The looming lack of available industrial land in Chilliwack figured prominently in the decision by council to turn down a commercial rezoning development in Yarrow.

Chilliwack says no to commercial rezoning of industrial lots

The commercial development was to include a new Tim Hortons

Council was unanimous in turning down a development proposal in Yarrow that would have meant rezoning industrial lands to commercial.

The looming lack of available industrial land in Chilliwack figured prominently in the decision.

Coun. Jason Lum spoke against the motion to give introduction and first reading to the OCP and zoning bylaw amendments for the proposal at Yarrow Central Road and No. 3 Road, to facilitate a development with a new Tim Hortons below.

“With the upcoming shortage of industrial land in City of Chilliwack, I don’t think we should be redesignating industrial to commercial,” said Lum, saying there was commercial property available elsewhere.

“I am speaking against this and am asking the rest of council to join me,” Lum said.

Coun. Sue Attrill said it didn’t make sense in terms of land use.

“This is something I don’t want to go any further than tonight,” Attrill said.

“We have a looming shortage of industrial land,” said Coun. Chuck Stam, “and these are jobs lands, so because of the availability of commercial lands, and lack of industrial, I am not in favour of the combined motions.”

Coun. Sam Waddington said he viewed the proposal as a “down zone” move in terms of land-use.

He said he received more than 100 messages from Yarrow residents “expressing concerns” about the rezoning.

“It made me take a second and third look at this. Yarrow had one of the best attended OCP meetings.”

“The community came out in the right way, and stated what they wanted Yarrow to look like. That is reflected in the updated OCP. The land decisions that were implemented should stand,” said Waddington.

Coun. Chris Kloot said looking 10 years ahead, they could be facing an “all-time low” of industrial lands.

“We need to be very cautious,” he said.

Council voted unanimously against: introduction and first reading of the OCP and zoning amendments for 4411 & 4425 No.3 Road & 41885 Yarrow Central Road from ‘General Industrial’ to ‘General Commercial’ and Zoning Bylaw Amendment Bylaw 2017, No. 4353 which proposes to rezone 4411 & 4425 No.3 Road from an M2 (Service Industrial) Zone to a CS1 (Service Commercial) Zone to facilitate future commercial development.