Letter: Kelowna council should stand up for ALR’s credibility
To the editor:
Re: The McIntosh property request in Kelowna to be taken out of the Agricultural Land Reserve.
I agree with many of Jorgen Hansen’s points in his letter to the editor in the Sept. 26 Capital News.
I’m also wondering where people think we’ll get food once China and Chile need all of their products for themselves.
Many people don’t know from how far away most of our food already comes, nor do they care.
I can understand how the mayor and city council would’ve had to support Premier Christy Clark’s friends, the Bennetts, in their request to have the land taken out of the ALR.
Imagine saying no, and then asking for a favour of the government somewhere down the line.
It makes expedient sense politically, but to me it seems short-sighted.
Once this piece of land in question goes, so will the Hazel Dell pear orchard next to it.
I heard the farmer beside this proposed development on CBC the other morning, and he explained how a farm and residential/commercial buildings don’t mix.
He said he’ll be forced to sell due to all the complaints about his farming practices, as he said a ‘berm’ doesn’t work when you’re spraying.
That could start a domino effect of farms being sold right to KLO Road, and then what would stop it from happening all the way down to the Father Pandosy Mission?
With this move, farm land in this corner of southeast Kelowna could unravel like a Cowichan sweater with a torn cuff.
What if the council had said no: Farm land is so important for the future that even if this land stays empty that’s better than if it’s developed?
Would that discourage people from buying an orchard, removing the trees, waiting, and then applying to the ALR for exemption?
Why can’t the former Kelowna Secondary School site (at Richter and Highway 97) be developed, where it harms no one, when this plan harms so much of great value?
By the way, thank you Mohini Singh for being the only city councillor to say no to the McIntosh request.
But I believe this topic bores the public who are thinking with delight of another box store and 550 more homes on that strip along Springfield.
I doubt many people give a damn about a pear orchard or the fields of corn along Byrne Road.
I mean, why, when the grocery stores are filled to the rafters with food?
What a great example our civic leaders could’ve been by saying no to the request. And what a shame the ALR has become so weak this is even possible.