Langford’s AAC to reconsider 2 properties

Langford’s Agricultural Advisory Committee (AAC) is meeting again to reconsider two properties. Both had previously been looked at and the AAC had failed to come to agreement on whether there was a benefit to agriculture in removing them from the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR). For the properties to be reconsidered, presumably a new argument will be presented on how removing them will create a net benefit to agriculture.

If you need a primer on ALR and the goings on in Langford so far you could check out:

ALR exclusion applications forwarded to the ALC

Monday’s Council Meeting: ALR exclusions

If you have not yet read, “Let Them Eat Condos,” in the current issue of Focus Magazine, you could read that at:

www.focusonline.ca

Up until the meeting time, you can download the agenda, and full agenda package here.

Please note: after the meeting these documents will no longer be available online.

You can also find the Minutes, of the 2 past AAC meetings at the City of Langford’s website.

Here’s some highlights from the staff reports:

CITY OF LANGFORD
AGRICULTURAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE
Wednesday, June 10, 2009 @ 5:30 p.m.

REPORTS
a) 3398 Luxton Road
– Staff Report (File No. ALR-06-05)

That the Agricultural Advisory Committee recommend that Council:
OPTION 1
1. Direct staff to submit a letter report to the Agricultural Land Commission stating that the
City would support the exclusion of property at 3398 Luxton Road from the Agricultural
Land Reserve subject to any future redevelopment of the subject property being guided
by “Edge Planning” and/or “Agricultural Urbanism” principles at the time of rezoning to
attain a net benefit to agriculture;
AND
2. Request a cash contribution of $150,000.00 from the applicant at time of building permit
towards the Agricultural Land Reserve Fund that would be exclusively allocated in
regular payments to the Joseph Lohbrunner Farm Project at 1152 Lippincott Road;
OR
3. Request a cash contribution of $150,000.00 from the applicant at time of building permit
towards the Agricultural Land Reserve Fund that would be exclusively allocated in
regular payments to the Joseph Lohbrunner Farm Project at 1152 Lippincott Road AND
a one acre parcel from the subject lands to the City to be secured in a community land
trust managed by the City for farming-purposes;
OR
4. Request an amenity land contribution worth $150,000.00 to be secured in a community
land trust managed by the City for farming-purposes;
AND
5. Direct staff to work with the property owner to ensure that any future redevelopment of
land that may be excluded from the ALR is guided by ensuring carful edge planning and
buffering is undertaken to protect the present and future agricultural use of the ALR
lands;
OR
OPTION 2
6. Reject the application to exclude the property at 3398 Luxton Road from the ALR.
—————————————————————————————–

b) 3639 Happy Valley Road
– Staff Report (File No. ALR-09-01)
BACKGROUND
The applicant has provided another agrologist ‘s report which provides a more detailed analysis
of the central portion of the subject property (Map Area C – shown on page 5).
The overall land capability summary notes that in general, the property (Map units A, B and C)
are moderately well-suited for agriculture with improvable limitations due to aridity, fertility and
undesirable soil structure. The stoniness and depth to bedrock limitations within Map Unit A,
however, is considered unimprovable.
The report explains that the minor limitations for map Unit B and C could be improved with deep plowing, irrigation, and fertilization. However, the report also notes that these improvements may not be economically feasible due to the small size (1.03ha) of farmable land. The small size should be taken into consideration in evaluating the potential of this parcel to support an economically viable farm operation.
Council may wish to note that the ALR lands west of the subject site are identified in the
Agricultural Suitability Review as possible exclusion with net benefit to agriculture, however the adjacent properties on the east side of Happy Valley Road are proposed to be retained in the ALR.

CONCEPT PLANS (PROPOSED BY THE APPLICANT)
The applicant has submitted two draft concept plans of which he may wish to pursure by way of a future rezoning application . Both plans would require meeting all of the City ‘s standards at a later date if a rezoning application was to come forward and these plans do not presuppose the requirements of the Approving Officer or the potential lot layout.
The applicant has explained that the proposed concept plans represent the minimum threshold
of economic feasibility. In Option #2, the applicant is proposing to extend the properties into
Map Area B so the potential future lot owners could have larger yards for food producing
gardens. It should be noted that these plans may not coincide with the Agrologist’s report with
respect to what is or is not farmable due to the soil limitations and costs to upgrade the land.

NET BENEFIT TO AGRICULTURE
Council may wish to request that as a condition of any future rezoning, land improvements such as deep plowing, irrigation and fertilization are undertaken by the applicant, to the satisfaction of a Professional Agrologist, on the lands that are considered improvable (notwithstanding the financial cost of upgrades) and therefore could be recommended to be retained In the ALR (the remaining 1.94 acres /77.4% of the site).
Additionally, to ensure the farmable land provides a considerable benefit to agricultural
production, Council may wish to have the City acquire a portion of the ALR land to be secured in a public trust (City of Langford), and be available to undercapitalized farmers on a lease, or
lease to purchase basis for agricultural uses. Altemaltively, the applicant has proposed to retain the farmable land for the purpose of farming it for themselves to produce a variety of berry crops.
Another option for Council is to secure a cash donation for a value commensurate with the
property at 3398 Luxton Road (approximately $150,000 per acre ) to be payable to the City of
Langford’s ALR Fund so the City can either use the cash to acquire farmable land or to allocate
these funds to other means to boost the net benefit to agricultural in South Langford.

**(I note that in the Madrone report are hand written notes by the ownder indicating (where the report suggests fertilizing could improve the class of soil) that fertilizing would harm Bliston Creek. – Cheryl)

OPTIONS
That the Agricultural Advisory Committee recommend that Council:
1. Direct staff to submit a letter report to the Agricultual Land Commission stating that the City would support the following portion of land to be excluded from the ALR subject to any
future redevelopment of the subject property being guided by ” Edge Planning” and/or
“Agricultural Urbanism” principles at the time of rezoning to attain a net benefit to
agriculture:
i) Map Unit A as shown in the Madrone Environmental Services Ltd. report dated March
3′”, 2008 comprising 0.56 acres (22.6% of the land) of the northern portion of the
property at 3639 Happy Valley Road; OR
ii) Map Unit A, C and a portion of B as shown in the Figure 4 – Option #2 comprising
approximately 1.25 acres (50% of the land) of the northern and central portion of the
property at 3639 Happy Valley Road; OR
iii) Map Unit A, C and B as shown in the Madrone Environmental Services Ltd. report dated
March 3rtl , 2008 comprising 2.5 acres (100% of the land) of the northern and central
portion of the property at 3639 Happy Valley Road.
AND
iv) The applicant be advised that the City is not making any representations with respect to
any future subdivision of the property.
AND
2. That Council will accept one or more of the following to satisfy the City’s objectives of
increasing the net benefit to agriculture:
i) That the applicant will retain ownership of the remaining ALR land and upgrade the land
to make it farmable so the applicant can farm the land to produce a variety of berry
species; OR
it) That the lands that may be retained in the ALR are donated to the City and secured in a
public trust (City of Langford ), and be available to undercapitalized farmers on a lease,
or lease to purchase basis for agricultural uses; OR
III) That the applicant retain half of the land to remain in the ALR and that the other half be
donated to the City and secured in a public trust (City of Langford), and be available to
undercapitalized farmers on a lease, or lease to purchase basis for agricultural uses;
AND
iv) That regardless of the Options chosen, the applicant provide a cash donation for a
value commensurate with the property at 3398 Luxton Road (approximately $150,000
per acre) to be payable to the City of Langford ‘s ALR Fund so the City can either use the
cash to acquire farmable land or to allocate these funds to other means to boost the net
benefit to agricultural in South Langford.
AND
3. Direct staff to work with the property owner to ensure that any future redevelopment of land that may be excluded from the ALR is guided by the following:
i) Ensure careful edge planning and buffering is undertaken to protect the present and future agricultural use of the ALR lands; and
OR
4. Reject the application to exclude the property at 3639 Happy Vallery Road from the ALR.

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