An application is bound for the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) which, if approved, will help open the doors to development of a new distillery in Sicamous.
Development services manager Scott Beeching provided background on the non-farm use application for property at 1760 Trans-Canada Hwy. at the Sept. 28 District of Sicamous council meeting.
“Right now they do have a little bit of an agricultural operation and they’d like to add a distillery,” said Beeching of the applicants.
Beeching noted that if 50 per cent or more of the products that go into the distillery are produced on the 4.04-hectare property, the applicants wouldn’t need to submit the non-farm use application.
“But before they make any investments in it, and they actually start producing something through the distillery, we want to make sure that if they happen not to be able to get that 50 per cent on site, they can move forward with their business venture,” said Beeching. “But in the future they do aim to try to produce as much on site as possible.”
In their submission to the ALC, the applicants explain their proposal to clear land that is “old growth treed and brush to construct a building for the purpose of creating blended whisky products and other distilled products. The building will contain a front tasting room, offices and areas for: distillation, storage, refrigerators, barrel storage and packaging.”
The applicants explain they have cleared three acres where they’re prepared to grow more than 50 per cent of the rye and corn required for the distillery, and the “various fruits, berries and nuts produced on the property will be used for various flavouring.”
Beeching noted access to the property is a private driveway shared with two other properties.
“They were able to get an agricultural access permit for the property,” said Beeching of the applicants. “If the distillery is up and running and they’re having a tasting room or retail sales, they’ll have to amend their access permit.”
Regarding the road access, Coun. Malcolm Makayev shared concerns raised about its safety and questioned if council, should it approve the application’s submission to the ALC, would be supporting something dangerous. Beeching said the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure approved the applicants’ access permit and he felt comfortable recommending the application be submitted to the land commission.
Coun. Jeff Mallmes said if the ALC gives its approval, the applicants would need to apply to the district for a building permit.
Council voted unanimously in support of the application being submitted to the ALC.
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