Backlash For ALC After Rejecting Utility To Exchange Outdated Otter Co-op

Backlash For ALC After Rejecting Utility To Exchange Outdated Otter Co-op

The Agricultural Land Fee is receiving criticism from a number of teams after it dominated a Pitt Meadows farmer wouldn’t be allowed to promote Otter Co-op feed provides after the co-op’s space location was shut down final yr.

Maple Meadows Equestrian Centre utilized to the ALC to be the brand new location to retailer and promote Otter Co-op’s farm feed and provides after the sudden closure of the Otter Co-op Pitt Meadows location in 2022, because of the development of the brand new Harris Highway underpass. The ALC denied the request.

Jack Nicholson, CEO of Otter Co-op, was simply considered one of many individuals who voiced his displeasure over what he referred to as an illogical ruling.

“Otter Co-op can also be deeply disenchanted that the ALC declined an agricultural-based native enterprise that helps the agricultural group to be allowed to service and promote services from their property that straight improves entry to agricultural wants within the space,” mentioned Nicholson.

“We’re uncertain of the reasoning behind the choice, as I don’t see a destructive influence to the applicant’s present agricultural land from preserving this service to the group.”

Pitt Meadows Mayor Nicole MacDonald was upset with the choice, saying that it will result in main disruptions for the native farming group.

“Allowing the sale of farm feed and provides in an agricultural space is sensible,” mentioned MacDonald. “The answer proposed to the ALC would have been a method to maintain the Otter Co-op in our group.”

Pitt Meadows Councillor Mike Manion additionally chimed in on the problem, saying “issues like this clearly demonstrates that there isn’t any assist for agriculture.”

The Maple Meadows utility was unanimously supported by Pitt Meadows metropolis council in March of 2022.

However then on Nov. 15, the ALC introduced it had rejected the applying, citing quite a few causes.

“The panel finds that introducing a industrial use within the coronary heart/centre of the ALR and the elevated visitors not related to farming (even when minimal as instructed by the applicant) would have an effect on the continuity of the agricultural land base of the realm and will trigger conflicts derived from the interplay of two completely different land-use actions,” mentioned the report.

“The panel finds that the aim of the ALR is to not accommodate a industrial exercise higher suited to city areas.”

Mike Crouse, co-owner of the Maple Meadows Equestrian Centre, strongly disagrees with the ALC’s arguments about elevated visitors to the realm. The fee instructed utilizing an city area for the availability and sale of Otter Co-op’s merchandise.

“They [the ALC] thought there could be lots of of extra vehicles driving down our avenue, however the Otter Co-op workers instructed us that we’d truly be fortunate to get 30 vehicles per day,” mentioned Crouse.

“In the event that they’re so fearful about visitors on this space, then they need to do one thing concerning the infinite asphalt and dump vans that drive up and down our avenue all day lengthy.”

Crouse additionally defined that as a part of the applying course of, he and his spouse toured the realm, in search of any industrial buildings that might presumably be rented. Thet discovered nothing viable for the enterprise.

As a part of the applying, Maple Meadows Equestrian Centre closed its educating college in order that the 11,000-square-foot constructing on the property could possibly be repurposed to retailer the assorted feed provides.

“We shut down a part of our enterprise, as a result of we didn’t suppose any of this is able to be a problem,” mentioned Crouse.

Denying the applying additionally resulted in 4 former Otter Co-op workers dropping an opportunity to proceed their work at a feed retailer, as Crouse defined that he and his spouse have been planning to rent 4 employees from the earlier location to assist run the brand new feed provides retailer on their property.

And not using a viable different to the Pitt Meadows co-op, many native farmers at the moment are being pressured to drive to the closest Otter Co-op feed retailer, which is positioned at 3548 248th St., in Langley.

“Co-op doesn’t supply supply, and we don’t at all times have time to go all the best way to Aldergrove,” mentioned Crouse, who wants important quantities of feed for his many horses.

Above all else, Crouse is just feeling disheartened by this resolution, which comes after many months of working by the applying course of.

“We put a yr of effort into this and bought nothing from it,” mentioned Crouse.

“We needed to do that to assist our group and we even had lots of people thank us for making an attempt to do that, however now we’ve got to inform them that the ALC shot it down.”

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Backlash For ALC After Rejecting Utility To Exchange Outdated Otter Co-op

Mike Crouse, co-owner of Maple Meadows Equestrian Centre, mentioned that that they had already executed a number of work to arrange the 11,000-square-foot constructing for use as the brand new feed provide retailer earlier than the ALC rejected their utility. (Brandon Tucker/The Information)