Crackdown on agricultural land abusers in Kelowna gets some results

A file photo of a tractor working on agricultural land.
Image Credit: Shutterstock


KELOWNA - It’s taken a year but the City of Kelowna's agricultural enforcement program is bearing some fruit.

The Benvoulin corridor was the initial target and rural planning manager Todd Cashin in a presentation to city council said staff had targeted 16 of the worst offenders — generally people or companies operating business illegally on cheap agricultural land — and had achieved a measure of compliance from 13 of them.

Some had changed their operations to meet the rules and others had moved their operations elsewhere.

“We consider it very successful so far,” Cashin told councillors.

The remaing three, two landscape construction companies and a composting operation, are facing continued pressure to comply and could soon end up in court in with the city, Cashin said.

Up next is the Appaloosa Road area near Sexsmith, Cashin said, where staff have identified 19 offenders and are preparing a similar enforcement campaign.

The offenders will be asked first for voluntary compliance and city staff will work them to achieve that, he added, before considering more aggressive action.

Coun. Gail Given asked if the businesses that relocated had moved to properties where their business was zoned to operate.

“I wouldn’t want the process to relocate the problem,” she said.

Cashin said he wasn’t sure where all of them had gone but said some had moved to West Kelowna or other jurisdictions.

“We did chase a few of them around,” he added.

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