A local waste disposal company may have some clean up to do on a piece of property that is to remain agricultural land.
In March of this year, Salmon Arm council supported forwarding a land-exclusion application by Cheap Garbage Services Ltd. owner Carson Dorward to the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) for a 1.7 hectare property at 1121 Highway 97B (at the 97B/10th Avenue SE intersection).
A city staff memo from March noted the applicant had purchased Cheap Garbage and began operating on the property without proper licensing or approvals. After meeting with staff, the applicant began the process to bring the intended use of the property into compliance. Though the property is designated as a light industrial special development area in the city’s official community plan, it remained in the Agricultural Land Reserve, necessitating the application to the ALC.
An Oct. 12 report from ALC land use planner Riccardo Peggi states the commission has denied the application, and details how the commission arrived at this determination.
Regarding the city’s light industrial designation for the property, Peggi’s report notes the redesignatation occurred after the city received a letter from ALC staff stating the “commission would likely have no objection to their designation as industrial because the adjoining lots to the west in the ALR are designated for industrial purposes and supported by the commission…,” but without a resolution from the commission itself to “confirm its stance on the industrial designation of the area including the property.”
The report states the property is currently being used to store bins, trucks and other equipment.
Based on a physical assessment, the ALC deemed the property to have “secondary agricultural capability.” Furthermore, responding to the applicant’s submission there is a “shortage of available industrial land,” the commission found only four of 20 nearby properties endorsed by the commission in 1988 for industrial use have been excluded from the Agricultural Land Reserve, and, based on aerial photos of the area, the commission’s executive committee “observed that many of the industrially designated properties are not currently utilized for industrial uses.”
Council was reluctant to argue the ALC’s decision, but commented on the thoroughness of the report.
Ken Jamieson, the only councillor to vote against the application’s submission to the ALC – in line with the city’s agricultural committee he chaired – was grateful for the decision but also stressed the need to support Cheap Garbage.
“I know that intersection well and we said from the start, as a majority on the committee, that that is not an appropriate use of that land, and I’m glad that the ALC agrees,” said Jamieson. “The other side of it, however, is we need this enterprise in town, we need Cheap Garbage to be able to do their business because they’re an important part of what we do here for waste management and removal, so we’re kind of in a spot here. They’re in a very difficult spot so I urge this council and the next to help Cheap in their seeking out a new piece of property so they can continue their service because it is valuable.”