A large cherry grown operation wants to house 140 temporary farmworkers on its property at the north end of Kelowna. —Image: Capital News file

Large farm worker housing plan set for approval

Kelowna city council expected to approve housing for 140 workers on Sharks Road farm

Update: Kelowna city council has approved a cherry-grower plan t build dormitory housing for 140 workers on a farm north of the city.

Council gave Coral Beach Farms the go-ahead Monday after hearing the plan fit in with its agricultural plan and several outstanding issues had been dealt with by both the ministries of transportation and agriculture. Council gave initial approval to the plan in February.

The plan calls for two blocks of dormitory housing for temporary workers on the farm on Shanks Road in the northern part of Kelowna. The housing will be used for 10 months of the year.

The approval came over the objections of several neighbouring land owners, who fear the creation of the housing will affect their properties negatively.

Original story: A controversial plan by one of the largest cherry-producing businesses in the Okanagan to build dormitories to house 140 workers on its north Kelowna farm is expected to be approved by Kelowna city council today.

The plan, by Lake Country-based Coral Beach Farms, would see two groups of trailers—with dormitories, kitchen, laundry, parking and eating areas—located on the northwest corner of its farm at 4133 Shanks Road.

Over the objections of several area residents who fear the dormitories will impact the privacy and value of their properties, city council gave the plan initial approval in February, but had to wait until the Ministry of Transportation approved several access issues. That has now been done.

See related story: Farm Worker housing proposal sent to public hearing

According to city planning staff, the Shanks Road farm site was selected because it was central to the cherry-growing business’s substantial operations in the Central Okanagan and is well-served by transportation routes and is close to Kelowna International airport. A large amount of the company’s cherries are grown for export.

Workers housed in the dormitories will work on the farm and be bused to other operations the business has in the area. The housing will be used for 10 months of the year.

In addition to farm worker housing, the company also plans to build a packinghouse and water reservoir for the business on the Shanks Road property.

In initially approving the plan in February, city council said it was consistent with its agricultural plan.

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