April 29, 2014 - 4:27 PM
SUMMERLAND — After much debate between officials and residents, Summerland town council voted in favour of the controversial land swap last night.
The now adopted bylaw proposes 80 hectares of prime agricultural land be replaced with 90 hectares of less-farmable land. This “prime” land hasn’t been considered part of the Agricultural Land Reserve since 2005, after it was removed from the reserve list so a golf course could be built on that territory.
Last year Summerland residents started the Save Summerland’s Agricultural Land campaign to oppose the removal of 215 acres of agricultural land the city wanted to build on.
They argued taking away this land would hurt the town’s agricultural economy, not just for farmers but for people who work on the farms, and the business that sell products, among others.
“Unfortunately, council chose not to listen to us” said Elaine Carlson. “Thankfully, we have a Land Commission entrusted to make the right decision for agriculture. The facts are on our side. This is a bad deal for farmland and we are confident the Land Commission will make the right decision for agriculture.”
The Agricultural Land Commission will review the bylaw and if they approve, Council will take another look before final approval.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014