Civic staff has been given the go-ahead by Delta council to establish a special agricultural zone for a controversial piece of Tsawwassen farmland.
Council set out the parameters for the bylaw in reference to an 18-hectare (45-acre) farm in the 5700-block of 6th Avenue, formerly referred to as the Guichon property, but now owned by a numbered company. It’s immediately east of the Forest by the Bay subdivision and adjacent to the Southlands and Beach Grove Golf Club. It’s zoned agricultural, but not in the Agricultural Land Reserve.
The owner has indicated a greenhouse complex would be constructed, but the City of Delta imposed a stop work order in June on site clearing because the proper permits weren’t in place.
Kelsey Spring, spokesperson for the group Concerned Citizens of Delta South who have been raising concerns about the property and its proposed use, applauded staff members for their efforts on the file.
“We would like to thank staff for the work that was undertaken to listen, consider and produce this report,” said Spring. “We’re encouraged by the report and the intent of the proposed bylaw. The concerns that we do have we would like to address in an appropriate manner to refine and tighten various aspects of the proposed bylaw.”
Planning director Marcy Sangret said staff is recommending a bylaw to establish a special agricultural zone. She said staff would work closely with residents to address their concerns and a full public process, as well as consultation with the property owner, would take place in the coming weeks.
“We don’t have a date when we would be reporting back to council with an actual bylaw, but we are working on it and the point of this report is to include specific restrictions that could be contained and be a part of the bylaw,” said Sangret.
Some of the restrictions staff have suggested include that only one greenhouse would be on site, two non-residential farm buildings would be permitted, a farm retail area would be prohibited and the number of dwelling units would be limited to one farmhouse.