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Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen consders changes to farm worker accommodations

Bylaws for numerous electoral areas will be affected by proposed changes
The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen will hold a public information meeting on temporary farm worker accommodations. The meeting will be held Feb. 24. (Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen photo)

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen will hold a public information meeting on temporary farm labour housing.

The meeting will be held Thursday, Feb. 24 from 7 to 7:45 p.m.

In late 2020 and early 2021, the regional district received a number of referrals from the Agricultural Land Commission about proposals for accessory dwellings for farm worker accommodations that exceeded current zoning regulations.

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Regional district staff have reviewed electoral area official community plan bylaws and noted there is a mix of policy directions regarding farm labour accommodations.

To ensure the bylaws reflect the board’s position on farm labour accommodation, the administration has prepared a policy proposal regarding the use of temporary use permits. The approach is similar to that used for vacation rentals. It allows the board to assess the initial and continued need for farm worker accommodation and minimize the impact of accommodation use on farm land. The proposed amendments require oversized structures to be easily removable and to ensure accommodation units are constructed or placed where they are temporary or may be easily removed from the property.

The amendments are proposed for Electoral Areas A, C, D, E, F, H and I.

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John Arendt

About the Author: John Arendt

John Arendt has worked as a journalist for more than 30 years. He has a Bachelor of Applied Arts in Journalism degree from Ryerson Polytechnical Institute.
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