Few limits on agricultural land uses

With few limitations, almost every agricultural use is permitted on farm land within Summerland.

With few limitations, almost every agricultural use is permitted on farm land within Summerland.

Municipal planner Ian McIntosh said right to farm legislation allows farmers to use generally accepted farming practices for any form of agriculture.

There are some regulations in place for farmers in Summerland, but these deal with how far a building must be from a property line.

Seasonal tourist accommodations can be prohibited on farm land, and within Summerland only one farm offers seasonal camping for tourists.

Medical marijuana grow operations are allowed on land within the Agricultural Land Reserve, but changing legislation at the federal level will restrict how a grow operation must be run.

In addition, two B.C. municipalities are challenging the growing of medical marijuana as a permitted use on land within the Agricultural Land Reserve.

The regulations governing Agricultural Land Reserve properties have the potential to create rural-urban conflicts, Mayor Janice Perrino said.

The municipality cannot stop a farmer from using a parcel of land for livestock or poultry instead of fruit or vineyards.

“Hogs have the same rights as grapes,” she said.

She added that the permitted uses on agricultural land are part of the reason she and others on municipal council wish to create a growth plan with the majority of Summerland’s future growth occurring in the core of the community.

“The community should be at the core of the town and the agriculture should be on the outskirts.”