Glazema Blames BC’s Heritage Conservation Laws For Failure Of Agri Mall

The CBC is reporting that John Glazemam from Corpus Management, the group behind a proposal to convert land zoned rural-residential to commercial in order to allow an Agri-Mall proposal to go ahead, is argueing the province’s heritage conservation laws at flawed.

[excerpt] A B.C. developer is calling on the province to fix gaps in heritage conservation laws, after the City of Abbotsford recently rejected his bid to build a farm equipment dealership on a property believed to be the site of aboriginal mass graves.

“This is a huge problem,” said John Glazema, director of Corpus Management Group, who lives in Abbotsford. “I feel betrayed because there shouldn’t be these types of encumbrances against private properties without having it highlighted on land title.”

The Agri-Mall proposal, which was opposed by neighbours and City staff, does not conform to the City’s Official Community Plan (OCP)and required rezoning approval in order to allow the development.

The proponent had threatened to move the project to Chilliwack and take all of Abbotsfords agri-businesses with him if he was not allowed to convert the rural-residential propertry to commerical.

The site is close to gravel operations on Sumas Mountain which already have neighbours upset about gravel truck traffic. The OCP has identified the area as a part of the City where rural-residential development is planned.

[excerpt] Corpus is left paying taxes and interest costs on land which Glazema fears is “worthless.”

“There has to be a clear policy put in place. It’s a huge liability for realtors, financial institutions, and property owners,” said Glazema, who is now lobbying the provincial government for compensation.

His takeaway? “I’d suggest you be very, very cautious if you purchase any property in B.C.”

On November 19 council voted to turn down the application with former councillor John Smith and former mayor Bruce Banman joined veteran councillor Les Barkman in supporting the rezoning.

Councillor Patricia Ross cited the archeological significance of the site as her reason for changing her support for the proposal to a vote against it.

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