Non-farm uses proposed for Richmond's farmland

The Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) in Richmond is the subject of two applications at council committee meetings next week: to add soil to a blueberry farm on Blundell Road and to build a private school covering 10 acres on No. 5 Road.

An application for 9500 No. 5 Rd. proposes to develop the former Mylora Golf Course for Pythagoras Academy, a private school, and revert part of the property back to farming.

A previous application to divide the property into five lots for institutional use was denied by the ALC in 2017.

The Pythagoras Academy, currently located on Odlin Crescent, is planning a new school for 1,000 students from junior kindergarten to Grade 12. It currently has students from kindergarten to Grade 7.

The school would include a 400-seat theatre, a commercial kitchen, an artificial turf as well as other sports fields. The cost is estimated at $106 million.

The school charges tuition fees of $17,700 to $18,800 for domestic students and $28,000 for international students.

This application will be dealt with at council’s planning committee meeting on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, an application to the City of Richmond for two properties on Blundell Road proposes to raise almost nine acres of farmland by 50 centimetres (20 inches) by bringing in 2,500 truckloads of soil.

This would amount to 17,500 cubic metres of soil and is intended to improve the drainage and make it easier for machinery to move around.

Four acres of blueberry bushes were removed from the farm in 2018 because they were diseased as a result of excessive water on the property, according to a report coming to committee on Monday.

The properties are at 11300 and 11340 Blundell Rd.

Council is being asked to forward the applications to the Agricultural Land Commission, which would ultimate make a decision on the non-farm uses in the ALR.

© Richmond News