A crackdown is coming on “illegal” operations that take place on Kelowna farmland.
Plans are in the works for a new strategy to ensure that only actions legitimately related to agriculture are undertaken on local farms.
“Over the last number of years, staff have become aware of a significant increase in illegal activity on farm lands,” reads part of a report from Todd Cashin, director of the regional district’s community services department.
“In response, staff are proposing a comprehensive compliance and enforcement strategy that is aimed at consistency, effectiveness and fairness,” Cashin writes in the report, to be considered Thursday by regional directors.
Common types of illegal activities that occur on farmland, Cashin says, include such things as the dumping of debris, storing vehicles and running businesses that are not related to agriculture, such as landscaping companies.
Concern is also expressed in Cashin’s report about wineries, breweries and pot-growing operations with “significant building footprints” that take too much agricultural land out of production.
About 55% of the land base within the City of Kelowna has an agricultural zoning.
In recent years, the city and the Agricultural Land Commission have moved to better enforce rules against commercial businesses operating on farmland along Benvoulin Road.