Preserve Agricultural Land Reserve in our community

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PACE FC is a non profit and has purchased nearly 10 acres of ALR land on Tomlinson Rd  to make it a turfed, multi-sport, multi use area. They plan to apply to get it rezoned from A-1 to A-3. The plan is for one multi-sport field that will accommodate soccer, rugby, field lacrosse, and pickle ball. It will also facilitate track and field, outdoor yoga and Pilates. They mention a small portion of the land will be a community garden however  it will likely be a very small part of the overall development plan.  Access to the field is proposed from a one lane road, White Rd, which borders the Saanich Fairgrounds and a horse trail. This is a busy horse trail for park access. Horse access can not take place through what will effectively be a parking lot. The PACE-FC website has already announced this 'field' as PACE FC's new home and has advertised this on the website (along with photo), and in the community, in order to garner financial and advocacy support.  No one in the community surrounding the field has been contacted, nor has the municipality formally been approached in any way.  And yet, according to the website, the new soccer field and multiplex is announced to be completed by "Spring/Summer 2021".

Our concerns in this community are that we are an agricultural area, with small and medium sized farms and stables in the immediate region. Our rural roads along and off of Tomlinson are all cul-de sacs and meant for pedestrian, bicycle and horse use, and for low vehicle traffic. The proposed rezoning and development threaten to remove agricultural land from the reserve (as it may never move back to farming), as well as dramatically changing the landscape of this rural area. Roads would need to be widened and re-enforced; drainage would need to be considered; significant traffic congestion would arrive down these cul-de sac roads; parking lots would be developed; and light and noise pollution would increase significantly with large and tall field lights transforming our dark skies. We are very concerned that this seems to be moving forward in an underhanded way, garnering public support in the soccer community prior to moving through the necessary steps of connecting with the neighbouring residents, the municipality and, of course, the ALC. 

We hope to gather signatures from our community to show our local municipality that our community does NOT support this kind of development on ALR reserve land. We want to maintain our A1 zoning. We value our ALR for food security, a quiet area, a safe road for horses and pedestrians.  While community recreation and sports facilities are valuable, we would like to see this development proposed for a more appropriate location with better access and infrastructure. Please sign and share this important petition if you support the preservation of ALR land in our community.