Agricultural Area Plan - Area A
This project is funded in part by the Investment Agriculture Foundation of B.C. through programs it delivers on behalf of Agriculture and Agri-food Canada and the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture.
The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS) and the Town of Osoyoos have initiated the planning process for an Agricultural Plan (AP) for Electoral Area 'A' (RDOS) and the Town of Osoyoos. As stated in the RFP the primary objective of this planning process is to deliver to the RDOS Board and the Town of Osoyoos Mayor and Council a draft AP that has been vetted through public process. The AP will focus on developing implementable land-based recommendations that address local issues. Land-based strategies will be those strategies that can be implemented through amendments to the Official Community Plan and Zoning Bylaws. Non land-based strategies may also be identified through this process and will be documented but may not be part of the implementation strategy.
The goal of agricultural planning is to provide clear, innovative and creative strategies to direct efficient, dynamic and ecologically balanced use of agricultural lands that contributes both economically and culturally to the community. The plan area, like much of the Okanagan/Similkameen, has significant agricultural resources which may not be contributing their full potential, given the challenges of competing in a production chain model in a global market with relatively small parcel production units and associated high land values in comparison to other production regions. The Agricultural Plan is intended to focus attention on strong local policies and priorities that support suitable, realistic opportunities to enhance economic viability and address the associated issues of agricultural revitalisation, succession and regional food security. The plan will focus on land-based strategies through Official Community Plan and Zoning Bylaw amendments but may also present additional directions that are realistically within the realm of local government.
Discussion Paper/Background Report
The AP was launched with the preparation of this Discussion Paper. This document examines research that is currently available (Canada Census of Agriculture, 2006) and research that was conducted specifically for this project (Survey of Class 9 farms, 2011), as well as data from the Ministry of Agriculture, Agricultural Land Inventory. This document has been amended and updated throughout the plan process as new information.
Final Agricultural Plan, December, 2011
The final version of the Agricultural Plan is now completed. There are many recommendations for local governments on supporting the local agricultural industry. The next step for both the RDOS and the Town of Osoyoos is to implement the recommendations into amendments to Official Community Plans and Zoning Bylaws. There is a commitment to harmonize these changes between the Town and the RDOS in order to assist farmers and the public in understanding the policies and regulations.
Agricultural Focus Group, 2011 Members
Members of the Electoral Area 'A' and the Town of Osoyoos Agricultural Focus Group consist of the following area residents:
- Gerry Hesketh, Sera Lean, Jesse Sandhu, Joe Carvello and Naga Terada
Assisting with the advisory group are also Town of Osoyoos and RDOS staff, including Alain Cunningham, Phil Armstrong, and Evelyn Riechert. Ministry of Agricluture's Carl Withler is also an additional resource member for the advisory group.
Political representation on the advisory group is Area 'A' Director Mark Pendergraft.
The consultant hired to work on the Agricultural Plan is Jane Mastin, TRUE Consulting.
RDOS and the Town of Osoyoos are seeking members for an Agricultural Advisory Committee for the Electoral Area ‘A’ Agricultural Area Plan 2010.
This volunteer steering committee will act as the steering committee for a new Agricultural Area Plan.
For more information including the Terms of Reference for the committee and an application form please click on the following links: