File photo White Rock council is formally objecting to a Metro Vancouver Regional Growth Strategy land use designation amendment allowing for industrialization of an area of Delta adjacent to Burns Bog, shown here in a 2013 photo.

White Rock council goes on record as opposing Delta land-swap

Environmental sensitivity of Burns Bog cited as reason for unusual step

In a rare move for the city, White Rock council has gone on record as opposing a development proposal in another jurisdiction.

At its July 22 meeting council not only voted against endorsing a Metro Vancouver Regional Growth Strategy land use designation amendment for an area of Delta adjacent to Burns Bog, but also supported a motion from Coun. Scott Kristjanson to send a letter to Metro Vancouver expressly opposing the change.

The proposal, from the City of Delta, is to change the designation of a 155-acre parcel in the Tilbury-Sunbury area next to Hwy. 99 from agricultural to industrial, in exchange for the transfer of 328 acres of environmentally sensitive lands from the owner, MK Delta Lands Group, to the city.

But that exchange is not enough – in the eyes of several councillors who spoke out – to justify establishing an industrial area close to the bog.

“Burns Bog has been referred to as ‘the lungs of the Fraser Valley’ for many, many years,” Coun. David Chesney said. “It’s the largest undeveloped urban land mass in North America… It’s home to over 400 species of birds that migrate through the region.”

Chesney added that the bog is protected against development for the long term.

“In 2004, four levels of government (federal, provincial, Metro Vancouver and Delta) came together to purchase 2,025 hectares of land for $73 million. I don’t understand why we’re even considering this, to be very honest. I will not support the carving up of Burns Bog in any way, shape or form for industrial land.”

“I’m very nervous about introducing industry into the bog…it’s a very important area,” Kristjanson said. “This seems like a small wedge trying to carve off more of the north-end of this bog.”

Sole voice speaking for the move – and voting for endorsement and against the letter – was Mayor Darryl Walker.

“This is what you might call a land-swap, in which a piece of what is the bog is taken out and a larger piece put back in,” he said.

Responding to a request from Walker for confirmation of this analysis, Carl Johannsen said the land being proposed to be reincluded in the bog area had actually been subject to a mixed-use residential proposal around seven years ago which would have “expanded the urban footprint of Delta” – but had been denied by Delta council.

Also speaking against Delta’s proposal were Coun. Erika Johanson and Coun. Anthony Manning.

“All of the property concerned is bog – it may not belong to Burns Bog, but it is bog,” Johanson said. “I am concerned that these lands are environmentally sensitive…I believe that no development of these lands should take place.”

Manning said he could not support the proposal unless convinced that the lands involved in the proposed swap “were an apple for apple comparison.”



alexbrowne@peacearchnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

YVR wants rapid transit connections to Surrey, White Rock improved

In Transport 2050 report, airport authority states it would like to see Canada Line extended to the south

Surrey students recognized for ‘outstanding’ support for food bank

Businesses, volunteer receive awards at annual open house

Families play in ‘UFO Ho-Ho!’ at Surrey theatre that faces uncertain future

City budgets $500K to help Surrey Little Theatre relocate, if and when street is widened

Surrey fugitive captured in California was motivated by revenge, $160,000: court documents

Brandon Teixeira, charged with murder, wants to return to Canada ‘as soon as possible,’ says lawyer

VIDEO: A brief history of bumps in the Trudeau-Trump relationship

Remember Peter Navarro saying ‘there’s a special place in hell’ for a foreign leader who aims to cheat?

Half of shoppers say they have no holiday spending budget

B.C. consumers surveyed estimate they will spend $921 this season

University of the Fraser Valley union demands free menstrual products for staff, students

Petition calls it a human rights issue, asks for products at Chilliwack/Abbotsford campus washrooms

Man killed in crash due to ‘absolutely treacherous’ conditions on Coquihalla

Winter means icy roads are dangerous and drivers should be careful, RCMP say

Bag of cocaine left in B.C. grocery store aisle

RCMP: ‘We sure would like to talk to’ person who left drugs behind

Former Burns Lake mayor gets two years for sexual assaults against minors

The Crown is seeking four to six years federal time; the defence wants 18 months in provincial jail

RCMP officer was justified using hose in rooftop standoff: B.C. watchdog

Police watchdog finds officers actions reasonable when man injured in 2018 incident

Cannabis ice cream? Province prepares for B.C. Bud edibles

Mike Farnworth’s special police unit takes down dispensaries

Union for parole officers at B.C. halfway house says public safety at risk

Increase in parole officers’ workload dealing with highest-risk offenders raises concern

Most Read