Darvonda greenhouse in Langley is asking the ALC to allow the return of the annual GLOW events. On Monday, June 30, 2020, Township council endorsed the application. (File)

VIDEO: GLOW festival organizers seek a return to orginal home in Langley

Application for “non-farm-use” goes to Agricultural Land Commission

Organizers of the GLOW events are trying to bring them back to Langley.

Last year, Darvonda Nurseries in Milner moved the events, which include light displays, food, and family events inside portions of the greenhouses, to Abbotsford.

That came after the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC), the agency that regulates the use of the Agricultural Land Reserve in B.C., ruled the event was not a permitted farm use

READ MORE: Glow Christmas festival moves to Abbotsford

It said the nursery would have to apply for a non-farm use permit to hold the events in a portion of the existing Darvonda greenhouses property located at 6690 – 216 Street.

Darvonda has now done exactly that, according to a report to Langley Township Council, which said the greenhouse is seeking approval from the ALC to hold two events, “Glow Harvest,” running from Sept. 27 to Nov. 3, and “Glow Christmas,” which would run from Nov. 22 to Jan. 5.

On Monday, June 30, the application won the backing of a majority on Langley Council, a preliminary step before the proposal is heard by the ALC.

Mayor Jack Froese was part of the majority of council who supported the application, while Coun. David Davis, a dairy farmer, was among the minority who opposed it.

“It’s a greenhouse, it should be growing food,” Davis commented.

Coun. Blair Whitmarsh, who supported the application, said the greenhouse was a nursery not devoted to food production.

“I think it makes great sense both from agricultural and business [standpoints],” Whitmarsh said.

A report to Township Council by planning technician Rob Nordrum said the proposed non-farm use application complies with the Township’s zoning bylaw and was “consistent with general provisions of the Township of Langley sustainability charter, Official Community Plan and Rural Plan.”

Now, it’s up to the ALC.

Kim Grout, chief executive officer of the ALC, said the tribunal aims to make decisions within 60 to 90 days of an application arriving.

“Sometimes, an application is placed on hold because we need more information, or it isn’t complete,” Grout advised.

READ ALSO: Popular Langley Glow event faces possible cancellation

Langley Advance Times has reached out to Darvonda Nurseries for comment.

At the time the event was cancelled last year, Darvonda owner Tamara Jansen argued that the greenhouse’s events fell well within the rules for farm use.

During the Harvest Glow, Jansen noted, Darvonda grew their own corn in the greenhouse for a corn maze and had a pumpkin patch and a petting zoo, while the Christmas event helped to market their poinsettias.

“Farming has changed a lot,” Jansen remarked.

Jansen, who was elected Conservative MP for Cloverdale-Langley City in the last federal election, has stepped back from the day-to-day operation of the business.



dan.ferguson@langleyadvancetimes.com

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