by John Arendt
A request to allow an expansion of a secondary house on an agricultural property was denied.
The request, for a building at 17216 Garnett Valley Road, was to allow the maximum height of an additional building for farm help from 4.5 metres to 7.9 metres.
Mike Morasse, the applicant, said the building would be his family’s home while the main house would be for his parents.
Municipal planner Ian McIntosh said regulations are in place for secondary buildings on farm land.
“We only permit secondary dwellings for bona fide farm help,” he said.
Coun. Martin Van Alphen said there are other cases where secondary buildings are not being used for farm help.
“It’s not the only property in Summerland being utilized for this purpose,” he said.
He added that unless the neighbors are opposed to the increased height, there is no reason to deny the variance.
Coun. Robert Hacking said the building is a pre-existing structure.
“I don’t have a problem with the variance of the building,” he said.
Coun. Orv Robson said allowing the variance would set a precedent for similar applications.
“It’s going to affect what happens to the future of the community,” he said.
Coun. Lloyd Christopherson said the use of the building is a concern, since secondary buildings are allowed for farm help, not for non-farm occupants.
Coun. Bruce Hallquist said the house, which is around 30 years old, has not been used to house farm help in the past.
“It never has been used for farm help and there’s no intention to use it for farm help,” he said.
He suggested leaving the building as is, without allowing further variations.
Mayor Janice Perrino also opposed the variation request.
“We’re not to be turning agricultural land into residential land,” she said, “It sets a precedent for everyone else.”
A resolution to deny the variance application was supported, with Hacking and Van Alphen opposed.