Sunday, July 02, 2006

Buying land in the ALR is a gamble

Landowners who speculate in the purchase of agricultural land seem to think that title to the land is tantamount to licence to change the landscape. Leaning on the notion that they have rights is similar to the behaviour of those World Cup strikers who choose to 'take a dive' in the penalty box and quickly put their hands up so that the referee will take notice that they have been wronged in some nefarious way. Here's a fact (perhaps First Pro - or whatever they now call themselves - is listening). When you buy agricultural land you get agricultural land. By doing so you choose to roll the zoning dice, or spin the urban planning wheel. In Maple Ridge, buying agricultural land in the hope that it may one day be accepted as a single residential subdivision or (dare I say it) a business park is closely related to other gambling activities in that you are 'betting against the house' - a bit of irony, under the circumstances.