres of land (44% of the land) on the south western portion of the property at 3577 Happy Valley Rd.;
iii) 4.86 acres (66.5% of the total land) of land on the south eastern portion of the property at 3579 Happy Valley Road; and
iv) 2.79 acres (50% of the total land) of land on the eastern portion of the property at 935 Latoria Rd.

2) supporting the exclusion of property at 3660 Happy Valley Road

3) not objecting to the removal of land at 3622 Happy Valley Road

4) not objecting to the removal of land at 3634 Happy Valley Road

5) a) not objecting to the subdivision of land at 3420 Luxton Road that lies within the ALR or the use of the easterly portion (approximately 1.2 hectares, or 3 acres) of the land at 3420 Luxton Road for non-farming uses within the ALR, so that the property may be used for stormwater management (retention or detention) and community recreation, and

b) ) is not objecting to the removal of the remainder of the property at 3420 Luxton Road from the ALR (being a portion near the centre of the property at 3420 Luxton Road that lies within the ALR and a road access to that portion of the property from Luxton Road.)

The Agricultural Advisory Committee (AAC), appointed by Mayor and Council of Langford, was strongly encouraged by the speaker, on behalf of the application at 3420 Luxton Road, Jim Hartshorne, and the support staff to the committee, City Planner, Matthew Baldwin, to make a recommendation on this property despite not having a prepared written report from the proponent or the city staff. The AAC’s recommendations, made relunctantly, were based on verbal reports lacking specifics from both the proponent, and the city planner that repeatedly both cited severe time constraints around finalizing this application as part of the storm water management plan for South Langford, and how this plan would be a benefit to agriculture in the area. However, the recommendations of the Jan. 5th, 2009 AAC meeting were not brought before Council prior to the next meeting of the AAC on March 30th, 2009. Therefore, the application for 3420 Luxton Road could have been made with all the supporting paperwork at the second meeting of the committee with the same resulting timeline.

The Agricultural Advisory Committee, when it first met in January, was compromised of two local agrologists (agrology being the science of agricultural) who both served on the ALC at various times, a nursery owner operating an appropriate business on ALR land in South Langford, a local resident who gardens and has an extensive knowledge of the history of South Langford, and a local Happy Valley resident who was elected Chair of the AAC due to her experience serving on Langford’s Planning, Zoning and Affordable Housing Committee.

The extensive expertise of the AAC was never applied to considering the public submissions already received at the time of their first meeting. Granted many of the submissions were submitted after the committee met Jan. 5th, 2009, but this was due largely to when the committee met in relation to the ALR Exclusion application process, as most of the applications brought before the committee were still incomplete (some in regards to the legally required advertising and posting of signs that alert the public so they can make submissions). Those submissions from the public that could have been provided to the committee were not.

The second meeting of the ACC in March there were three more people at the table. Two more citizen members, reportedly simply absent from the first meeting due to being out of town, and began serving without introductions. One of them was another citizen who also serves on the Planning, Zoning and Affordable Housing Committee, the other was not known to any of the audience members, and the third new face at the committee table was Councillor Lillian Szpak.

The Agricultural Advisory Committee at its second meeting March 30th, 2009 amended its recommendation of exclusion made on January 5″‘, 2009 regarding 3622 Happy Valley until bylaw enforcement issues are resolved. All the committee members, including those absent from the first meeting, had to vote to re-refer the recommendations from their Jan. 5 meeting to Mayor and Council for their consideration due to the overly long delay. At the second meeting of the committee there was a lengthy discussion as to the scope of their mandate, the terms of reference for the committee and a good debate as to the value of financial contributions to the Langford ALR Acquisition Fund if the fund has no specific mandate. One of the possible uses of the fund is to acquire land not in the ALR suitable for agriculture, but those costs would far exceed the funds being collected, or the value of the lands being excluded once they were removed from the ALR. So, the committee decided that it would not recommend exclusion for any of the properties they considered at the March meeting since they were unable to agree on a net benefit to agriculture, which is what is needed to remove lands from the ALR. This relevation by some of the committee members calls into question whether they were fully aware of all the issues at hand in making their recommendations at their inaugural meeting on Jan. 5th, 2009, and it is those recommendations Langford Mayor and Council will be considering Monday night.

Those wishing to speak on these exclusion applications, be at Langford City Hall at 877 Goldstream Avenue at 7PM April 20th and be prepared to participate in Public Participation near the very beginning of the council meeting.

Who Should You Hire To Clean Your House?

Anyone who’s ever hired someone to clean their house knows the dangers of setting out on this hunt. On the one hand you’ll be able to search Craigslist or Used Victoria and sift through the tons of ads for independent people who will clean your home. On the opposite end of the spectrum there are corporations like Merry Maids and Molly Maids. This option you realize will cost you more, but that is not all. Let’s have a closer look at both extremes of your options for hiring a cleaning service.

This really is where most people start in their own quest to find only the right fit for their maid or house keeper. On the ‘garage sale’ sites like Craigslist you’ll find a list so long as your arm of individuals willing to come out and clean your house. In the event you have ever attempted this approach you probably have a number of your own stories, both comedy and horror, of how things went with your first cleaning or following ones.

The most prominent comments we hear from people who’ve hired independents is about unreliability. You’ll reserve the appointment and they merely won’t show up. Or they’ll telephone half an hour as soon as they should be there to tell you they are not coming. All proud of herself for troubling to call and offer a laughable explanation about:

  • An ill kid
  • a broken down car
  • another customer who needed her more

But these reasons only begin after you have sifted through the available candidates and decided to give one a chance. You start by contacting a dozen or so future candidates for your cleaning service that is new. Only unprofessional are you prepared to see on the other end of the phone? Typically you will get someone who looks confused regarding what you may be calling about. Who? What? Oh yes, that Craigslist ad. Right. From the first moment you feel as though you are trying to sell her on you rather than the other way around. These women could possibly be wonderful, but you will not get the sense that they are running a little business or are in any way serious about cleaning as a vocation.

That’s actually what you need though is not it? Somebody who’s not just doing this kind of work until something better comes along. It is no fun anymore because you surely don’t want to have to be going through this arduous process when the cleaning service you simply hired determines!

Professional Corporate Cleaning Services

On the other end of the cleaning services scale is the large, typically franchised, corporate house cleaning services. Think ‘The Maids’. This choice adds lots of stability in the relationship but at a price. Usually that is rather a high cost. It is what keeps most home owners from contacting them in the very first place. The other drawback to the corporate franchise alternative is the fact that you give the relationship that could develop between you along with your house keeper. With the franchise maids you never really know who might show up on your own doorstep on the day.

The Most Effective Option For Cleaning Services Victoria

At Burley Cleaning you actually get the finest of both worlds. They are small enough you don’t have to bust your children’s piggy bank to pay them but not so enormous that you cannot create that personal relationship with your housekeeper. They always arrive on time at the arranged day and time. They bring their own professional grade cleaning equipment and a complete variety of non-poisonous environmentally friendly cleaning products as well. They have properly trained amazing cleaning teams who understand just what they are doing. Cleaning the cobwebs from ceilings, dusting high up on picture rails and upper window frames and working down to carpets, rugs, and the floors.

Burley Cleaning always take meticulous notes about your cleaning preferences and your home so that if your regular team isn’t accessible they can supply you with seamless cleaning services every time and never miss a beat. Having your cleaning team arrive with all their own cleaning supplies and gear means that you save money by never having to buy cleaning stuff in the grocery store again!

It won’t take any time at all for you to be comfortable with leaving Burley Cleaning’s bonded and insured cleaners working in your house while you take some time to do something that you find pleasurable!

Island Corridor Foundation needs regional districts to support E&N rail line plans

Bernard Von Schulmann has posted an interesting analysis of the Island Corridor foundation’s situation as it tries to get the money together to get the E&N rail line repaired and trains moving again. In short, they have $7.5 million from the federal government, $7.5 million from the provincial government, and need a smaller amount from the five regional districts the line goes through.

Two of the five have so far agreed to levy the small amount on property taxes. And when I say small, I mean small: a couple of dollars per property per year for five years in Bernard’s analysis. His analysis appears to assume that it would be entirely paid by residents, but I’m not sure that’s accurate. Would business property tax rolls really be ignored in this? An argument could be made that they could benefit from commuter rail.

So far the Capital Regional District has not signed on. This is a challenge for the Island Corridor Foundation because the CRD represents slightly more than half of the population of the five regional districts in question. Langford Council has had their differences with the CRD in the past, but Langford is probably the single-most enthusiastically supportive municipality of getting commuter rail running on the E&N line, and a referendum on the subject garnered massive support from Langford voters a few municipal elections ago, so if the CRD agrees to pursue this they would likely not receive any local resistance.

“Your Voice Langford” public engagement project

The Goldstream Gazette is reporting (Fri. Sept. 14th issue, p. A22) that Dory Thuot, a Royal Roads student, is hosting “Your Voice Langford”, an evening of public engagement about the City of Langford. The project is part of her academic research for her Master of Arts in Leadership course, and she intends to look at issues surrounding Langford’s downtown core such as parking, density, development, and issues surrounding how the City engages the community. Thuot is hoping to promote public engagements on the one hand, while investigating what prevents people from being engaged on the other.

The event will take place on Sunday, September 23rd at 7pm, at Our Lady of the Rosary (798 Goldstream Ave.). Participants must pre-register by emailing, and the results of the evening will be passed on to Langford City staff.

Spencer Interchange Bylaw for borrowing $12,250.00

The last bylaw in a lengthy agenda, before the almost ever present in-camera session, at this Monday night’s Council meeting, is a bylaw authorizing the City of Langford to borrow $12,250,000 for the Spencer Road Interchange. It will go through First, Second and Third reading and did not have a Public Hearing. This borrowing is part of the $25,000,000 the Langford Council already authorized the City of Langford to borrow for building the Spencer Road Interchange by previous bylaws.

BYLAW NO. 1434
WHEREAS it is provided by Section 181 of the Community Charter that the Council, where it has adopted a loan authorization bylaw may, by bylaw, temporarily borrow money not exceeding the difference between the total amount authorized by the loan authorization bylaw and the amount already borrowed in relation to that bylaw;
AND WHEREAS the Council of the City of Langford has adopted Bylaw No. 1148 cited as the “Spencer Road Interchange Loan Authorization Bylaw No. 1148, 2008″, authorizing borrowing for the construction of a highway interchange on the Trans Canada Highway at Bear Mountain Parkway, together with associated and consequential highway improvements, in the amount twenty five million dollars ($25,000,000.00);
AND WHEREAS the sale of the said debentures has been temporarily deferred;
NOW THEREFORE the Council of the City of Langford in open meeting assembled, enact as follows:
1. The City of Langford is hereby authorized and empowered to borrow upon the credit of the City of Langford, a sum not exceeding twelve million two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($12,250,000.00}.
2. The form of obligation to be given as acknowledgement of the liability shall be promissory notes bearing the corporate seal and signed by the Mayor and Treasurer.
3. The money so borrowed shall be used solely for the purposes set out in said Bylaw No. 1148.
4. The proceeds from the sale of the debentures or so much thereof as may be necessary shall be used to repay the money so borrowed.
5. This bylaw shall be cited as “City of Langford Spencer Interchange Local Area Service Temporary Borrowing Bylaw No. 1434, 2012″.

Followed by the almost ever present In-Camera session:

The matters to be dealt with are: Legal Matters, New Service and Property Disposal.

Survey seeking support for funding the ALC ends this Sunday

The deadline for supporting improved ALC funding by completing the ALC Fee Review Consultation survey is 9pm THIS Sunday, July 8.

The Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) under the direction of a progressive agricultural advocate Chair Richard Bullock is seeking public support for increasing fees for exclusion, subdivision and change of land use applications to the ALC to enable cost recovery, as the ALC is a funding-starved commission unable to properly protect Agricultural Reserve Lands (ALR).

Here is the web address for the survey:

The City of Langford has a checkered history of ALR Exclusions. In recent history, starting back in 2006 and continuing through to 2010, there were at least 10 applications for exclusion from the ALR made from landowners within the City of Langford. Langford City Council appointed a committee of Langford citizens and Councilor Lillian Szpak creating the Agricultural Advisory Committee (AAC) to consider all 10 applications. The committee was subject of quite a bit of controversy as noted in the Inside Langford article, “ALR Exclusion applications forwarded to the ALC.” A local government, such as the City of Langford, can not decide to exclude, include, subdivide or do a change of use of ALR land, as the reserve in provincially governed, however the local government does get to include their own recommendation and effectively has a veto since the landowner can not apply directly to the ALC but must do so through their local government. So if a local government chooses to not forward an application it has effectively vetoed it. Other municipalities have done this, a recent example was the District of Saanich rejecting an application for ALR exclusion. In the end the City of Langford followed the recommendations of its Agricultural Advisory Committee and forwarded all 10 applications to the ALC for consideration.

Of those 10 application, 3 of them were allowed exclusion completely and 2 more were granted partial exclusion by the ALC. You can find a link to the ALC rulings on Green Langford under the subheading ALC Reports/Decisions and in another Inside Langford story, “Results of ALR removal applications,” that generated some interesting comments.

In the past, “the municipality of Langford toyed with the idea of applying to remove all its ALR land,” as quoted from Tyee article “How to Safeguard BC’s Farmland.” Against the wishes of some local residents the wetlands area known as Hull’s Field was excluded from the ALR and became a commercial development and City Centre Park.

The Garden City Lands Coalition Society has the ALC Fee survey link and links to some great examples to help you think of what you wish to highlight in the comment fields of the survey.

If you care about food security, local food production and Agricultural Reserve Lands (ALR) please TAKE this SURVEY NOW!!!

Backyard Chickens, storage of the deceased, 2011 Annual Report LINK & 7 Bylaws: Public Hearing to 3rd Reading

Re: Keeping of Backyard Chickens

“Formal request for a review of existing Land Use Bylaws 3.12.01(1) and 3.12.01 (4) regarding the keeping of backyard chickens and the housing of animals respectively, which were written by the CRD in 1967 and adopted by Langford upon Incorporation in 1992. We would like to see this Bylaw amended to allow residents to keep backyard hens on lots smaller than 1 acre (4,000 m2), and our suggestion is as follows:
1) Reduce the minimum lot size required to keep poultry from one-acre, to one hen for each 166m2 (1,790ft2) of lot area (as currently calculated on page 101 of the Land Use Bylaw document)
2) Amend Bylaw 3.12.01 (4), regarding minimum distance of a building or structure to house animals from 30m of any front lot line or within 15m of any other lot line, to rear of property and 1.524m (5ft) of any other lot line.
With proper education, owning backyard hens – a sustainable investment in food security – is a rewarding experience and is in keeping with our City of Langford’s Official Community Plan (OCP).”

TUP-12-0001 -1064 Goldstream Avenue

“Temporary Use Permit No. TUP12-0001 … for purpose of allowing the storage of funeral service related items, such as coffins, caskets and urns, and may include temporary storage (overnight) of the deceased, on the property at 1064 Goldstream Avenue.”
– one local business person wrote in expressing, “…with your inclusion of possible overnight storage of the deceased, we feel even more strongly that this is not the area to do this in. We have two schools with in a three block radius; Ruth King Elementary and Spencer School, we have townhome complexes across the street and there are just so many other locations to choose from….”

a) City of Langford 2011 Annual Report (“can be viewed at City Hall or on website
at”😉 LINK: click HERE
b) Contract Award Leigh Road Interchange Phase IB, Savory Contract 231
c) Application to vary the parking requirement and vary the height from the required four (4) storeys to five (5) storeys to allow for the construction of a multi-family residential building consisting of approximately twenty-two (22) dwelling units on the property at 790 Hockley Avenue.

Bylaws with Public Hearings, 2nd & 3rd Readings:

a) BYLAW NO. 1356
“Langford Zoning Bylaw, Amendment No. 319, (3385 Happy Valley Road), 2011″.
b) BYLAW NO. 1357
“Langford Zoning Bylaw, Amendment No. 320, (3371, 3377, and 3379 Happy Valley Road), 2011″.
c) BYLAW NO. 1370
“Langford Zoning Bylaw, Amendment No. 329, (Text Amendment-New CH4 (Cluster Housing Residential 4 Zone), 2011″.
d) BYLAW NO. 1391
“Langford Zoning Bylaw, Amendment No. 342, (790 Hockley Avenue), 2012″.
e) BYLAW NO. 1392
“Langford Zoning Bylaw, Amendment No. 343, (2720 Peatt Road), 2012″.
f) BYLAW NO. 1393
“Langford Zoning Bylaw, Amendment No. 344, (997 and 999 Goldstream Avenue), 2012″.
g) BYLAW NO. 1394
“Langford Zoning Bylaw, Amendment No. 345, (Omnibus No. 28 – Community Care Facilities), 2012″.

And more…………

a) DVP12-0006 – 2758 Peatt Road
b) DVP12-0008-3091 Langford Lake Road Westhills Phase 5

And more bylaws with just 1st Reading:

BYLAW NO. 1407
“Langford Zoning Bylaw, Amendment No. 351, (Ml Zone – Text amendment to allow a
skateboard school and its related uses as a permitted use on the subject property only), 2012″.

BYLAW NO. 1411
“Flatman Ave Road Closure Bylaw No. 1411 2012″.

BYLAW NO. 1418
“Langford Zoning Bylaw, Amendment No. 340, (3622 Happy Valley Road), 2012″.

BYLAW NO. 1424
“Langford Official Community Plan Bylaw, Amendment No. 8, (Amending the OCP designation from Agricultural Strategy lands to Neighbourhood), 2012″.

BYLAW NO. 1426
“Langford Zoning Bylaw, Amendment No. 340, (Create the RR3 Zone), 2012″.

and some other items and the almost always In-Camera Resolution, this time regarding, “Legal Matters, New Service and Personnel.”

2 Responses to “Backyard Chickens, storage of the deceased, 2011 Annual Report LINK & 7 Bylaws: Public Hearing to 3rd Reading”

  1. Cheryl McLachlan said

    There was a Power Point presentation tonight to Langford Council, staff and a packed audience largely there to support the campaign to change old CRD era bylaws preventing any chickens being kept on less than an acre. The presentation was informative, well organized, addressed the common concerns about chickens and was quite humorous at points.
    Making changes to the bylaw seemed well received by all. 🙂

    Langford residents should go check out their website,
    “Support a Hen-Friendly Langford:”

    You can still sign their petition:

  2. Werner And Karen said

    Chickens in Langford featured on CTV: