Farmer harvests yurt plan

Spallumcheen resident Troy Sievert believes adding three traditional style yurts will benefit tourism

The yurts won’t hurt.

In fact, if all goes well, Spallumcheen resident Troy Sievert believes adding three traditional style yurts – portable, round tents covered, in this case, by canvas – to his Otter Lake Road farm property will be good for him and the agri-tourism request will benefit the township.

“We’re building a bedroom,” said Sievert in a presentation to Spallumcheen council. “The yurts will be 15-square-feet in diameter, and they’ll become fully furnished with a queen-size bed, night stand and lantern.”

There will be no power and water in the yurts, and Sievert is also proposing to build a washroom facility (handicap accessible) and an adjoining small cabin with only a bedroom, sink and hot plate at the back.

Sievert’s small, working farm currently grows grain and has some livestock.

The addition of yurts, he said, will build the agri-tourism aspect in the community.

“It’s not a campsite, there will be no RVs (recreational vehicles), and there will be a revenue stream for the township,” said Sievert. “We’re trying to develop our farm, do some farm gate sales and try to send everyone that comes to our farm laded up with as many goods as they can get from our little town.”

The hurdle for Sievert is that the township’s zoning bylaw does not permit agri-tourism accommodations.

He has applied for a zoning text amendment that would allow the yurts, but the regional district, in a report to council, recommended against.

“The proposed agri-tourism accommodations would not comply with the agricultural policies of the official community plan or the campground regulations outlined in the zoning bylaw,” said township planner Greg Routley.

However, the regional district did provide an alternate recommendation, one with eight conditions that could be considered to allow the yurts.

The conditions include the yurts being operated seasonally (not in winter, said Sievert), only three are allowed on the property, along with the washroom facility/cabin, nobody can stay more than 30 days in one calendar year and it removed the campsite requirement.

“I think it’s a great idea and we should support it,” said Coun. Joe Van Tienhoven.

The alternate recommendation was unanimously passed by council.

“This really is a test case for Spallumcheen,” said Coun. Christine Fraser. “You’re going to be scrutinized on what happens there. We’re taking this in good faith that you are doing this the way you’re saying you’re going to do it.

“If so, that’s great, it’s going to be good for the community and maybe help some other farms with similar ideas. I think we’re taking a bit of a risk but I think it’s a great idea and hope it pans out for you.”

Council passed first two readings of the zoning text amendment bylaw to allow the yurts. The matter will next be referred to a public hearing.

 

Just Posted

Two drowning incidents on Okanagan Lake serve as safety reminder

B.C. drowning fatalities down compared to August 2018

Vernon summer concert series extended

Extra week added to Downtown Vernon Association’s popular summer concerts at city hall

Dog lost in Vernon, do not approach

Owner on the hunt for her fur baby, Kasper

Pickleball tourney swinging into Vernon

More than 300 players will compete in the tournament’s third year.

Vernon mayor lists two potential new sites for cultural centre

Victor Cumming said while old hotel site is preferred, old Civic Arena or Polson Park remain in play

It’s back! Aritzia releases annual warehouse sale dates

Your favourite summer end sale is back and ready to take your money

Bodies of two missing Surrey men found near Ashcroft: RCMP

Ryan Provencher and Richard Scurr have been missing since July 17

Black bear kills donkey in Revelstoke, put down by RCMP

Conservation Officer says once they attack livestock they are a danger to the public

B.C. manhunt suspects left cellphone video before they died: family

Family member says Kam McLeod, Bryer Schmegelsky recorded final wishes

VIDEO: RCMP unveil new, state-of-the-art forensics lab in Surrey

The laboratory is expected to handle thousands of forensic services from across Canada annually

Shuswap SPCA seeks funds to treat dog that may lose an eye

Two surgeries for severe eye infection unsuccessful, removal a consideration

Scheer promises EI tax credit for new parents if Conservatives form government

The government currently taxes employment insurance benefits for new parents

Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival exceeds expectations

Artists, attendees and organizers praise effort behind successful event

Most Read