Date: Tue, Jan 14, 2014 at 12:34 PM
Subject: Re: Public Hearing Jan. 13/14 File No. R11-024 Proposed Zoning change from Agricultural One Zone to General Industrial for 1717 Foy St.
To: gmurray@abbotsford.ca, Bruce Banman <mayor@abbotsford.ca>, bmacgregor <Bmacgregor@abbotsford.ca>, lbarkman <Lbarkman@abbotsford.ca>, mgill <Mgill@abbotsford.ca>, pross <Pross@abbotsford.ca>, “Dave Loewen (Councillor)” <dfloewen@abbotsford.ca>, hbraun@abbotsford.cajgsmith@abbotsford.ca

Date: Tue, Jan 14, 2014 at 12:34 PM

Subject: Re: Public Hearing Jan. 13/14 File No. R11-024 Proposed Zoning change from Agricultural One Zone to General Industrial for 1717 Foy St.

To: gmurray@abbotsford.ca, Bruce Banman <mayor@abbotsford.ca>, bmacgregor <Bmacgregor@abbotsford.ca>, lbarkman <Lbarkman@abbotsford.ca>, mgill <Mgill@abbotsford.ca>, pross <Pross@abbotsford.ca>, “Dave Loewen (Councillor)” <dfloewen@abbotsford.ca>, hbraun@abbotsford.ca, jgsmith@abbotsford.ca

Hello George:  Would you direct this to the appropriate person as  I don’t know who the current FOI officer is.

As I said at the public hearing last evening, please provide me with the dates and amounts of any fines levied against Peter Dhaliwal, or whoever the owner is now, if 1717 Foy St. has changed owners.

This property has been operating a business in one form or another since 2005.  It has done so in clear view of the city works yard, at King and Foy.  Besides being an obvious commercial truck park for years, Mr. Illnicki operated a covert hazardous substance business there, and it has been a grow op.  All of this is well know to Abbotsford city hall.

Mr Dhaliwal has paid the lowest of property rates for agricultural land, which is good.  Farmers should be rewarded for facing the vagaries of the weather and the market.  But if the owner then turns a large chunk of land into a commercial truck park, or, as is common here in the valley, the property becomes the source of multiple rentals, something significant has changed.  Do we then change how the land gets taxed, or do we maintain a purist demand for agriculture only?

I am absolutely in favour of allowing farmers to supplement the uncertainty of crop success and market demand with a steady income, like allowing a few (8-10) trucks to  pay for a secure place to park.  Let the farmer have one or two rentals for people who need a home.  This would be mutually beneficial to everyone, and it would alleviate so many needs at once.

But note!!  That is not what is currently allowed.  Instead the honest people obey the law, AS WRITTEN BY GOVERNMENT LEADERS.  Honest people do not benefit from some extra income, and they pay taxes on everything they earn.

Dishonest people break the law with impunity in Abbotsford.  The money earned on ‘illegal’ truck parks, and ‘illegal’ living quarters is magnified – in that the owner now by-passed municipal building standards, codes, development cost charges and endless red-tape.  Since the rentals are illegal, the money is under the table, and therefore not declared to the taxman.  The dishonest person does not share the same tax burden for infrastructure costs of roads, schools, police, water, sewer, parks……..

So, there is an inverse relationship.  To the extent that laws are heavy on one segment of society, but blindly by-pass a group whom politicians wish to please, a severe injustice is perpetrated, –– by the very people we look to for guidance.

In the case of 1717 Foy, a conservative estimate, simply counting the trucks parked there, and the steady arrival and departure of long-haul vehicles, would put the number at 40 to 50 trucks, paying, according to truckers, $200. monthly to the land owner.  So is this now a commercial venture?

If Mr. Dhaliwal can reap this kind of easy money on his land, the most important question of all is, why can’t ALL land owners in Abbotsford pull in $8,000. extra each month?

If the owner is NOT allowed to use his land this way, how is it possible that he does so,…. in plain view of city staff,…… year after year after year?

1717 Foy St. is not an anomaly in Abbotsford.  There are large and small illegal truck parks all over the agricultural lands.

I do not write this because I object to them.  I write because of the galling inconsistency of having rules, regulations and laws imposed on us that leaders enforce on some, but noticeably not on others.  A culture rarely rises higher than its leaders.  Leadership here is telling us that the rules may be ignored with impunity, if you belong to a powerful enough lobby group. How does that affect the overall moral fibre of our community?  What does this do for respect for government, for law?  If enough of us lose respect for laws, will the bonds that hold us together unravel?

Over the past two decades I’ve shown you (city hall) stunning examples of ‘in your face’ land-use violations.  All of the properties were owned by Indo-Canadians.

Some made massive amounts of money for years before moving along, a notable such property being smack on the Fraser Highway for 5 years, parking easily 40 trucks at any given time. Councillor Moe Gill told me the fellow simply moved them over to a property across the Langley border.  In that approximate 5 year period the owner made, conservatively, $600,000. tax-free dollars, on those illegal truck rentals.  Enough money to buy more property, cash on the barrelhead.

The Indo-Canadian community is a significant political force here, as increasingly is true in all of BC.  It is disturbing that by-laws so noticeably do not apply to them.  If leaders, for fear of repercussions at the polls, will not apply the laws, as instituted by themselves, to one group, it follows those laws cannot be  valid, or imposed on anyone else.

Please send me a list of the fines levied against Mr. Dhaliwal, or other owners, the amount of those fines, and the date those fines were paid, since 2006.

Thank you.

Gerda Peachey

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