Farm changes challenged

The District of Coldstream is harvesting opposition to its proposed changes to agricultural land.

Coldstream is harvesting opposition to its proposed changes to agricultural land.

Several bylaw revisions are being considered which would affect farming properties – including limiting future subdivisions of large properties to two, five and 10 hectares.

But the initiative has left the Coldstream Acreage Owners’ Association with some serious concerns about the impact these changes could have on farming.

“By forcing people to ‘farm’ 24.7 acres (10 hectares), does this council think that farmers can make a viable living?” asks the association in a letter to council. “We have greater than 500 acres owned by (members) that disprove that anyone can make a living on 24.7 acres without additional income.”

Other proposed changes include farm home plate regulations, an increase in rural 30 zones from two to 30 hectares for future subdivisions, allowing secondary suites in all rural zones and permitting hens throughout Coldstream.

The association raises several issues with the changes, including tax implications, real estate values and rights.

Concerns are also being hatched among politicians with some of the changes.

The prospect of laying hens allowed in every backyard doesn’t sit well with some.

“Chickens belong on the farm, not in the urban setting,” said Coun. Peter McClean, whose thoughts were echoed by Coun. Doug Dirk.

Considering all the issues raised, Coldstream isn’t moving hastily to bring the changes to fruition.

“There’s a lot more discussion and research on items that is further to be done,” said Mayor Jim Garlick.