The City of Surrey will hold a public hearing tonight for another project in the city proposing to rezone agricultural land for a business park.
Mayor Doug McCallum and the rest of the Safe Surrey majority on council recently avowed their intent to keep the Heppell potato farm property, leased from the federal government, in an agricultural designation.
But at council’s public hearing meeting at city hall tonight (7 p.m., July 25) applicants Beedie Holdings Ltd. will present the case for rezoning their site at 19116 32 Ave. in South Surrey, not far from the Heppell farm.
The applicants want to change the designation from Intensive Agricultural Zone to Business Park 2 Zone to permit the development of four multi-tenant industrial buildings ranging in size from 4,704 and 5,121 square metres.
The proposal would also reduce stipulated side-yard setbacks at both the eastern and western borders of the property, as well as required setbacks between all four buildings.
On July 11 council passed McCallum’s motion asking city staff to assess all of the city’s agricultural “food-producing land” with a view toward protecting it “with the purpose of addressing future food security requirements.”
It also passed McCallum’s motion that the Heppell Farm – 220 acres of “exceptionally fertile” farmland located at 192 Street and 36 Avenue – be designated as agricultural as part of the Official Community Plan review to take place next year.
McCallum argued at that time that protecting “high-yield” agricultural land is fundamental to ensuring food security in Surrey.
On Feb. 25, Metro Vancouver’s board approved Surrey’s plan for industrial development in the ecologically-sensitive South Campbell Heights area of South Surrey – a plan that has received extensive flak from environmentalists, the Semiahmoo First Nation, White Rock council and other politicians from across the region.