Just minutes after a special prosecutor in Chilliwack court last Tuesday outlined improper city development activities, city council rescinded an official policy that was part of the problem.
Former City of Chilliwack director of development Grant Sanborn pleaded guilty to two regulatory offences, including one violation of the Agricultural Land Commission Act on Aug. 21. He is expected to be sentenced on Aug. 29.
That violation had to do with the manipulation of borders for a residential development.
In the Agricultural Land Commission's (ALC) damning 2010 report into boundary adjustment subdivisions in Chilliwack between 1991 and 2009, the report authors pointed to a 1994 policy to place "a priority on public open space and residential development."
This was done in a way that "is inconsistent with the goals of the ALC Act to preserve farmland and encourage its agricultural use."
Following the adoption of that policy, there were 28 boundary adjustment subdivisions approved that involved "non-buildable" parcels.
The first recommended action items in the 2010 report was to request that the city "immediately amend or repeal policy directive F-3 and to notify the ALC accordingly."
More than two years later, at the Aug. 21 meeting of council last week, council voted in favour of a staff recommendation to rescind the policy in question.
"Given that boundary adjustments and other forms of subdivision are within the jurisdiction of the Approving Officer and given that the Approving Officer has an independent mandate to manage such applications and is also governed [by] other legislative and Municipal statutes and Bylaws, the above referenced policy may on occasion be contradictory to that mandate and certainly unnecessary," the staff report said. "Although staff have long dismissed the practice, this policy was not formally rescinded."