LETTER: Agricultural land in Chilliwack needs to be protected

Many of us sure hope they change their present plans and leave what farm land is for, farming!

I have been following Tycrop Equipment’s planned expansion in Rosedale with interest and did attend the information meeting put on by Susan Payne and other concerned residents of Rosedale a few weeks ago. I was unable to attend the following meeting put on by the proponents of this planned expansion into the two lots both presently in the Agriculture Land Reserve but read the report of the meeting in the Chilliwack Progress.

I acknowledge the need for providing jobs for our work force and those just entering the job market for our residents in the Chilliwack area and preventing it from being a bedroom community more than it already is. I remembered one local politician saying years ago we would not become a bedroom community but I now think we are. One only has to see the Trans Canada Highway and our valley feeder roads on a work day with hundreds of vehicles heading west each morning to see we are actually a bedroom community now, caused by cheaper house prices than communities down valley from us.

If I too lived in Rosedale I would also be concerned the rising problems the residents are fearful of, noise, pollution, traffic issues and decreased property values this expansion could cause to those in proximity to the plant.

Another concern to many people these days is the loss of more ALR lands to development, something that has been allowed to happen too regularly in the past. One only has to look at what was allowed to be developed for housing and business ventures on the Haas hop yard acreage off Stevenson Road. Looking back now one has to ask how that was allowed to happen. The loss of such prime land has slowed down recently as many more people now realize the importance of preserving such fertile land for food production.

After all we are a farming community and we should not be losing any more of the best farm land in the world for any reason, once it is built over, paved over it is gone forever. Those generations that follow us will hold us accountable for letting this happen; something all involved should be ashamed of.

It is time the Agriculture Land Commission puts a stop to the loss of our A1 land and not allow any political interference from government at any level to get involved. I would also hope Chilliwack Council will not support this if it comes before them in the near future.

The easy solution for Tycrop is to move to and build in the Lickman Road Industrial area that many other companies are doing. After all they moved once, from the Gibson Road, Yale Road East location a few years back to their present location in Rosedale. Moving to Lickman Road give them close proximity to the Trans Canada Highway and certainly is a good deal closer than moving to the USA or Alberta that I believe the owners said at one time they could do if they were not allowed to expand into the two ALR lots they have purchased.

Many of us sure hope they change their present plans and leave what farm land is for, farming!

Chris Gadsden