Council Supports Otter Co-op/Maple Meadows Equestrian Centre Application for Non-Farm Use to ALC

Updated April 8, 2022

The City would like to clarify that Council fully supports the Otter Co-op’s efforts to help a new local business become a Otter Co-op dealer for essential animal/livestock feed and farm related products. The collective goal is that Otter Co-op and the new retail operation can continue to proudly serve and provide essential supplies to our community for many more years.

On March 29, 2022, City Council unanimously approved the referral of a non-farm use application to the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) that would see a new independent dealership location for Otter Co-op feed and agricultural products at the Maple Meadows Equestrian Centre. The Otter Co-op is currently located at 12343 Harris Road but is expected to be displaced by the end of 2022 due to the Harris Road Underpass Project. The joint application seeks to permit retail sales of farm feed and other farm related products to an existing building at the Maple Meadows Equestrian Centre at 13634 Harris Road.

“Council is committed to maintaining the availability of farm feed and supplies in the community,” says Mayor Bill Dingwall. “The Otter Co-op has been providing a valuable service to farmers in Pitt Meadows since the 1960’s and is instrumental in ensuring that farmers have local access to supplies needed to carry out farming operations.” 

The proposal is for a retail area in one of the existing buildings at Maple Meadows Equestrian Centre that allows for the sale of:

  • Animal/livestock/farm feed;
  • Supplements and minerals;
  • Shovels, forks and wheelbarrows;
  • Water bowls and buckets; and
  • Field supplies, seeds and fertilizers.  

“Since the revised west alignment of the underpass was determined, Council and staff have been working with the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, Agricultural Advisory Committee, and business owners to ensure that the Otter Co-op continues to serve local farm producers and the community,” says Mayor Bill Dingwall. “The Otter Co-op is an important asset in Pitt Meadows and the City supports their involvement for many more years to come.”

Commercial retail space, especially one that can store large volumes of farm feed is limited in the City’s urban area. However, the City’s Official Community Plan supports the diversification of the agricultural economy to include value-added agricultural business initiatives in appropriate locations including on-farm sites.

The Otter Co-op dealer proposal offers a number of community benefits including: supports local business, keeping farm feed in the community, reducing environmental impacts. 

With Council support, the City is hopeful that the ALC can see these benefits to the community, recognize the need for diversity to encourage sustainability and viability for the operators, and ultimately approve the application.