Surrey Council votes to support inclusion of 89-hectares of high-yield farmland to Agricultural Land Commission

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Surrey City Council has voted to support the addition of 89 hectares of active farmland to the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR), as outlined in the Agricultural Land Commission’s (ALC) proposal to add 123 hectares of federally owned lands in Campbell Heights to the ALR.

“It is crucial that we protect this invaluable, high-yield farmland to help ensure future food security in the region and across British Columbia,” said Mayor Brenda Locke. “That is why Council voted in favour of protecting this irreplaceable farmland that yields an estimated 50 million servings of vegetables every year. Not only does this rich agricultural land ensure a resilient local food supply, but its preservation will help reduce our carbon footprint in the battle against climate change. Council is also in favour of keeping 34 hectares, in the ALC proposal, intact and protected in its current state as ecologically valuable forested land.”

The Agricultural Land Commission initiated its proposal to include the subject properties into the ALR in December, 2022. The properties are in the Campbell Heights area of the City of Surrey, bounded by 192 St (west), 36 Ave (south), and the Township of Langley municipal boundary (east). The Government of Canada is considering disposition of the properties, which may leave the lands vulnerable to future changes in land use. Given the longstanding agricultural use of the properties, the Commission considers that the lands may be suitable for inclusion to the ALR.

The Properties have been concurrently leased to local producers for agricultural use dating back to the 1970s, and approximately 89 hectares of the subject Lands are currently cultivated with field vegetable crops. It is these 89 hectares that Council has voted to support adding to the ALR. Council also supports keeping the 34 hectares of intact forested land in the ALC proposal out of the ALR.

There are currently 9,275 hectares of ALR land in Surrey, which was established by the Province in 1973.