Letter: Value of ALR is in fertility of the land

An RV park doesn’t at all support agriculture, it merely replaces it on valuable food-growing land.

To the editor:

The Agriculture Land Reserve comprises just five per cent of B.C.’s total land base, so I don’t agree with E Barry Patterson’s letter in support of an RV park on ALR land. (Healthy Farm Income Good for Economy, Feb. 3 Kelowna Capital News) Agricultural land has been recognized as a finite resource by the government, and therefore it’s protected from development for the public good.

Research shows it could cost up to $100,000 to develop these 10 sites, so it doesn’t make sense for a land owner to remove them once the land is developed in this way. As well, an RV park doesn’t at all support agriculture, it merely replaces it on valuable food-growing land.

Whether neighbours object to it or not isn’t the point, as ALR land is held for the public interest. And if people choose to grow hay on acreage that’s fertile and could grow much more, that’s their choice, and there’s no reason for the city to approve RV sites on the property.

The strawberry farm at the corner of KLO and Benvoulin asked for exclusion from the ALR and the city didn’t support it.  The Bennett lot on Springfield was turned down from coming out of the ALR. Why then would this piece, in this same corner of town, be allowed to develop RV sites?

The city is setting a dangerous precedent, as there is no public value to an RV park, but there is immense value for all of us in arable land.

Moni Schiller, Kelowna

 

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