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Throwback: Rezoning Delta agricultural lands raises concern

The proposal was put forward over a decade before the province introduced the Agricultural Land Reserve
South Delta resident Donna Elliott was all smiles from the Spetifore strawberry patch as she filled her basket.

Let’s head back to July 1959 when there was talk of how Delta can ensure its agricultural lands are not all rezoned.

Municipal Panner Bob Williams had recommended that 25 per cent of Delta land that had been recently zoned as residential be rezoned back to agricultural, startling municipal council.

Williams stated that “far too much land” had been rezoned to residential and that badly handled zoning would create more problems than it solved.

He felt changes in land usage should benefit the majority of citizens, rather than a minority, and that enough farmland needed to be preserved.

Council agreed to hold a public hearing on his report on Delta lands.

The rezonings weren’t reversed, but in the early 1970’s the provincial government introduced the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR), essentially freezing large tracts of farmland from rezoning and development.

According to the city’s latest Agricultural Plan, Delta has approximately 22,240 acres (9,000 hectares) of land in the ALR, corresponding to 50 per cent of its total land base, while approximately 75 per cent of the ALR land in Delta is actively used for farming.

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