Archive for the ‘Submissions’ Category

posted by admin on Sep 19

Langford not a happy home for all

Published: September 17, 2010

I couldn’t disagree more strongly with claims about Langford being a culturally vibrant, environmentally friendly community.

In south Langford where I live there have or are six subdivisions going in within a block of my house. First they cut down 98 per cent of the trees, then they strip off all the top soil and finally drill and blast out hundreds of gravel truck loads of rock so that they can create another small-lot subdivision.


posted by admin on Sep 15

lands and farms are being taken over by housing subdivisions

This semi-rural area in a flood plain is subjected to heavy construction as houses are levelled, soil is scraped and farmers try to cope with the new reality.

There will only a chain link fence separating a herd of cattle from the new subdivision, with no buffer between city and country.

posted by admin on Aug 23

Dean Murdock
Saanich Councillor, and
Peninsula Agricultural Commission Liaison

Once again, our region is faced with the challenge of proposals to develop agricultural land for residential purposes. The market value of farm land as potential real estate is a tempting cash infusion for farmers struggling to maintain a profit.  But this is a short-term solution.  In the long run, it is no solution at all — and brings major consequences for future food production, land use, and our valued quality of life.

As our population grows, there is increased demand for development and pressure to break through our urban containment boundaries and encroach upon agricultural land. Many local governments in the province have done just that. But developing agricultural land to accommodate growth is killing the goose for its golden egg.  It compromises our food security and makes a mockery of our land-use plans (and the citizens’ input into them), while contributing to car-dependent sprawl.

Instead of paving our farmland for housing to generate real estate income, we should be looking for more ways to support our local farmers and their food production by keeping farming profitable. There are lots of options: creating “pocket markets” to sell local foods, encouraging local governments and businesses to bring in a “buy local” policy for events, and working with senior levels of government to create incentives for grocers to offer local food choices.

As we develop an Agricultural Action Plan, I welcome your ideas and suggestions on ways to support local farmers and encourage local food production.   Send me your ideas:

Buying local food doesn’t just support our farmers, it’s good for our health and environment too.  Local food is fresher and has a much smaller carbon footprint. Since it arrives fresh, it needs less (or no) preservatives.

Protecting and enhancing local food production starts with saving our agricultural land and maintaining our community’s urban containment boundaries. We have already planned, through public consultation, technical analysis, and council approvals, to concentrate future density in urban centres and to buffer farm lands from suburban intrusion.  It reflects our long-term commitment to a future that avoids further urban sprawl, reduces congestion and greenhouse gases, and ensures we have an abundant local food supply.

Let’s support our farmers and save our farmland.  Doing so will protect our quality of life, food security, our health, and our climate for now and future generations.

posted by Deb on May 31

Food tourism comes to Langford!

Langford is fortunate to be fairly close to the world-renowned destination for local food tourists – the Sooke Harbour House. A food tourist /journalist sought out the fine local food there, but also made a point of visiting a place in Langford where a foody feels at home.

In a newly published book, “The Locovore”,  Sarah Elton’s describes a generic cityscape when she, “took a wrong turn and ended up driving first through a commercial area lined with big-box American stores and then into a typical North American subdivision of single-family houses and two-car garages. The place was deserted. It felt like a Sunday night.”

Luckily, food tourism redeems this Victoria bedroom community as she describes how, “Finally after a few U-turns, I found my way to the [Smoken Bones] Cookshack. It must have been where everyone in Langford was eating that night, because there was only one spot left in the parking lot. Inside was like a bar during the Stanley Cup finals. …I picked up a rib and took a bite, It was absolutely delicious. … The meal was 100 percent local and unlike anything I’d ever eaten in a restaurant devoted to local food.”

She has glowing praise for Chef and owner, Ken [Hueston] because he “is committed to cooking with locally grown ingredients in a way that is accessible to everyone. …he believes that his restaurant epitomized a new local-food order in which food grown or raised nearby is the building block of all varieties of cuisines. And on Vancouver Island, chefs like Ken have led the way by enticing the public to eat regionally.”

This could be the first time Langford is mentioned in relation with the growing tourist trade in local food toursim. Too bad the author never wrote about what’s left of the very unique South Langford area where a couple of small productive farms and rural properties still exist, and where cows still graze on grass, chickens run free on the range and local food is growing. What an enticing and rare city scene would have been promoted to all the foodies out there.

This area is so far behind the development curve, that it is now on the front vanguard of a large growing trend to local food. But not for long – it has been disappearing and almost all of it is slated for development of suburbs in the race to be just another “typical North American subdivision of single-family houses and two-car garages”.

Reviewed by Deb Harper

UPDATE: Aug 17, 2011: Smoken Bones leaving Langford

posted by admin on Feb 18

Ten Langford properties seek removal from the ALR

UPDATE: The Commission made its decision on March 16, 2010 and the decisions were sent out in April.

See Details:

There was no public meeting.

In an email to Bea McKenzie, Roger Cheetham, Regional ALC Planner for the Island, Kootenay, and the North, reports the expected decision by the ALC Comissioners regarding 10 exclusion applications from landowners within the City of Langford has not yet been made, and that there will be a public meeting held.

“Hi Bea. No decision yet. The Commission is planning to hold a public meeting. I will provide details later when we have a better idea of the arrangements.
Roger Cheetham, Regional Planner
Ph 604 660 7020
FAX 604 660 7033

—–Original Message—–
From: Bea McKenzie
Sent: Monday, January 4, 2010 9:15 AM
To: Cheetham, Roger ALC:EX
Subject: Langford ALR

Good Morning Roger:

Please let me know the Dec.17th – 18th decision for the Langford ALR
exclusion applications results.

Proposed exclusion of ten Langford properties from the Agricultural Land Reserve

Currently before the Agricultural Land Commission are 10 applications to remove approximately 29 acres of prime farmland from the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) in the City of Langford, BC.

For more than a year the community has been requesting an inclusive process, but there has been virtually none.

We are a less than one week away from the ALC Panel decision (Dec. 17-18, 2009) on ten removal applications in Langford.

Residents  can write to ask for a public hearing to:
Roger Cheetham,
Regional Planner
Ph 604 660 7020
FAX 604 660 7033

Photos: ALR Lands

No decision yet. The Commission is planning to hold a public meeting. I will provide details later when we have a better idea of the arrangements.
Roger Cheetham, Regional Planner