Civic: 8715 Road 22
OCP: Agriculture (AG) Zoning: Agriculture One Zone (AG1)
Proposal: The applicant is seeking approval to use part of the property at 8715 Road 22 for the purposes of outdoor storage (i.e. boats and recreational vehicles) for a period of three (3) years in order to “demonstrate that the small-scale RV storage operation would not negatively impact” on the surrounding area.
The applicant has stated that this will take the form of “a row of  outdoor RV storage sites that would be approximately 3.2 m wide and approximately 8 metres long to accommodate seasonal storage of recreation vehicles (campers/fifth wheel trailers) and boats (see Attachment No. 2).
The applicant has further stated that “intended users of the proposed RV storage area would include residents of the ‘Cottages’ on Osoyoos lake who want to store their boat of RV on the site for the time they are not used.”
If successful, “the owners are hopeful that after the 3 year ‘trial period’, they would feel comfortable in submitting a site-specific rezoning application to request an RV storage land use be added to the list of permitted uses for the property to permanently allow the small-scale RV storage use …”
The subject parcel is approximately 5.11 ha in area and is situated on the south side of Road 22 approximately 270 metres to the east of its intersection with Highway 97 and approximately 1,500 metres to the north of Osoyoos Lake.
It is understood that the site is currently developed with principal and accessory dwellings and shop as well as the unauthorised outdoor storage and campground uses. The applicant has indicated that the remainder of the property is under hay production, prunes and cherries and that there is a chicken coop and pig pen along the northern side parcel line.
The surrounding pattern of development is characterised by conservation lands (Ducks Unlimited) to the west and south of the subject property and similarly sized agricultural parcels to the east and north.
The subject property was created by a subdivision deposited in the Land Titles Office in Kamloops on January 11, 1994, while available Regional District records indicate that Building Permits have previously been issued for a storage shed (1998), mobile home (2000), farm building (2007), a single detached dwelling (2009) and relocation of a mobile home (2009) on the property.
Under the Electoral Area “A” Official Community Plan (OCP) Bylaw No. 2450, 2008, the subject property is currently designated as Agriculture (AG), an objective of which is “to protect this land from uses which are inconsistent with agricultural use or are incompatible with existing agricultural uses in the area.”
The property is also subject to a number of Watercourse Development Permit (WDP) Area designations associated with former oxbows (since filled in) that bisected the area and is also proposed for designation as an Environmentally Sensitive Development Permit (ESDP) Area as part of the ESDP Update project.
Under the Electoral Area “A” Zoning Bylaw No. 2451, 2008, the property is currently zoned Agriculture One (AG1), but is not within the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR). The AG1 Zone permits for a range of uses related to agriculture, but does not allow for “outdoor storage” (not permitted in any zone but generally considered to be a light industrial use).
The property is also within the floodplain associated with the Okanagan River and has been assessed as Residential (Class 01) and Farm (Class 09) by BC Assessment.
The use of the subject property for the purposes of outdoor storage and a campground (since discontinued) are the subject of enforcement action initiated by the Regional District’s Bylaw Enforcement Department.
In considering this proposal, Administration notes that the principal objective of the Agriculture (AG) designation is to protect land with continuing value for agriculture from non-agricultural uses.
While the AG designation does “support a strategy for diversifying and enhancing farm income by creating opportunities for uses secondary to and related to the agricultural use”, this is generally limited to small-scale commercial uses directly related to agriculture or the residential use of a property, such as “home industries”, “home occupations”, “bed and breakfast” and “agri-tourism accommodation”.
The provision of “outdoor storage” (i.e. vehicle or heavy equipment storage compounds) is not seen to be consistent with this and is generally considered to be a light industrial use not suitable for agricultural parcels. By way of comparison, the Town of Oliver limits this type of use to its General Industrial (M1) Zone, while the Town of Osoyoos appears to limit “outdoor storage” to its Industrial and Commercial zones.
In considering the creation of new industrial or commercial uses, the Electoral Area “A” OCP Bylaw speaks to supporting small-scale uses that serve the needs of the local community, but assessing these against their ability to be serviced, compatibility with surrounding land uses, impact on farmland and whether the use would be better situated within existing “urban areas were services and amenities are more readily available.”
In this instance, Administration considers the introduction of an outdoor storage use at this location to be uncharacteristic of the area, inconsistent with the objectives of the agricultural designation/zoning of the property and would be more suitably located within the Town of Osoyoos where similar uses and proper infrastructure and services are available.
In light of the environmental values of the property and surrounding lands as well as its location within the floodplain associated with Osoyoos Lake and the Okanagan River, Administration considers the Agricultural designation of the property to be appropriate and considers that the applicant should pursue this use elsewhere.
Should this proposal be approved, the property will be required to obtain a development permit from the Regional District prior to commencing the use due to the being a former oxbow and formally designated as a Watercourse Development Permit and Environmentally Sensitive Development Permit Area.
THAT the APC recommends to the RDOS Board that the proposed Temporary Use Permit to allow the property at 8715 Road 22 to be used for the purposes of “outdoor storage” be denied.