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Penticton  

Some oppose RV storage lot

Staff with the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen are recommending the board reject a proposal from an Osoyoos-area farmer who wants to charge to store boats and recreational vehicles on his property.

The owners of just over 5 hectares at 8715 Road 22 want to store a row of about 20 boats and RVs on their property for paying customers, but the RDOS doesn’t think the proposal is a good fit for the agricultural property.

“The provision of “outdoor storage”... is generally considered to be a light industrial use not suitable for agricultural parcels,” a report for the board states.

The owners, Grant and Elain Lyver, submitted several letters of support from neighbours and previous customers, urging the RDOS to approve the plan.

“We know how difficult it is to grow any crop in this area due to the low lying ground and the alkaline soil,” neighbours Mr. and Mrs. Vanderhide wrote in a letter. “In order to augment a farmers income they need to be creative to financially make ends meet.”

The rest of the property — which is not inside the ALR — currently grows cherries, prunes and hay.

However, the owner of an existing self-storage facility in Osoyoos is deeply opposed.

In an email to the RDOS, Gene Lockerby says he pays $22,000 per year to run his business “within the correct zone” in an industrial area.

“These types of mom and pop operations are in direct competition and pay a fraction of the property taxes,” he added.

The property owners are applying for a three-year temporary use permit in the hopes of proving to the RDOS that the RV storage business would not negatively impact the area while they develop a permanent business plan.

RDOS staff maintain the plan is “uncharacteristic of the area,” and are recommending the board reject the idea at their next meeting on Jan. 4.

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