Area C’s Advisory Planning Commission reviewed two farm proposals Tuesday night.
Gurdev and Nirmaljeet Bahniwal are applying to have an accessory dwelling converted into farm labour accommodation for their orchard workers at 5526 Primrose Lane south of Oliver.
District planner Chris Garrish said Area C’s Official Community Plan supports establishing housing for seasonal workers, but he raised a concern about the building in question previously used for the storage of potentially hazardous materials.
“There may be significant challenges for the property owner in bringing this structure into compliance with the BC Building Code.”
Garrish recommended a covenant stating the use of the dwelling unit be restricted to farm labour only, and that the unit be decommissioned once the need for farm labour no longer exists.
In the second proposal, Avro Oil Limited is seeking to use the property at 7910 Highway 97 (old Wilcox corner) for storage. The site was recently leveled to accommodate the storage of RVs.
The applicant states that no agricultural activities have taken place on this property, which previously housed a mechanic’s shop and a single residence. Before that it accommodated a convenience store.
The applicant says there is no water to the one hectare property, and no agricultural improvements have been made to it.
District planner Chris Garrish mentioned that the RDOS received complaints in 2018 about topsoil being removed from the property and replaced by gravel. But this enforcement file was subsequently closed with no contravention of bylaws.
Garrish noted the Official Community Plan promotes maintaining commercial sites, but added some reservations about the alienation of agricultural land.