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Kelowna to crack down on farmland abuse in Sexsmith Road area

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March 21, 2016 - 4:30 PM

KELOWNA - The City of Kelowna is beginning enforcement measures against agricultural landowners in an area with a long history of illegal land use.

City councillors voted today, March 21, to proceed with a bylaw enforcement strategy in the area around Arab and Appaloosa Roads near Sexsmth Road south of UBC Okanagan.

The area is made up of large-lot residential properties, averaging about 0.8 hectares in size and totalling 35 hectares.

According to a report from community planning manger Ryan Smith, about a dozen of the properties have a history of non-conforming light industrial use, such as RV storage

Staff made the recommendation to move ahead with bylaw enforcement after residents in the affected area voted against a local area service plan that would have seen improvements made to infrastructure in the area, at their expense.

That would have allowed property owners using their land illegally to apply for retroactive rezoning, however the majority of 48 property owners said no to the proposal.

Smith described the area as “a bit odd” from a planning perspective, with industrial, residential and agricultural zones all converging on the same spot.

Under the new scheme, the official community plan will be amended to allow for limited light industrial use for properties on Sexsmith Road.

The properties along Arab and Appaloosa Roads will continue as future agricultural property and act as a transition area to the burgeoning residential area to the north.

Enforcement will take place over the next year beginning with notification to residents by letter of the city’s intent to enforce zoning bylaws in the area.

The city will give property owners one month to reply and year’s grace to those to say they will relocate their business or rezone their properties.

This is the second major bylaw enforcement strategy the city has pursued since last year when bylaw enforcement officers began progressive enforcement against abusers of agricultural land in the Benvoulin Road corridor.

Read more stories about agriculture in Kelowna here.

To contact a reporter for this story, email John McDonald at jmcdonald@infonews.ca or call 250-808-0143. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016
InfoTel News Ltd

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