Farm worker accommodation decision made too hastily

As a resident of the area I have been given very little opportunity to voice my concerns.

To the editor:

Further to the Capital News story regarding council’s approval of seasonal workers’ accommodations located on McKenzie Road.

As a resident of the area I have been given very little opportunity to voice my concerns.

Several council members met with the owner/farmer on site, when I requested the same consideration, my request was ignored.

City council held a closed meeting led by Greg Sauer, the city environment and land use planner, to discuss approval of the application for accommodations, which again did not allow me to voice my concerns.

When Greg Sauer was asked if this was the best location for placement of the trailers, his response was that it’s a subjective opinion. If that is true, then I believe I and my neighbours have the right to put forth an opinion.

Council was concerned this proposal would provide safe housing for seasonal workers. To my knowledge, there has been no investigation to determine if discarded 10 to 15 year old oil patch trailers, placed on a west facing slope with no vegetation around or air conditioning is a safe environment.

As the present location considered is not within the gaze of the farmer, the question also arises if proper supervision of the workers is possible. Could it be the farmer does not want this in his own backyard?

It’s my opinion that council rushed this decision to satisfy the farmer’s need to bring workers in by July 15.

In other words, the farmer’s poor planning precipitated a decision without proper investigation and public input.

Seasonal workers’ accommodation should be a grave concern to any citizen within the city that is adjacent to Agricultural Land Reserve land. It’s a distinct possibility  this could happen in your neighbourhood.

Jacqueline Parser,

Kelowna

Kelowna Capital News