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Could the future of a Mission industrial park derail road-widening plans?
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Nov. 28, 2022 | Today: 🌨 High 2C, Low -6C | 7-day forecast

Good Morning, Reader!

Did you notice that you got a newsletter Saturday? That was an experiment forβ€” no, I won't lie. The program we use to deliver your newsletters has a scheduling mechanism that we messed up. That's why you got a newsletter Saturday. It wouldn't have been a problem at all, except the link to our main story didn't work because that story wasn't supposed to be published until Monday.

We did publish that story Saturday morning after we realized the newsletter had been sent, but if that was after you tried to read it, we have included it below (and right here!) We also tweaked today's newsletter and added new links and a couple new stories to give you something new to read.

β€”Tyler Olsen, managing editor
NEWS
Mission contemplates large new industrial park
The fate of plans to build a large industrial development is in the hands of Mission councillors. 📸 City of Mission

A proposal to build a large new industrial park in north Mission will meet its fate at a future council meeting.

The project would convert 15 rural acres on Dewdney Trunk Road into "future employment lands."

Dozens of residents commented on the proposal during a public hearing last Monday that lasted more than two hours. They raised concerns about traffic, environmental impacts, noise pollution, and the effect on the city’s services.

No decision was made following the hearing; instead, staff will return at a later date with information that could answer the questions of residents and councillors.

The project would also see two acres provided to the city for a future firehall. Council asked staff for the results of a traffic impact study, and more information on an environmental study. They will also look at whether the project could hinder the city's ability to widen Dewdney Trunk Road in the future.

Staff will return to council in the futureβ€”but its report will take weeks or months. They will give a timeline next week.

Need to know

🚗 Alcohol and speed were both factors in an accident that killed three hockey players in Langley last year [CTV]

🐻 An American plan to consider reintroducing grizzly bears near Manning Park could lead to more bears in B.C. [Vancouver Sun]

🚜 Preparations for the Aldergrove fall fair have begun, seven months in advance [Aldergrove Star]

β˜ƒοΈ Significant snow is expected from Hope to Abbotsford this week [Environment Canada]

🎱 Three Chilliwack businesses are running a toy drive for kids in need [Chilliwack Progress]

🎖️The Chilliwack legion's ladies auxiliary will sell hand-made items to support veterans at its Christmas bazaar [Chilliwack Progress]

👩β€βœˆοΈ Girls Fly Too, an event that promotes women in aviation, announced new dates after it was forced to cancel last month [Abbotsford News]

💵 Funding for autism support will maintain its current model after proposed changes frustrated families and advocates [Global News]

🏀 The Cheam Recreation Centre in Chilliwack will start charging user fees tomorrow [Fraser Valley Today]

🍜 Food bank users doubled in Mission last year [Mission Record]

🧸 A toy drive run by an Abbotsford wrestler is returning for its third year [Abbotsford News]

📕 A retired Chilliwack teacher published his first children's Christmas book [Chilliwack Progress]

🐔 Avian influenza has been detected at Chilliwack's Sardis Park, where dozens of dead birds were reported recently [Chilliwack Progress]

🚓 An off-duty police officer who struck a pedestrian with his vehicle in Langley will not be charged after an independent investigation [Independent Investigations Office of BC]

💼 McQuarrie is a multi-practice law firm optimally equipped to serve businesses, individuals, and institutions across BC. Contact McQuarrie today.*

📊 Is there uncertainty in the home market? Tana McNicol, real estate specialist for the Fraser Valley, invites you to ask her questions. Learn more.*
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THE AGENDA
Developers hope to build two apartment buildings along Marshall Road near Hoon Park. 📸 City of Abbotsford

ABBOTSOFRD CONSIDERS MORE MARSHALL ROAD APARTMENTS

Four years ago developers were given permission to build two new apartment buildings on a prominent heavily treed property in central Abbotsford. Today, the site remains empty except for all those trees. But that may finally change soon.

In 2018, council approved the construction of twin six-storey buildings on the land, which had been owned by Leonard Hoon, a man once dubbed Abbotsford's 'Gladiola King.'

Hoon had moved to the central Abbotsford site in 1946 and began farming, raising dairy cows and chickens, and growing huge amounts of flowers. Over time Hoon sold off pieces of his farm to permit the building of Highway 1 and the construction of homes in the fast-developing area. Five acres of land were given to the city and became Hoon Park. (Although Google Maps and a sign on the site suggests the park extends to Marshall Road, that isn't true; the northern 1.6 acres of the property was not donated to the city.)

Hoon remained on his shrunken homestead until he died in 2016, two months short of his 100th birthday. Upon his death, his estate hired a developer they said would respect the heritage of the land. In 2018, council approved a plan to construct two apartment buildings. You can read a story about that proposal here. The project, though, hasn't been built yet, and the approval granted by the city four years ago has lapsed.

The owners have now re-submitted their proposal. And while much of it remains the same, the developer now hopes to have 84 units in each building, rather than 60. The number of parking stalls will also rise.

All 157 trees on the property are slated to come down. The developer said an aborist declared that most of them are "diseased and should be removed before they infect the trees to the south in Hoon Park."

Council will get its first look Monday. If council allows it to proceed, as is likely, a public hearing will follow.

NEWS
More residents, fewer voters as turnout plummets
The number of ballots cast in this year's local elections declined despite an influx of new residents. 📸 roibu/Shutterstock

We published this story in our (accidental) Saturday newsletter, but the link didn't work. The link works this time. We promise.

Langley Township’s municipal election had all the ingredients needed for a high voter turnout in October.

The mayor’s race had four recognizable names, including two sitting councillors and a prominent former provincial cabinet minister. There were two new slates campaigning for votes, raising money, and advertising heavily. There were significant differences about the appropriate path forward for a fast-changing community.

Yet barely one-quarter of eligible voters cast ballots.

That figure was down from 2018, despite the township having a much more competitive mayor’s race than four years ago. But the decline in voting wasn’t just a Langley story. In fact, the township’s 26% turnout figure was the highest of all the Fraser Valley’s larger communities.

Around town

THIS WEEK

🌲 The Fraser Valley Conservancy is hosting a workshop on Nov. 29 in Chilliwack about caring for nature in your backyard. Register online.


💡 Christmas decorations will be lit up in Williams Park in Langley until Dec. 18. Find more details online or visit for free.

COMING UP

🎶 Tom Lavin & The Legendary Powder Blues wind up their 44th Anniversary Tour on Dec. 3 at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre. Tickets online.

What can a mayor or councillor actually do?

Before you cast blame or believe a promise, you need to understand what issues mayors and councillors can actually control.Β Β 
Catch up here.

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