Tuesday, March 29, 2011
BC lands: Is the Gateway Program the only vision for BC's lower mainland?
BC Mary comment: An outstanding article with map in The Straight will answer many questions ... and prepare us for the next train-wreck steaming toward us:
Anne Murray: Is the Gateway Program the only vision for BC's lower mainland?
The Gateway Program is a destabilizing influence on the ALR, already under siege from decades of development proposals. In 1968 and 1969, 4,000 acres of prime Delta farmland were expropriated for back-up lands for the Roberts Bank superport. Following the pro-ALR sentiments of the 1990s, these lands were offered for sale back to the original farming families. Now these same lands are being repurchased through a series of curious deals, particularly those along the B.C. Rail spur line to Deltaport, where rail yards and container storage are planned. Land speculators and agencies are driving up the price ahead of the bulldozers. For example, a 46-acre property beside the B.C. Rail line, sold by the Crown in 2002 for $575,000, was resold in 2008 for $3.5 million. Some of this property is now owned by B.C. Rail, purchased at a premium price. The assessed value of another piece of land, close to the route of the SFPR, jumped suddenly from $628,000 in 2002 to $4.3 million in 2004; by 2009, it was valued at $8.4 million. The Gateway plan calls for all “vacant” lands south of the Fraser to be made available for industrial use. Agriculture becomes even more challenging under these conditions, with the cost of land prohibitive for new farmers.
Please read the full story HERE.