Letter: Farm prices not just about mega homes in Richmond

Dear Editor,

Having attended public meetings on the ALR home size issue, perhaps the most relevant and apropos comment I’ve heard was, “That ship has sailed,” a comment from a long-time Richmond farmer.

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The context was a discussion as to when “farmland” prices began to exceed the grasp of new farmers, which, ironically, was approximately the same time the ALR was created.

This leads to a discussion of “lift,” meaning that when non-ALR property values increase, history shows that ALR land prices will rise as well. In other words, a rising tide lifts all boats.

For sake of argument, the price ratio of non-ALR to ALR land may be 10:1 for the same sized property. Want affordable farmland? Then find a mechanism to depreciate non-ALR land to 1970s prices, and ALR land prices will follow. 

Example: Take your single family home, and sell it for $100,000 as one’s duty to make ALR land affordable. Any volunteers?

Large homes in the ALR have been scapegoated for ALR land’s “lack of affordability,” but many thought this issue was addressed by council earlier this year.

However, within 24 hours of being sworn in, city councillors decided to cater to mob mentality and, again, scapegoat the ALR home size issue by attacking the rights of ALR property owners by further reducing ALR home sizes. 

I have yet to read any report that correlates ALR home size directly to farmland affordability.

What should concern all Richmond property owners is that the current council appears ready, willing and able to revisit any and all issues based on kneejerk emotions, mob mentality and without any sound logical basis for these decisions, let alone compensation for what is effectively continued expropriation — bordering on communism.

Simply stated, council is actively aiming to reduce the property values of a targeted class of private property owners. Who’s next ?

R.A. Hoegler


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