Agricultural plan takes root

Coldstream establishes agricultural plan to help farmers, despite protests

Coldstream politicians believe a vision for agriculture has been established in the community.

On Thursday, council adopted an agricultural plan and it will be added to the municipality’s official community plan.

“It’s important for there to be a focus on agriculture because it’s an important part of the economic system,” said Coun. Richard Enns.

“There are good approaches that will benefit farmers in how they use the land. There’s opportunities for agri-tourism and housing for farm workers.”

The process leading to the agricultural plan has been underway for a number of years.

“It’s been a long time coming,” said Coun. Maria Besso.

“I’m hoping it will help preserve the rural character of Coldstream. It will reiterate the importance of helping farmers and we could possibly encourage farmers’ markets or urban chickens.”

While most of the jurisdiction for agricultural land use falls with the provincial government, Besso says there is a need for the municipality to get involved because farming is vital to many local families.

“The plan states the district will advocate on behalf of agriculture,” she said.

However, parts of the plan have come under fire.

Some property owners are upset with limiting future parcel sizes in the Agricultural Land Reserve to a minimum of 10 hectares (24.7 acres). The minimum is currently set at two hectares (approximately five acres).

Critics claim that large parcels are too expensive to purchase and that will deter people from entering farming.

Besso, though, says lot sizes will be addressed during a zoning process and she believes limiting future parcel sizes is important.

 

“Much of Coldstream is already subdivided into small parcels so this is just preserving the large lots that are left,” she said.