Agricultural Land Commission to Kelowna: Trust yourself

ALC bosses says city doesn't have to forward applications for a change of land use in ALR if city does not support them.

The province’s Agricultural Land Commission appears to be leaving the final word on some applications to vary use of farm land in the city in the hands of Kelowna council.

According to Mayor Colin Basran, in a meeting Monday with ALC chairman Frank Leonard and CEO Kim Grout, he and his councillors were told they don’t have to forward issues on to the commission for a ruling if council rejects the  application under its zoning and land-use rules.

“That’s what I took away from (the discussion),” said Basran.

But Basran said his council has yet to discuss if it will continue the practice of forwarding applications that don’t have the support of council to the ALC.

Up to now, Basran agreed it has generally been accepted that if a municipal council does not support an application, the commission will likely reject it too. “What we heard from the ALC was, have confidence. You have regulations in place to deal with these issues. Don’t feel you have to guess,” Basran told reporters following the meeting.

He said the ALC consider municipalities to be equal partners in enforcing, regulating and protecting agricultural land.

Basran was also happy to hear that the ALC plans to double the number of inspectors it has here to enforce Agricultural Land Reserve rules to four and add another two by the end of the year. That is a big issue for Kelowna as about 40 per cent of its land base is in the reserve.

The other big win for the city was an endorsement of Kelowna’s position on housing for temporary foreign farm workers. The city is opposed to large permanent structures being built on farms to house the workers and has rejected applications for them in recent month.

Basran said the ALC chairman and CEO support Kelowna council on that issue.

“Grout and Leonard’s comments were that (housing structures) should be temporary in nature because it is seasonal,” said Basran. “Massive permanent structures aren’t in keeping with the spirit of what’s intended for temporary foreign worker housing.”

 

 

Just Posted

B.C. Rural Party co-founder rebukes pro-NDP accusation

Telkwa Mayor Darcy Repen disputes being NDP campaign supporter

Incumbent trustee candidate reassesses SOGI 123 impact

Lee-Ann Tiede says mandated student inclusiveness program has some issues

Okanagan Regional Library introduces ASL story-time

The Rutland and Westbank locations will host the events

Kelowna-Lake Country Liberal MP acclaimed for his party’s nomination

Stephen Fuhr runs unopposed as the party’s standard-bearer for the next federal election

Kelowna Rockets ready to take off into regular season

The home opener kicks things off in Kamloops on Friday

B.C. RCMP turn to Const. Scarecrow to shock speeders into slowing down

New addition will watch over drivers from a Coquitlam median for first-of-its-kind pilot in Canada

B.C. home to 1/3 of Canada’s overdose deaths in first 3 months of the year

There were 1,036 overdose deaths in the first three months of the year, with 94 per cent accidental

B.C. candidate moves from hospice care to council race

He beat terminal cancer twice and entered hospice when he decided to run for council.

Canadian tobacco exec pushes back against vaping health concerns

A warning from Interior Health about the unknown health risks of vaping is getting a partial rebuke

Ministry of Agriculture commits $300,000 to help B.C. farmers obtain land

B.C. Land Matching Program supports access to affordable farmland for young farmers

Canadian air force short 275 pilots

Attrition outpaces recruitment and training claims Air Force

Teacher suspended after physically shushing, saying ‘shut up’ to student

Grade 5 student reported feeling ‘confused and a little scared’

High spirits after first week of classes at Shuswap’s outdoor school

South Canoe school is taking student learning into the great outdoors

Most Read