The City of Abbotsford completed a comprehensive planning process to identify opportunities for future industrial growth in the city. The purpose of the Industrial Land Supply Study was to provide a clear understanding of Abbotsford’s current and potential capacity for industrial development.
Special Study Areas A and B were highlighted for future industrial growth in the 2016 Official Community Plan (OCP) due to their proximity and access to Highway No. 1, Abbotsford International Airport (YXX), rail and other industrial uses.
This planning process analyzed Abbotsford's optimal role in serving both the local and regional industrial markets, identifying which areas to pursue for exclusion from the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) to meet the demand for future industrial growth and support community employment needs. Special consideration was given to Special Study Areas A and B as outlined in the 2016 Official Community Plan (OCP).
Special Study areas A and B are located in the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) and require ALC approval for any non-agricultural use. Through the planning process, the City considered technical aspects such as servicing, traffic, agricultural suitability and buffering, in addition to existing industrial land inventory. The findings informed Council direction for an ALR Exclusion application.
Stage 1 prepared an overview of the current industrial market trends and an inventory of existing industrial uses in Abbotsford and the broader region.
Stage 2 explored optimal locations for accommodating future industrial growth, with special consideration given to OCP Special Study Areas A and B. The findings informed Council direction for an ALR Exclusion Application.
Stage 3 involved the preparation and submission of a City-initiated ALR exclusion application under Section 29 of the Agricultural Land Commission Act. This stage involved public consultation and a Council resolution endorsing the exclusion application.
Open Houses & Engagement Summary:
- Report to Council No. PDS 100 -2017
- Presentation to Council - Stage 3 Engagement
- Industrial Open House Boards 1-10 (May 17 & 18, 2017)
- Industrial Open House Boards 11-20 (May 17 & 18, 2017)
July 17, 2017 Public Hearing:
- Newspaper advertisement: Opportunity for Public Input - July 17, 2017
- Presentation to Council - Stage 3 Public Hearing
July 31, 2019 Council Consideration:
Council considered an ALR exclusion application on July 31, 2017 and decided to forward Special Study Area A in its entirety and the western portion of Special Study Area B to the ALC for consideration. The Council report, presentation, and reference maps are available below:
- Report to Council No. PDS 124 -2017
- Presentation to Council - Stage 3 ALR Exclusion
- Final Areas for ALR Exclusion Application
ALC Decision: On April 27, 2018 the Agricultural Land Commission's Executive Committee issued a letter outlining its decision on the City's ALR exclusion application. The Committee concluded that the lands are capable of supporting agriculture and therefore refused the proposal. On June 11,2018 Council decided to initiate discussions between the City and the Minister of Agriculture, the ALC Chair and the ALC’s CEO to better understand the issues and opportunities for the City.
On April 1, 2019 Council directed staff to continue to monitor industrial growth in the city and explore opportunities for a new application at a future date.
If an ALR Exclusion application is approved by the ALC at some point in the future, an OCP Amendment will be needed to designate the excluded areas for industrial use in the City’s OCP.