The request of a Salmon Arm farmer to subdivide her property will likely be going to the Agricultural Land Commission with city council’s approval.
Owner Sharleen Miller addressed the city’s March 1 development and planning committee meeting, explaining she would like to subdivide the 18.9-hectare parcel at 2240 Highway 97B SE into two lots so her son can build a residence and help keep the farm productive into the future.
“I’m not seeking to take land out of the ALR now or in the future,” she emphasized, noting she’s seen farms in the community become less productive as farmers age. “We need to be encouraging young families to be our future farmers.”
Lot 1 would be the westernmost 3.8 hectares, where the house and the most active part of the farm, cattle and hay operations, are situated. Lot 2, 14.8 hectares on the eastern portion of the parcel, would be bounded north to south by a tributary of Canoe Creek.
Section 514 in the Local Government Act allows for the subdivision of a parcel that would otherwise not be permitted under minimum parcel size rules as long as it meets several requirements including: “the purpose of the subdivision is to provide a separate residence for a relative.”
In a four to three vote, the city’s agricultural advisory committee voted in favour of forwarding the application to the ALC.
Coun. Sylvia Lindgren asked if there would be an agreement to prevent the sons from selling the second lot. Miller said that is her plan.
Kevin Pearson, the city’s director of development services, said if the ALC approved the application it would likely require a covenant on title stating the land could not be sold, usually for five years.
Coun. Chad Eliason asked about the property being split by the creek and by Highway 97B.
Pearson said it’s a rare situation but a little portion on northwest side would have to be hooked across the highway to connect with the new lot.
Eliason was alone in voting against moving the application forward. If a majority of council is in favour at its March 10 meeting, the application will proceed to the ALC. No formal public hearing will be held although the owner is permitted to speak if she wishes.