Green thumbs up for new Kelowna agricultural plan

City council approves revamped plan after 18 months of work and consultations.

Kelowna council has approved an update to the city’s new Agriculture Plan.

The updated plan focuses on providing clear policy and land-use direction to ensure Kelowna’s agricultural policies are current, accurate, defensible, and align with other major corporate policy documents as well as provincial standards, said city staff in a presentation to council Monday afternoon.

The plan includes 51 actions the city can take a help, and encourage, agriculture in Kelowna.

“With more than 55 per cent of the city’s land use zoned for agriculture use, agriculture is inherent in the culture and identity of Kelowna and its residents,” said Mayor Colin Basran Tuesday. Basran was not on hand for the final vote in council chambers Monday, which passed unanimously. “Yet, this land is often at risk as it tends to be affordable and attractive for both agriculture and development.

Currently, about 40 per cent of all land in Kelowna is included in the provincial Agricultural Land Reserve.

Throughout the 18-month process to develop the new plan, public and stakeholders provided input. The B.C. Fruit Growers Association and the provincial Agricultural Land Commission both support the new plan.

Implementation of the plan will be initiated according to a strategy included in the plan. It outlines a phased approach, based on the timing and priority level associated with each action, said the city’s Danielle Noble-Grant.

Councillors praised the plan, saying it demonstrates the focus the city wants to bring to agriculture here.

The plan is available on line at the city’s website, at kelowna.ca/planning-projects.