City council opted not to take the advice of its Agricultural Advisory Committee on an application to exclude property from the province’s Agricultural Land Reserve.
Last Monday, council agreed submit the application for the exclusion of a 1.7-hectare property at 1121 Highway 97B from the land reserve.
Though in the reserve and zoned rural holding A2, the property is also designated as light industrial in the city’s official community plan. Furthermore, as explained by city development services director Kevin Pearson, the property “is part of a larger block of land that is designated for exclusion from the Agricultural Land Reserve… by past resolutions of the Agricultural Land Commission dating back to 1988.”
“I know council has made it a regular feature of what we do here to pass these along… I will vote against this motion,” commented Coun. Ken Jamieson, who chairs the city’s Agricultural Advisory Committee, which advised against the application’s submission.
Responding to Jamieson, Coun. Alan Harrison said he was willing to see the application go forward as a “test case” for the new ALC, “who have been looking perhaps a little closer at applications.”
“What causes me to do that is the fact that it has been part of the official community plan with the city for some time,” said Harrison. “So I do think we need their feedback, to see if they’re still on board with the plan…”
A staff memo notes that in January 2018, the applicant purchased the Cheap Garbage business and began operating on the property without proper licensing or approvals. After meeting with staff and learning of the contraventions, the applicant began the process to bring the intended use into compliance.