The proposed Wall Farm development from a 2014 Langley Township report.

Wall Farm development stalled over highway upgrades

The project can’t begin until a highway interchange is rebuilt.

A controversial development planned near Trinity Western University remains in limbo due to delayed highway upgrade plans.

“We don’t know exactly how to resolve it,” said Ramin Seifi, manager of development and engineering for Langley Township.

The issue is a single clause in plans by the Wall Financial Corporation to develop 67 lots on a large plot of farmland near 72nd Avenue and Springbrook Road.

In 2014, Township council voted to allow the project. Of the 153 acre site, 13.5 acres was to be developed into housing, with 52 acres of the site closest to the Salmon River becoming Township property for conservation purposes. The rest was to remain farmland.

Access to the lots was to be off 72nd Avenue, plus an emergency access onto the Springbrook Road portion of Highway 10.

Before development began, the owners had to create some “minor improvements at the Highway 10/72 Avenue intersection,” according to a 2014 Township report.

Those minor improvements have now become tied up into debates about widening the Trans Canada Highway.

Seifi noted that parts of Highway 10 – a provincial road – were in need of safety upgrades even before the rezoning, and the province has made some changes there over the past few years.

But the provincial government identified the offramp from the Trans Canada Highway and its connection to Highway 10 as an issue.

“What has to happen is, there has to be a different offramp configuration,” Seifi said.

Rather than just rebuilding one offramp, provincial authorities began looking at rebuilding the entire, aging cloverleaf structure.

That project was then folded into larger plans to widen the Trans Canada as far east as Abbotsford.

But with a new NDP government in office, it’s not clear if the highway will be widened that far east.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure noted that the highway is being widened to six lanes as far east as 216th Street, where a new interchange is under construction.

“At this time, provincial funding has not been committed to any additional projects, nor are there any cost-sharing arrangements in place with other levels of government,” the statement said. “Any future projects on Highway One will be announced at a future date.”

It has been nearly four years since the project was approved.

If it never goes ahead, one of the development’s foes on council would be fine with that outcome.

“I hope they never do it,” said Councillor David Davis, who has a family farm in the area. “It should never have a subdivision on it, as far as I was concerned.”

Attempts to contact the Wall Financial Corporation about the site were unsuccessful.

The history of the development goes back to 2002, when Wall Financial Corporation first asked the Agricultural Land Commission to allow non-farm use on the property.

After the initial request for a 65-lot subdivision and equestrian centre was turned down by the ALC, Wall tried again in 2007 with a modified proposal.

This time they won approval subject to a number of conditions, including completion of the work by 2012.

By 2012, the plans were still moving forward, but the Township had become embroiled in a dispute with Metro Vancouver.

The Wall property was lumped in with plans by Trinity Western University to expand and create a “university district.” Metro Vancouver opposed those plans and the Wall development and eventually that led to Metro and the Township squaring off in court.

By March of 2014, the Township had won its court case as the B.C. Supreme Court ruled it had authority over development decisions.

Throughout the entire process, local environmentalists and farmland advocates opposed the Wall subdivision. They worried about the loss of farmland, impacts on the nearby Salmon River, and about a precedent for “spot zoning.” Spot zoning is creating subdivisions that are disconnected from larger neighbourhoods, and which have little access to amenities such as shops and transit lines.

Just Posted

Golden girl Bailey Herbert leads Olympians at Western Canadian championship meet

Langley Olympians Swim Club places fifth out of 71 teams during prestigious meet in Victoria

Man charged in Abbotsford school stabbing found unfit to stand trial

Gabriel Klein’s fitness to stand trial will be subject to periodic review

LEPS, Langley Township mark Earth Month with eco-friendly events

Arbour Day, Clean-Up Day happening last two weekends in April

Stage 1 watering restrictions to kick in two weeks early

As of May 1, Metro Vancouver residents can only water lawns two days a week instead of three

Teen’s outlook positive, despite living with ‘Stone Man Syndrome’

Alexandra Hoodikoff has a conditon that affects one in two million people

Lt.-Gov. Guichon believes she made the right decision

Outgoing Lt.-Gov Judith Guichon said her most memorable moments weren’t surrounding the election

VIDEO: Smokers talk pot rules at annual 4-20 event

Annual pot protest-meets-festival in Vancouver attracted hundreds to vendors, concert

New funds, recruits set to alleviate B.C. sheriff shortage

The Government of British Columbia announced new sheriff graduates, funding for more classes

Video: RCMP investigation gets a deer little photobomb

Princeton RCMP were conducting a drug investigation in Princeton which a deer strolled through

Farnworth says five years too long for feds to deal with organized crime in medical pot

Needs to be dealt with much sooner than that, B.C. Public Safety Minister says

UPDATED: Unions, CP Rail come to agreement, avoiding work stoppage

Locomotive engineers, conductors and signals specialists seeking new collective agreements.

B.C. woman known to hitchhike around province missing

Aislynn Hanson, 18, last seen April 13; known to travel throughout B.C. by hitchhiking

B.C. court relies on Facebook to track down missing defendant

A court in Princeton, B.C. relied on Facebook to track down a B.C. missing his court date

Cops corral pig on the loose on Vancouver Island

Police “put the grab” on pig before it can cross the highway on Vancouver Island

Most Read