Oliver & Osoyoos  

Osoyoos council moves forward with proposed Main Street development following quiet public meeting

Moving on multi-family unit

After a quiet response from the public, the Town of Osoyoos is taking the next steps to develop a Main Street property for a multi-family residence.

On Tuesday, the municipality voted to submit an application to the Agricultural Land Commission to exclude 4704 Main Street, near Rattlesnake Canyon, from the Agricultural Land Reserve.

No members of the public spoke during the public hearing on the 0.2-hectare property. Currently, it exists as a single detached dwelling.

However, the town did receive a letter of opposition from a local resident, saying that only a small percentage of land is prime agricultural land.

“The loss of agricultural land is a tragic misuse of an irreplaceable resource,” reads the letter. “Letting the land lie fallow for years to let it seem unusable should not influence the decision.”

While the majority of council supported removing the property from the ALR, Mayor Sue McKortoff voted against the application.

“In this day and age when we have so many people moving into the area [...] and we need to look after our water and our land and I really think that the Agricultural Land Commission has a very important role to play in looking after land,” McKortoff said.

“That being said, I totally understand that [0.2] hectares is not a large piece of property, so I can kind of see both sides to this one and I think we do need to be really careful about what we are doing with our precious land."

A report by town planner Shannon Duong states the size and location of the land lends itself for a residential property.

“In conjunction with its isolation from agricultural lands which retain protections under the ALCA, it appears that the parcel is unlikely to be used for substantive agricultural production in the future or be included as part of a larger farm unit,” reads the report.

“The property has existing municipal water and sewer servicing, and is in relatively close proximity to an existing bus stop and trail networks, which provides merit with respect to the to its use for future residential development.”

Consultant for the property, Brad Elenko, did speak during the hearing, saying that he understood the concerns about the land having agricultural potential.

“The size of the part of the parcel clearly precludes any commercial activity, commercial agricultural activity on the property. So, really, the value of that property for agriculture is extremely limited,“ he said.

Moving forward, the town will be submitting a $750 ALC application and amending relevant bylaws for redevelopment.

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