Land deal a first in Metro and valley

The developers behind a proposed project at Lougheed Highway and Wren Street are offering to donate about 27 acres of land to the Fraser Valley Conservancy (FVC), if their building plan goes ahead.

The move is part of a compensation and mitigation package, currently being negotiated with Fisheries and Oceans Canada (FOC), as the development is expected to destroy some fish habitat.

Lisa Fox, FVC executive director, presented a concept to create a conservancy centre of excellence for the community at a council meeting last Tuesday night.

She explained the land, located close to the Silverdale Wetlands, could complement it, providing parking spaces and buildings that can be used as offices, classrooms or an interpretive centre.

It could also provide employment and revenue opportunities, said Fox.

This plan would be the first of its kind in the Fraser Valley and Metro Vancouver areas, added Fox, who explained working with a land trust will ensure the project will last and there will be little cost to the taxpayer to set up and maintain the site.

Mission council was hesitant to offer its support in the absence of a staff report outlining all the options and what impact such a site would have on the Silverdale Wetlands, and the district’s network of parks and trails.

It’s an interesting proposal and I look forward to the staff report, said Coun. Jenny Stevens.

The FVC is a non-profit organization established in 1998 to protect land and water for future generations.