Spallumcheen has been turned down by the Agricultural Land Commission to have a section of land it hoped to develop out of the Agricultural Land Reserve.
It’s a stretch of about 160 acres in the southeast sector between the highway and the railroad tracks.
Mayor Janice Brown says it’s primarily rock and marginal for farming, only being used by the owner for cattle grazing.
“It was unanimous, and it was a no. The new mandate, and always has sort of been the mandate, although the Liberals did loosen it a bit, was not to take any land out of the ALR, so we’re pretty upset about that. We did a lot of work, spent a lot of time.”
She says they were led to believe it was do-able and Spallumcheen was sending reports on its plan as recent as a month ago.
Mayor Brown says Spallumcheen was working with the owner to take over the property if they were successful.
“We were trying to increase our tax base and we were using it as a benefit to farmers because if we can get some tax dollars to do all the things that we need to do in the municipality we can continue to subsidize the farmers.”
She says the area is perfect for commercial development to link up with the industrial park.
“We’ve always known with the new road construction, the new highway, the new frontage roads down there that that’s the perfect place for semis to take off to Kelowna, takeoff to Calgary, Vancouver. It’s kind of a hub. The railway track is going right through there.”
The current owner hasn’t been able to sell it.
Brown says they might see if there is a section of land similar in size that could be put into the ALR as part of a land swap.