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Richmond green lights Ecowaste development

Coun. Harold Steves considered it the thin edge of the wedge, but in a 7-2 vote, council on Monday still approved a plan to allow Ecowaste Industries to extend Blundell Road between No. 7 Road and Savage Road.

Steves and newly minted councillor Chak Au were the lone voices of dissent to the plan, which will enable Ecowaste to develop 170 acres of land that it owns and is already zoned and designated industrial.

Steves said he isn't opposed to the industrial use of the land. What worries him is that it sits adjacent to ecologically sensitive areas, and that opening Blundell Road threatens surrounding agricultural land and these sensitive areas.

Ecowaste's parcel sits directly west of the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority lands. The port authority has stated it wants another 2,000 acres for its use, but none of the 170 acres from Ecowaste will necessarily address the port authority's needs.

Steves said there is no requirement for Ecowaste's land to be used for port-oriented purposes.

To develop that section of Blundell Road, which is itself a part of the Agricultural Land Reserve, the land reserve commission must give its authorization.

"I don't want to see farmland lost to service it," Steves said.

What also troubled Steves is that the development of Blundell Road up to Savage Road would mean that a short stretch of land is all that stands in the way of a potentially high traffic access route being available to connect the Fraser Port lands to Highway 99 along Blundell Road.

The Ecowaste site was previously a waste site that means it's of less value as farmland.

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