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Proposed Sicamous subdivision would accommodate family farm, market gardens

Subdivision application for property in Agricultural Land Reserve
A subdivision is being proposed within the Agricultural Land Reserve at 515 Dogwood Ave. in Sicamous. The planning and development committee discussed the application at its meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 16. (Google Maps)

A land owner in Sicamous is proposing to create a subdivision within the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR).

The District of Sicamous has received an Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) application for 515 Dogwood Ave. The owner is proposing to subdivide a portion of the property on the south boundary.

The property currently includes a single-unit dwelling, garage, outbuildings, pasture and 4.85 hectares of seeded hay land.

The property is located within the ALR and is just over seven hectares.

The owner proposes to create two 0.252 hectare-parcels, with a remainder of 6.75 hectares.

The property has frontage on Dogwood at (the end of Kappel Street) and Holly Avenue. It is currently serviced by a well and a septic system.

The owner says the proposed subdivision will support agriculture by providing an opportunity for a family to have a farm business with market gardens, fruit trees and bushes, and small-scale poultry production.

The proposed subdivision requires an application to the ALC. Sicamous’ planning and development committee is recommending that council authorize the application to the ALC.

Sicamous staff note the district’s official community plan supports initiatives that specifically attract young farmers seeking land, as well as support to purchase existing agricultural developments or bring new agricultural businesses and initiatives to the area.

“The proposed subdivision could demonstrate consistency with the official community plan in several ways,” reads a memo to the committee.

The property is zoned as A-1 Agriculture and Resource Management, a zoning that is intended to support diverse agricultural and resource extraction uses. Permitted uses include one-unit dwelling and farm use. The zoning supports parcel sizes smaller than the minimum of eight hectares at the discretion of the ALC.

The district’s building inspector, bylaw and fire chief had no objections to the subdivision application; however, the operations and engineering department was concerned one of the proposed lots will not have constructed public road frontage, or access to municipal water or sewer.

During the committee’s Wednesday, Aug. 16 meeting, staff noted the application would be stronger if the applicant could provide a guarantee the property will have residential while also supporting agriculture on the proposed two lots.

It was noted one way of doing so would be to have a restrictive covenant on title showing where the residence would be and where the farming area would be, or having a housing agreement restricting the sale of the property to young farmers.

READ MORE: Sicamous subdivision in talks since 2006 beginning development process

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Brendan Shykora
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Brendan Shykora

About the Author: Brendan Shykora

I started as a carrier at the age of 8. In 2019 graduated from the Master of Journalism program at Carleton University.
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