March 27, 2018 2:33 am
Updated: March 27, 2018 3:34 pm

Richmond defers decision on farmland mansions after hearing from over 30 speakers

The City of Richmond is trying to figure out what to do with monster homes built on designated farmland but councillors were not able to make a decision Monday night. Catherine Urquhart reports.

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After a meeting heard from over 30 speakers and lasted over three hours, Richmond city council voted to send back to staff the controversial issue of limiting the size of homes that can be situated on land in the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR).

Council had met to look at reducing by half the size of homes permitted on farmland.

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The City of Richmond moved last year to limit the size of homes to 10,763 sq. ft., after some mansions had exceeded 20,000 sq. ft.

“Speculative development of the ALR has been identified as a national threat to our food security,” said Laura Gillanders with activist group Richmond FarmWatch.

“It’s very important that farmland stays in the hands of Canadian farmers.”

City council ultimately decided to send the matter back to staff, leaving some disappointed and others relieved.

“Everything was happening too quick,” said one person who attended the meeting.

“There were too many families being affected by this. I think we’re happy with the decision right now.’

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