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From a Business in Vancouver article; commercial real estate developers are creating concern about dwindling industrial land in Metro Vancouver.

The loss of land for industrial development is a perennial issue in Metro Vancouver, and one to which the commercial real estate association NAIOP regularly returns in its annual development issues symposium.

And the target once again is the Agricultural Land Reserve. But now the argument for removing land from the ALR has evolved, somewhat predictably:

Projects such as the South Fraser Perimeter Road may help move goods inland, but [Graeme] Silvera said this doesn’t address development considerations.

Properties bordering the South Fraser Perimeter Road are often in the province’s agricultural land reserve, and the commission overseeing the reserve is unwilling to allow exclusions that take the land out of farming.

“We look at things like the South Fraser Perimeter Road and we say, ‘You’re putting in billions of dollars of infrastructure on this road, and it’s running through land you can’t touch.'”

So there it is, the investment in highways will only be justified if the bordering agricultural land can be developed. This argument underpins the predictable consequence of highway investment in the region; whether it’s the SEFC, Port Mann and Highway 1 expansion or Massey Tunnel replacement, the pressure on surrounding land use from new highways is inevitable.

Agricultural land may be some of the most valuable land this region has in the future, but with each new billion dollar highway project, it becomes harder to preserve.

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