Not surprisingly, a land use proposal is being moved ahead in the Enderby area.
On Wednesday, Regional District of North Okanagan directors reaffirmed a plan to send an application from North Enderby Timber to the provincial Agricultural Land Commission without the customary report from regional district planning staff.
“All of the (governance) processes take time and we’re trying to expedite the process,” said director Juliette Cunningham.
“For that area, not proceeding in a timely manner impacts the economy.”
North Enderby Timber wants to exclude 4.9 hectares adjacent to its Highway 97A site from the Agricultural Land Reserve so it can be used for a log storage yard and dry kiln. In return, the company wants to convert a former 4.9-hectare log sort yard on Crandlemire Road into agricultural capabilities.
North Enderby Timber officials asked RDNO two weeks ago to speed up the ALC application so other approval processes, such as an official community plan amendment, can proceed.
The company is concerned that if it doesn’t replace a kiln that was destroyed by fire in January, it could lose customers and that could negatively impact its 103 staff.
RDNO staff had indicated it would have taken about seven to eight weeks for the ALC application to be considered through the traditional process.
While she supported fast-tracking the ALC application, director Jackie Pearase wants assurances that issues of land use and the environment will be addressed.
“I have concerns about sending it to the ALC with no planning document,” she said.
“I want to make sure the ALC is doing its job and visits the site.”
Director Mike Macnabb says residents opposed to the land use change must be considered.
“In going through the letters of support, it seems self-serving – “If North Enderby exists, we exist,” said Macnabb referring to businesses associated to the mill operations.
But director Bob Fleming points out that if the ALC approves the application, North Enderby Timber must apply to RDNO for OCP and rezoning amendments and a development permit.
“All of the neighbours will get to have their say and we’re not stopping that,” said Fleming.