NON-FARM BUSINESS Oliver Rental Centre has been operating within the Agricultural Land Reserve since 2018, but the use is not permitted under the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen zoning bylaw. (RDOS photo)

Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen begins action against rural Oliver business

Since 2018, Oliver Rental Centre has been a non-farm business on agricultural land

The regional district is pursuing legal action against a business in rural Oliver.

This means the business must comply with set guidelines or risk being shut down.

The Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen (RDOS) is beginning injunctive action against a non-farm business operating on Agricultural Land Reserve land near Oliver.

In report presented to the regional district board, Laura Miller, building and enforcement services manager, said the use of the property for the business is in contravention of the zoning bylaw.

The property, located at 5693 Sawmill Rd., Oliver, lies within the land reserve. There is a single detached house, a shop and a double garage on the property, as well as roughly 8,000 square metres of land under agricultural production.

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While the rental business would be permitted in the General Commercial, Service Commercial and General Industrial zones in the area, it is not allowed in the AG1 zone.

The business earlier operated within the town of Oliver but relocated in April, 2018.

In December, 2018, the regional district board voted not to authorize a non-farm use application for the business to proceed to the Agricultural Land Commission.

On Dec. 17, 2018, the property owner was notified of this decision and told to cease operation immediately. All equipment and materials relating to the business were to be removed within 30 days.

The matter has come back to the regional district twice, in February and in July, 2019, but the board has not approved an application to the land commission for the non-farm use of this property.

“Reasonable efforts have been made to achieve the voluntary compliance with the property owner through a cessation of the use,” Miller said in the report. “It is further noted that the property owner continues to use the land in contravention of the bylaws despite receiving repeated notices not to do so.”

The motion to begin injunctive action received regional district board approval.

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