UPDATE: The Massey Tunnel Replacement project threatens the No 5 Road Backlands.
The Ministry of Transportation plans to widen # 5 road and they propose taking up to 20 meters of the backlands . Write to your MLA , Linda Reid (email :firstname.lastname@example.org) and tell her how you feel.
This is a critical issue for all of Richmond. Agricultural land is our security and we must work to save it for future generations.
Sustainable farming starts with land we need to save the AGRICULTURAL GREEN ZONE by supporting the No. 5 Road Back lands policy. Richmond City Council created the policy to support farming in the back lands behind the Highway to Heaven along hwy 99 decades ago. The policy states “Co-operate as necessary to remove constraints to farming the backlands, in partnership with others…undertake active farming of the backlands.”
There have been three major changes since 2010.
#1 – “The Gardens” development has netted the City 12 acres of farm land.
#2 – The new owners of ” Mylora Golf Course ” have proposed donating 20 acres of farm land in the back lands to the City.
#3 – Kwantlen Polytech University has asked for farm land, in perpetuity for the development of a Sustainable Agriculture Institute for the purpose of training in new, state of the art types of farming that would include research.
These changes allow for a opportunity to fast track the GREEN ZONE in the back lands and an exciting new future for lands that have been under utilized for decades. I met with Mr. Kent Mullinex and others at Kwantlen Polytech university and their plan for sustainable farming and education is compelling. In the future KPU will need 30 to 45 acres and the GREEN ZONE could be their forever home. I think we should support education in farming and maintain the 110 meter development setback for properties on the east side of No. 5 Road.
The City of Richmond could work with KPU to arrange to lease land in the backlands because this option would allow for expansion in the future.
Other community groups have indicated to me their desire to help to support the Agricultural GREEN ZONE on No. 5 Road and we need to demonstrate leadership and commitment for saving the farm land and when we do , the farming community will step up and help as well.
When the City Council of the past, created the No. 5 Road back lands policy they could never have imagined that a proposal of this size would ever be submitted to the City and that farm land in Richmond could ever be threatened in the way it has, so now is the time to commit to the GREEN ZONE along Hwy 99 and make it clear that we should not tolerate its erosion.
We must have vision and see that bigger things are possible for the No. 5 Road backlands. We need to work for a future that supports farming and includes innovative and new opportunities for farmers and the people of Richmond. Together we can create a farming legacy that we can all be proud of.