The construction of a new winery north of Oliver is the subject of a public hearing.
The regional district is organizing the meeting (for early July) to get public feedback on the proposal for 793 Secrest Hill Road.
The application, under owner Naomi Garrish, proposes to amend the Official Community Plan and Zoning Bylaw to allow the development. Agriculture is a permitted use in the current Small Holdings Three zone, but a winery is only permitted within an agriculture zone. That’s why the applicant is seeking a rezoning to AG1.
Garrish says the proposal includes a small production winery. Last year she planted the three-acre farm with two acres of grapes. In addition to a home, there is a former barn building that will be upgraded and renovated to accommodate the winery.
“Since the existing structures are adequate, we will not be looking to use up any more land for building purposes,” Garrish said.
She noted the change in zoning will make the property more viable as an agricultural use.
On May 21, the Area C Advisory Planning Commission recommended to the regional district that the proposal be approved.
It was noted that Agricultural Land Commission requirements dictate that since the property is less than two hectares, at least 50 per cent of the grapes used for the production of wine must be grown on the property.