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City considers new soil bylaw

By Hannah Scott, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

Published 4:24 PST, Thu February 18, 2021

Last Updated: 4:43 PST, Thu February 18, 2021

City councillors discussed a potential new soil bylaw at a Feb. 1 general purposes committee meeting.

Currently, the city’s soil removal and fill deposit regulation bylaw only applies to lands within the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR). Additionally, staff are not able to penalize property owners who deposit unacceptable soil or other material for unsanctioned projects.

Under a proposed bylaw, people must obtain a permit to move large amounts of soil to or from a property. There may also be a security deposit of up to $15,000 associated with the issuance of permits. Coun. Michael Wolfe and Coun. Bill McNulty expressed a desire to have no maximum security deposit in the proposed bylaw change.

“If you have a deposit of $15,000 it doesn’t even help us with clean up, when somebody dumps the property and then we have to clean it up,” said McNulty. “I think it’s important that we put enough deterrents there. In many cases in Richmond our fees are more than reasonable. Especially with the agricultural lands, I really think that where you have violations there, I think in some cases you should be throwing the book at people.”

A proposed bylaw has yet to be presented to the food security and agricultural advisory committee. 

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