Abbotsford mega-mansion could be used for farmworkers if needed: province

With no farming on-site and plenty of space in mansion, there's no need to keep home that was supposed to have been demolished years ago, officials say.

By Tyler Olsen | February 18, 2022 |1:46 pm

There’s no farming taking place at 32288 King Rd., but if the owners of one of Abbotsford’s fanciest estates really need farming help, their 15,000-square-foot mansion should have plenty of space for labourers, provincial agricultural officials say. And the owners certainly don’t need to keep a 66-year-old home that was supposed to have been torn down 16 years ago.

That response—fromBC’s Ministry of Agriculture and summarized by City of Abbotsford staff—came after the property’s new owner applied to legalize the older home.

In 2004, a new mansion was built on a five-hectare property in the Agricultural Land Reserve on King Road, near the Clearbrook Road highway exit. To comply with land use rules, the owners were supposed to demolish the original structure, which dated to 1956, upon completion of the new house.

Sixteen years later, the home still stands. The property previously functioned as “Sweet Dreams Luxury Inn.” It sold at the start of 2020 for $4.25 million, and its value is currently assessed at $6.5 million.

The owner wanted to apply to the Agricultural Land Commission for an exemption that would allow the house to be legally used by a farm employee. But provincial and city officials say there does not appear to be any farming occurring on the property, which is mostly occupied by trees, a massive lawn, a long driveway, and the homes. At a recent council meeting, the City of Abbotsford denied a request to forward the application to the Agricultural Land Commission.

This story originally appeared in The Current’s daily newsletter. Join 25,000 other Fraser Valley residents by subscribing to our newsletter. Every weekday morning you’ll get a new feature story and other stories, news, and events from Chilliwack, Abbotsford, Langley, Mission and the rest of the valley. See a recent newsletter here.

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Tyler Olsen

Managing Editor at Fraser Valley Current

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