The oldest continuously operating dairy in BC, Avalon Dairies, in an announcement issued last spring by the dairy’s owners, informed the public of their intention to list for sale the two parcels of land at which the dairy has long operated — the lands situated at 2595 East 43rd Avenue and 5805 Wales Street. Colliers International was instructed to market the historic lands as a prime real estate development property.
At a press conference held on the morning of October 8th, COPE City Council candidate, RJ Aquino, School Board candidate, Alan Wong, and Park Board candidate, Donalda Greenwell-Baker, committed to: “… doing everything possible to make sure that this historic agricultural land retains its integrity and not succumb to the high-density condominium development that characterizes so many newly developed Vancouver areas.” COPE calls for a heritage designation for the historic Avalon lands.
“This land plays an integral role in the South Vancouver community and has such a rich history. You can count on COPE to do everything in its power to keep it that way,” Greenwell-Baker told the assembled media present at the press conference.
Nestled in South Vancouver’s Fraserview / Killarney neighbourhood, the historic dairy site sits right in between the Vancouver School Board’s nursery and the Park Board’s Avalon Neighbourhood Greenway.
“With the VSB nursery on one side, and the greenway on the other, there is an opportunity to use these in conjunction with the dairy to develop a learning farm and community garden, that could potentially contribute to local farmers’ markets, all the while preserving the land’s history,” declared COPE school board candidate Alan Wong.
“The School Board, Park Board and City Council are all committed to issues of food security and environmental sustainability. Working across boards, we have an exceptional and rare opportunity to develop a comprehensive educational tool and community amenity that could contribute to the local economy while addressing issues of history, agriculture, food security and environmental sustainability.”
In support of the very important issue of designating the Avalon lands as an historic heritage site, thereby preserving the site for generations to come, COPE Vancouver City Council candidate Tim Louis declared, “I’m not opposed to development. The question, though, is this: development for whom? For the developer, or for the citizens of Vancouver who live in the neighbourhoods that are the heart of our city? We must preserve the Avalon lands, and place the decision-making in the hands of citizens.”