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Former auto-wrecking site approved for 50-lot subdivision in west Abbotsford

Seven-acre property on Swensson Avenue is former Aldergrove Auto Wrecking
A seven-acre property on Swensson Road on the Abbotsford-Aldergrove border has been approved for a 50-lot subdivision.

Abbotsford council has given final approval for a former auto-wrecking site to be turned into a 50-lot single-family subdivision.

The seven-acre property is the former Aldergrove Auto Wrecking Ltd. at 27820 Swensson Ave. on the Abbotsford-Aldergrove border.

The matter recently came before council, seeking approval to exclude the property from the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) and to rezone it from the general industrial zone to the comprehensive development 84 zone.

With the introduction of Bill 15 in September 2020, private landowners no longer have the ability to directly submit an application for exclusion from the ALR.

A staff report to council states that the Swensson Avenue property is the first development application the city has received under the provisions of Bill 15.

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The report states that vehicular access for the new subdivision will be via a new north-south road accessed from Swensson Avenue.

The report also indicates that because the property was used as an automobile salvage yard since the 1970s (prior to the formation of the ALR), the Ministry of Environment determined that a site investigation was needed.

“At this time, the applicant is working with ministry staff to address and potential issues,” the report states.

The Ministry of Agriculture concluded that the site is not suitable for “soil bound agriculture” and that the property would likely never be used for agricultural activity “due to previous approvals for non-farm use.”

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The ministry also suggested that the city require the landowner to complete a “buffer design plan” that would ensure a minimum eight-metre-wide “vegetated buffer” between the property and “all properties within the ALR that the subject property borders.”

The property owner is John R. Barned, and the applicant for the development is Swensson Projects Ltd.

Mayor Henry Braun recused himself from the vote on the matter because his son is a consultant on the project.

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Vikki Hopes

About the Author: Vikki Hopes

I have been a journalist for almost 40 years, and have been at the Abbotsford News since 1991.
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