Subdivision application raises ALR questions

NEWS/ REGION — A rural property owner’s subdivision application took on new complexities Thursday in light of the provincial government’s proposed changes to the Agricultural Land Reserve.

TNRDlogoThe owner of  a 23-hectare parcel on Gardi Road in the Cherry Creek area wants to split it into two lots but needs approval from the Agricultural Land Commission. As part of the process, the application was referred to the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board of directors for an opinion.

At Thursday’s board meeting, it seemed the application would routinely be rejected due to concerns about preserving farm land, until Cache Creek Director John Ranta raised his hand.

He said the board’s policy used to be that such applications would be “considered for refusal” rather than the board simply stating outright opposition. Ranta noted that the owner proposed to enhance the soil on the resulting smaller lot from class 5 to the better class 3 quality.

“I could take a rock pit and enhance it into something,” said Ranta, but wondered if the board should accept the application and forward it to the Agricultural Land Commission, which will make the decision.

Director Steven Rice worried that he was “perilously close” to agreeing with Ranta. “You need to take a long, hard look when an application like this comes in,” he said, especially in view of the government’s likely changes to the ALR.

Ronaye Elliott, the director in whose electoral area the land is located, said, “This piece of land has no access to water and no water on it,” but staff said it has an irrigation licence.

Ranta’s motion to amend the TNRD’s position to “considering” rejection received majority support from the board.

About Mel Rothenburger (9358 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

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