The MK Delta Lands industrial development on the edge of Burns Bog is on hold a little longer, after council voted to extend third reading until Dec. 31, 2019.
MK Delta Lands Group put forward an application in 2015 to rezone an agricultural property at 7969 Highway 91 Connector (see map) to an industrial property, so it could create nine lots for light industry, a trade school, distribution warehouses and outdoor amenity spaces. The application was given first and second reading in the summer of 2016 by Delta council, but needed approval from the Agricultural Land Commission to move forward. (In order for the application to proceed, the property needed to be excluded from agricultural land reserve and other properties brought in.)
The proposal received a conditional green light from the ALC this September. The commission said the property MK Delta Lands Group wanted to exclude had been heavily impacted by peat mining, and the property the company wanted to bring into the ALR was in better agricultural shape.
Although the conditional approval was a step forward, more still needs to be done before the application can return to council.
The ALC’s final approval requires the submission of a vegetative buffering plan for the excluded property, as well as the installation of the buffer. It also requires the City of Delta to not restrict agricultural uses of the property that is being added to the ALR.
In a staff report, Delta said it will not restrict agricultural use on the property, by covenant or otherwise. The city’s plan is to manage that property as though it is part of the Burns Bog Ecological Conservancy Area, but “staff acknowledge that if the property is included in the ALR, Delta cannot restrict farming.”
Once the ALC gives its final approval, the application will then need to go to Metro Vancouver so its Regional Growth Strategy can be updated, and the urban containment boundary and the sewer area extended. Only when those approvals and changes are made will the application come back to Delta council for third and fourth reading.