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The Agricultural Land Reserver (alr), Food Security - And Similar Topics


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#41 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 12:49 PM

Seriously? When I was little I knew many kids who lived in apartments and townhouses.


My parents wouldn't let me play with the kids that grew up in the projects.

#42 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 12:52 PM

One option that I have not seen emphasized enough and has not been tried in Victoria is real rowhousing. I don't mean strata townhouses but rather individual homes built right next to each other with dual firewalls and a property line in between. There are many places near downtown that could easily have this sort of development.

The benefit is that it is higher denisty than SFD's you don't have to be in a stupid strata and you can still have a yard in the back.


Ya, that's a good idea, G. Wonder why we have ZERO of these? Then people can also repair, renovate or maintain as they see fit, without having to do the strata bullsh*t, which is repairing to the lowest common denominator, that usually means your complex goes downhill from day #1 after is is built. And yes, they get their own back yard, often with parking, sometimes off a lane.

Hmm, this would suit many, I bet.

#43 Holden West

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 01:02 PM

I was a townhouse/condo kid.

The Tyee: Replanting the City Farming Movement in B.C.

Victoria led the way in 1918. Vancouver once had 52,000 Victory Gardens. Today, the idea is sprouting fast again. Second in a reader-funded series.


By David Tracey, 20 Aug 2009, TheTyee.ca

"Early in 1917, in view of the world-wide shortage of food stuffs, an active campaign was inaugurated by [Victoria] City Council to stimulate production by means of cultivation of vacant lots and backyards. Briefly, the campaign was extremely successful; the response of the citizens was beyond expectation...

"...Much greater necessity exists for increased food production in 1918. All authorities agree that the world supply of food is reduced to famine conditions in many countries, and to within a fraction of the famine line in the most favoured localities. 'Every little bit counts,' and it is earnestly to be hoped that the response, in Victoria, of the 'Back-yard and Vacant Lot Brigade,' during 1918, will greatly exceed the excellent record of 1917."

A Vancouver newspaper in 1943 counted 52,000 Victory Gardens in the area, each growing an average 550 pounds of vegetables. The total value of the food grown was estimated at $4 million.

And that amount may not have included eggs. Back in the 1940s, reports City Farmer, Vancouver residents could keep up to 12 chickens without a permit.


"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#44 Coreyburger

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 01:41 PM

As it stands, BC has more than 4.7 million hectares of land in the ALR. This is almost the exact same amount as in 1974 when the ALR was created.


Apples are not oranges and vice versa. A lot of the land that has been added to the ALR is lesser quality that what was taken out.

As for the initial thesis that food security is bunk, I argue that with oil prices set to rise (and they will) shipping food long distances is simply not going to be practical and we will rue every arable acre we have taken out of the ALR.

#45 Bingo

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 02:29 PM

In the mid 1940's Victory Gardens were popular because it was difficult to get imported foods, except in a can. A butcher shop was the place to get fresh quality meat. After the war refrigerators were scarce, and many people were still using coolers and ice boxes. Frozen packaged food was still a ways off. Fresh garden produce was the way to go, and most homes a plot in the back yard.

If the ALR was in place in the 1940's most of the land along Shelborne Street, and other fertile areas would have likely been in it.

#46 Bernard

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 04:40 PM

Apples are not oranges and vice versa. A lot of the land that has been added to the ALR is lesser quality that what was taken out.

As for the initial thesis that food security is bunk, I argue that with oil prices set to rise (and they will) shipping food long distances is simply not going to be practical and we will rue every arable acre we have taken out of the ALR.


I disagree, the additions have been good lands that were missed. Much of the land taken out was of low quality. The overall productivity of the farmland in BC has not been changed.

There are small areas in the urban parts of the province that people think about when they think about land leaving the ALR, but the total removals in those areas are low, a few thousand hectares at most.

At $1000 a barrel for oil, the added cost to transport a cucumber from California to BC will still not be a major part of the price. Ballpark $0.23 to $0.30 per pound for transportation.

We still have about four times as much land in the ALR as we need to produce the food we need. Losing 200,000 hectares of land from the ALR will make no material difference to our ability to grow enough food. That is an area more than three times the size of the Greater Victoria area.

There is a disconnect in the public on the scale of what is involved in agriculture.

#47 Bernard

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 04:43 PM

One option that I have not seen emphasized enough and has not been tried in Victoria is real rowhousing. I don't mean strata townhouses but rather individual homes built right next to each other with dual firewalls and a property line in between. There are many places near downtown that could easily have this sort of development.

The benefit is that it is higher denisty than SFD's you don't have to be in a stupid strata and you can still have a yard in the back.


This can be done with a bare land strata - the buildings are 100% the domain of the owners. If you let your place fall apart, only you have to pay.

On individual fee simple titles you can not build row housing because of the zoning bylaws and requirements for setbacks from the property line. This is the real reason we do not see row housing like one sees in Europe.

#48 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 04:53 PM

On individual fee simple titles you can not build row housing because of the zoning bylaws and requirements for setbacks from the property line. This is the real reason we do not see row housing like one sees in Europe.


Yes, but there is no reason council could not create new zoning to allow them if they saw fit.

#49 Bernard

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 05:21 PM

Yes, but there is no reason council could not create new zoning to allow them if they saw fit.


And there is no reason why councils can not amalgamate. The reality is that councils are VERY resistant in this region to changing residential zoning to make higher density possible. In fact there have been bylaws passed in the last couple of years to reduce the ability to use unique small lots - note the change in rules after 2245 Shakespeare was built.

Residential zoning also includes maximum floor to space ratios for properties as well.

I do not see anything this innovative happening in the CRD until a few dozen other jurisdictions in BC have used it for a decade or two.

#50 victorian fan

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 05:56 PM

What happened to the brownstones that were to be built in Langford?

#51 LJ

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 06:58 PM

What happened to the brownstones that were to be built in Langford?


What happened to this thread?:D
Life's a journey......so roll down the window and enjoy the breeze.

#52 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 07:00 PM

What happened to this thread?:D


To be fair, this thread can include other "silly notions". It might be a silly notion to think councils would try something innovative to help increase the housing stock, and diversity.

#53 Layne French

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 10:55 AM

The fact is, most everyone desires to own a house. New Yorkers might find that strange, but it's true for anyone that lives around here. I don't think I have a single friend that didn't grow up in a family house.


I hate to clue you but there is a lot of influence into our style of living. we are constantly bombarded with different messages about why we want single family detached housing. I suggest you look into Ebaneezer Howard's magnet concept of the Garden City, there you will see the frame work of many of the myths of suburban living that we are so often told are true that we take them as a given.

I'm not saying some wouldn't choose, what I'm saying is simply put I don't feel a strong majority are even aware of the forces that are at play.

Here in Calgary we recently created a new municipal framework, one interesting idea put forth by the chamber of commerce was to move towards a lifecycle costing of new greenfield development. albeit it was lost in the fanfare as the chamber was careful not to be too standoffish with the UDI and the large development firms in the city.

#54 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 19 March 2010 - 01:24 PM

This guy was on CFAX today, really debunks all the 100-mile diet BS. Excellent segment.

http://www.iedm.org/...ications_id=253

http://www.iedm.org/...note0210_en.pdf

#55 Bernard

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Posted 19 March 2010 - 01:58 PM

The 100 mile diet has never been one that I thought was inherently better for the environment, though the one thing that it does do is connect people with the idea of seasonality. There are some big disconnects in our society with respect to the places where we live. Knowing when food is in season is one small step towards better understanding our place.

#56 Bernard

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Posted 25 March 2010 - 02:52 PM

Knowing a bit about the economics of a tree fruit orchard, I do not understand why we do not have more orchards in this region. Looking at the number quickly, the math on a 10 acre property seem to make sense as a business.

Thoughts?

#57 davek

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 11:57 AM

Central planning almost always has unintended, and frequently perverse, consequences, and government regulation of land use is no exception. So when government regulates land with the stated intent of preserving local agriculture, what is one likely to result? A loss of local agriculture! From the article:

Farmers say conditions in southern Oregon's Rogue River Valley are among the best in the world for raising pears. Yet for the past decade, acreage planted in pears has been halved, as has the number of growers.

Land-use regulations designed to maintain open space and preserve farmland are to blame, pear growers here say.


#58 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 06 April 2010 - 08:02 AM

Questions raised about Madrona Farm purchase

'I think there's a lot of loose ends,' prominent neighbour suggests

By Judith Lavoie, Times Colonist
April 6, 2010


A member of a prominent farming family is questioning what guarantees are in place to ensure Madrona Farm will be farmed in perpetuity, after Greater Victoria donors raised more than $2.2 million to buy the property in the hope of preserving the land for agriculture.


Read more: http://www.timescolo...l#ixzz0kKv6LlC2

#59 phx

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Posted 18 March 2011 - 09:29 PM

Some restaurants in BC have removed tomatoes from their menus, this after the poor quality and supply and higher price of tomato crops this season, something the leader of the BC Green Party says raises questions about food security.

Jane Sterk says this situation serves as a good wake up call, about relying on other countries as food sources.


Hmm, yeah, let's rely on the local winter crop of tomatoes....:rolleyes:

#60 davek

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Posted 19 March 2011 - 07:04 PM

Hmm, yeah, let's rely on the local winter crop of tomatoes....:rolleyes:


Ms. Sterk can rest easy knowing that this has already served as a good wake up call to the tomato industry, who will be responding to lower sales by improving the quality, supply, and price of tomatoes as quickly as they can.

This should also serve as a good wake up call to Ms. Sterk, who apparently hasn't figured out that by increasing food trade with other countries, we have food security so robust that we are free to say no to products that don't satisfy our criteria without having to worry about going hungry. This kind of luxury wasn't so prevalent when Canada produced more of its own food than it does today.

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