Gateway & Farmland – Part 3 – Overpass information a better way

The ALC issued its approval of SFPR in December of 2008. The only people who were involved in the consultations – who had any voice in the matter – were the farmers directly on the route and a couple of other people from the Delta Farmers Institute.

In January and February 2009, the ALC very quietly approved further farmland handovers for rail expansion and the railway over pass.

In the past couple of weeks, the Farmland Defence League have learned that none of the farmers affected by these decisions were ever consulted. There was ZERO public consultation process – these farmland losses were not included in the farmland losses reported under SFPR (although they are directly related to the Gateway expansions and should have been included in both agricultural and environmental cumulative impact assessments).

We have a blatant conspiracy between the Campbell government and the ALC to subvert due public process. The BC Rail staff report indicates that the applications were received by the Commission in 2007 – but the Commission waited until the SFPR approval had gone through and then, without so much as the customary signage to alert the community, the farmland was approved for development.

If the federal government were aware of these additional features of the Gateway Project, then they were complicit in the conspiracy by failing to include them in the federal cumulative environmental impact assessment.

Below is some information provided by one of our Delta directors:

below is from the minutes of the Delta Council Meeting of January 12, 2009. The referenced report and attachments can be found the Corporation of Delta website.

If the following link opens for you, simply click on 2009 Regular Council, then scroll down and click on January 12, 2009. The subject is the first item. Click on A01. That will give you the report. To get the Attachments, click on them at the end of the report.

http://delta.fileprosite.com/contentengine/launch.asp?ID=2198

If the link does not open, simply Google: Corporation of Delta. Then click on Mayor and Council on right top area. Then scroll down and click on Regular Council Meeting Agendas. Then follow the instructions above.

The report, attachments and minutes of January 12, 2009 Delta Council Meeting reveal all about the 28th Avenue overpass. It confirms the significant role of the ALC in moving the Gateway agenda forward.

These discussions took place after approval of the SFPR.

The minutes also confirm that the property owners were not consulted.

Mr. Savage responded to a Council question relative to potential impact on nearby property owners, noting it would be advisable to complete the 28th Street overpass as quickly as possible and that to his knowledge discussions had not been held with the property owners.

A report was given to Delta Council at their meeting of January 12, 2009. The Report and Attachments are attached to this email. There is a long history. I copy and pasted the report into Word. To me it looks like a lot of deliberation behind the scenes. This should have been included in the assessment of the SFPR, especially cumulative effects.

The following is from the Minutes of the January 12th, 2009 Delta Council Meeting.

41B St and 28 Ave Overpasses – ALC (A.01) Report by the Engineering Department dated December 22, 2008 regarding 41B Street and 28 Avenue Overpasses – Agricultural Land Commission. (File: 6.5.4.501.7.22)

Representatives from the Delta Farmers’ Institute (DFI) were in attendance.

Tim Murphy, Roads and Transportation Manager, provided a PowerPoint presentation outlining the history of this project and development of the conceptual design of the overpasses.
Mr. Murphy noted the proposed 41B Street overpass is envisioned as a one quadrant interchange in response to comments from the DFI, who had suggested the road be as straight as possible to assist in maneuvering farm equipment.
Diagrams of existing traffic patterns, current farm traffic routes and proposed future agricultural roads were shown, as well as alternate improvements required to meet traffic requirements.
Mr. Murphy provided the following information:

  • 41B Street is an important route for the farming community.
  • An overpass at 41B Street should be constructed and the design should consider future travel demands.
  • Port Metro Vancouver and BC Rail wish to close a segment of 57B Street south of Deltaport Way.
  • Prior to this closure, the 57B Street rail crossing will be equipped with signalization, which will delay farm traffic.
  • An overpass at 28th Avenue would provide an alternative route for the agricultural road network, once 57B Street is closed on the south side of Deltaport Way.
John Savage, on behalf of DFI, expressed his appreciation for the time and effort put forth on these proposals and advised the DFI is in support of staff’s recommendations.
MOVED By Cllr. Hawksworth,
  1. THAT support for a 28th Avenue Overpass of Highway #17 be reaffirmed.
  1. THAT an overpass at 41B Street and Deltaport Way be generally supported at this time, subject to confirmation of the integration of the planned Tsawwassen First Nation’s Road Network Plan with Delta’s Road Network.
  1. THAT further developments of the conceptual design for the 41B Street overpass minimize long term consumption of agricultural land as well as include provision for the future travel needs of the Tsawwassen First Nation, including provision for a higher capacity interchange which provides free flow movements in consideration of anticipated future traffic generation from planned industrial lands and Deltaport.
  1. THAT staff respond to the Agricultural Land Commission with these comments.
In response to a Council query, staff advised the Tsawwassen First Nation had indicated support for the 41B overpass at a recent meeting with key agency stakeholders. While 41B Street had been indicated as a major access route in the TFN’s draft Official Community Plan, a planning study, including the review of road network needs, is currently underway which may affect the final design.
Mr. Savage responded to a Council question relative to potential impact on nearby property owners, noting it would be advisable to complete the 28th Street overpass as quickly as possible and that to his knowledge discussions had not been held with the property owners.
— Main Motion Amended MOVED By Cllr. Hawksworth, THAT Recommendation A of the Main Motion be amended to read:

A. THAT support for a 28th Avenue Overpass of Highway #17 be reaffirmed as a priority, that it be funded by Port Metro Vancouver, BC Rail and other senior government agencies, and that it be constructed prior to the closure of 57B Street and in conjunction with overpasses that will be constructed to support the South Fraser Perimeter Road, prior to the completion of the South Fraser Perimeter Road.

CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

— Recommendations Endorsed as Amended Question was called on the Main Motion, as amended.

CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

Donna Passmore
Campaign Director
Farmland Defence League of BC
r) 604-536-2790

ALC Conditions Not Met.doc

BC Rail Staff Report Jan 2009.pdf

BC Rail Decision – February 4 2009.pdf

Delta – Gateway Rail Overpass Jan 2009.pdf

Delta – Gateway Rail Overpass Jan 2009 – decision.pdf

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