Council approves land’s removal from agricultural reserve

Owners want to subdivide a portion of Valleyview Road property

  • Jan. 3, 2012 6:00 p.m.

A small slice of Penticton farmland that couldn’t be farmed may soon be taken out of the ALR.

Penticton council received a recommendation from its agricultural committee regarding a parcel of land at 3865 Valleyview Rd., whose owners want to apply to subdivide a one-acre portion of property at the back given its lack of arability.

Falling under the ALR, the subject property was created through a lot line adjustment in 2006 that saw two parcels approximately five acres in size consolidated into the current vineyard. A small homesite at 3851 Valleyview is separated from the larger parcel. The consolidation was supported at the time by the Agricultural Land Commission.

The proposal arose because the applicant is contending the segment of land bordering on Brantford Avenue is not viable farmland, as it is separated by a step embankment.

The applicants hired a qualified viticulturist to review the property’s potential for grape production, and the analysis concluded that less than 10 per cent of the site is potentially suitable for agricultural use only if extensive earthworks were undertaken.

“I hope everybody knows that I’m a strong supporter of the ALR,” Coun. Garry Litke said, “and the agriculture committee supports this, and they don’t make a recommendation like this lightly.”

Litke said the entire committee visited the site, and upon inspecting the steep slope, realized a farmer would have to “scramble” to tend to the slope, which made it impossible for machinery to pass up and down.

“Try as they might for the agriculture committee to make this piece of land viable for agriculture, they could not,” he said.

Council unanimously approved the agricultural committee’s recommendation to offer a positive recommendation to the Agricultural Land Commission.


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