Demolition materials being dumped on Finn Road farm raise questions

Demolition materials being dumped on a Finn Road property has raised the ire of neighbours, and now city council has taken notice.

On Monday council passed a motion asking the Agricultural Land Commission to suspend activity on the farm property, near No. 4 Road.

City officials say the property’s owners have permission from the commission to dump concrete fill for purposes of building a farm road foundation. But in this case, city council’s agricultural advisory committee wasn’t consulted—despite the belief of some officials that it had.

Now council wants the commission to halt the fill operation until the city and its advisory committee can weigh in.

Neighbours say dumping began around Christmas, and claim material beyond the permitted concrete is also being trucked in. One farmer, who wished to remain anonymous, said concrete pieces “the size of bathtubs” are being dumped.

Bill Zylmans, co-chair of the agricultural advisory committee, has also heard some materials may exceed allowable size—something he said will destroy the land’s future in agricultural production. Even if the road is well-intentioned for serving a farm operation, rules need to be followed and better communication is needed.

“Educate the community, educate the surrounding neighbourhood so we don’t have to have these concerns,” he said.

Zylmans said dumping on agricultural land is a growing business in Richmond, with tipping fees netting a landowner up to $150 per load.

“The cat is out of the bag. We’re now entering good quality agricultural land,” he said. “The city has absolutely no teeth…They’ve got to put some teeth into their bylaws so they can control this.”

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