LETTER: Motocross track will affect neighbours

I think it is important to clear up the fact that the parcel of land in question is 20 acres not 200 acres.

Dear Editor:

Re: Motocross rider needs track (Summerland Review, Sept. 8, 2016.)

First, I think it is important to clear up the fact that the parcel of land in question is 20 acres not 200 acres as stated by Mr. Leitner in his letter to the editor.

Second, the 20 acres of land are in the agriculture land reserve.

And third, I feel it is important to point out that the track has already been built — without a permit. This completed track has removed close to half of the surface soil from agricultural use.

The Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen apparently feels that this track can be allowed as an “accessory use” to a dwelling but there is no dwelling on the land and the track has already been built.

And presently, there is no residence or buildings on the property, meaning that Mr. Leitner does not even live on the property, so how can it even be seen to be an “accessory use” to the dwelling if there is no dwelling?

The track was built without prior consultation with neighbours, yet now Mr. Leitner is trying to engage and gain support for the track with neighbours after the fact.

A motocross track is not a part of the Agricultural Land Commission’s “permitted uses”  It is a non-farm activity.

Under the ALC Act sec.20(1) “A person shall not use agriculture land for non-farm use unless permitted under the Act”.

It is my understanding that if someone wishes to use ALR land for non-approved use that they must make application to the ALC who then decide to approve or not approve and they do so in writing.

I am at present not aware of any such written decision from the ALC regarding this track.

What is the process to be followed? Do you build the track first and then legitimize its usage by building your residence later?

And lastly but very important what about the noise and the resultant disruption of quiet, peace, rest and enjoyment of our neighbourhood?

Is it unreasonable to assume there might be a potential effect on the value of my property with an active motocross track being operated right across the street?

Yvonne Heinzinger