Archives for June 2018
Purpose: To vary the parcel coverage for buildings and structures in an agricultural zone.
Owners: David & Wanda Casorso Agent: Dean Casorso 164 Secrest Hill Rd
OCP: Agriculture (AG) Zone: Agriculture Two (AG2)
Variance Request: To vary the maximum parcel coverage from 3% to 17%.
That the APC recommends to the RDOS Board of Directors that the subject development variance permit application be approved.
This application seeks to vary the maximum parcel coverage for building and structures in the Agriculture Two (AG2) Zone from 3% to 17% in order to allow for the development of a medical cannabis production facility.
The applicant has noted in their application submission that if the proposed variance is not successful, the owners will proceed with a greenhouse option, which would not require a parcel coverage variance. In support of the requested variance, the applicant has stated that requested “variance does not defeat the intended bylaw, due to the fact the building will be used directly for agriculture production. In addition, the alternative to this building, would be a larger coverage of greenhouses.”
The subject property is approximately 6.72 ha in area and is located on the east side of Secrest Hill Road, north of Highway 97, and approximately 4.5 kilometres north of the Town of Oliver. The surrounding pattern of development is predominantly agricultural with a low density residential subdivision immediately to the south of the subject property.
The subject property was created by a plan of subdivision deposited with the Land Titles Office in Victoria on May 25, 1921, while available Regional District records do not indicate the issuance of any building permits for this property.
Under the Electoral Area “C” Official Community Plan (OCP) Bylaw No. 2497, 2012, the property is designated Agriculture (AG) and comprises Important Ecosystem Areas under Schedule ‘C’ of the bylaw.
Under the Electoral Area “C” Zoning Bylaw No. 2453, 2008, the property is zoned Agriculture Two Zone (AG2) Zone, and the bylaw establishes the maximum parcel coverage for parcel greater than 0.8 ha but less than 12.0 ha in area as 3%.
The owners of the property propose to grow medical cannabis on the subject property. As per Health Canada regulations cannabis must be grown indoors as outdoor growing is not permitted. There are two options for growing medical cannabis indoors:
1. Indoor growing (a closed building that uses using lights/lamps to grow plants)
2. Greenhouses (a transparent structure that uses sunlight to grow plants)
In the AG2 Zone the maximum parcel coverage for buildings and structures is 3% and the maximum parcel coverage for greenhouse uses is 75%. Based on the owners’ desired yield of 30,000 kg/year of cannabis a large greenhouse is needed.
When assessing a variance request a number of factors are taken into account. These include the intent of the regulation; the presence of any potential limiting physical features on the subject property; established streetscape characteristics; and whether the proposed development would have a detrimental impact upon the amenity of the area and/or adjoining uses.
The purpose of establishing maximum parcel coverage regulations is to restrict the size of building footprints on a parcel, and the maximum parcel coverage for the AG1 Zone was reduced from 15% to 3% with the implementation of the Electoral Area “C” Agricultural Area Plan (AAP) in 2011.
The intent of these changes was to “reduce the on-farm footprint, limit site coverage by non-farm structures while not limiting productive farm structures; allow more flexibility in the use of buildings. Encourage clustering of development on farms, encourage ‘stacking’ of farm use buildings.”
Administration recognizes that indoor growing facilities such as the proposed buildings are an anomaly amongst farm use buildings and warrant site specific consideration. In support of this proposal, the applicant is seen to meet the intent of the AAP recommendations through the siting of the buildings, the ability to ‘stack’ cannabis plants, and the use of the buildings for a farm use.
Administration recognizes that if the applicant were to pursue the alternative option of growing medical cannabis in a greenhouse the building footprint would be larger than an indoor growing building. This is because plants can be stacked vertically in an indoor growing building as the plants do not need to access sunlight.
Administration does not anticipate the requested variance will have negative impacts on the use of other adjoining properties. The subject property is located in an agricultural and rural residential neighbourhood and the proposed buildings (used for an agricultural use) would not inhibit current or future agricultural uses on adjoining parcels. The buildings could also be used for other soil-less medium agricultural uses such as hydroponics or aquaponics in the future. In considering visual impacts, there are no houses directly west of the subject property, fronting the other side of Secrest Hill Road.
Conversely, in recognition that the intent behind establishing a 3% parcel coverage for buildings and structures in agricultural zones is to restrict the size of buildings that are not greenhouses, the applicant could proceed with the alternative option of a greenhouse with approximately 67% coverage. In this case, a variance would not be required as the maximum parcel coverage for greenhouses is 75% and the applicant would be permitted to construct a cannabis production greenhouse of this size with the only permit approval being a building permit to satisfy RDOS Building Bylaw requirements.
This matter will be discussed at an upcoming APC meeting in Oliver. See RDOS site.
For teenagers and those graduating this summer, this will bereferred to as the golden years. How important is it. Here are a few things that will be defining moments in the lives of those who don’t yet how important it is.
The biggest instant remembrance will come with school reunions, last year I was part of a fifty year celebration.
The first ones are easy everyone touches base what each other is doing. By the time you get to the fifty year mark, you are acquainted with time and the fact many have not made it through times progression.
You will run into old friends only to find they are different people than they were a few decades ago. The connection you thought was always there isn’t.
For others you will find out the kid you all thought would never make it at anything has actually done better than the rest.
Personally I knew one kid, who I thought that way about, who became a pilot of commercial airliners. Some went on to be very successful and others ended up on the fringe of society.
There will be some you meet somewhere and they will know you, the problem is you will struggle to remember their name.
Oh at the moment no one believes that but it will happen, sure as I’m sitting at this keyboard.
There will be times you run into friends and ask whatever happened to so and so? Sometimes the answers will surprise you. They went on to do great things.
One day a couple of years ago a friend from school I had not seen since about nineteen sixty six or seven drove into my yard. Didn’t have a clue who he was until he laughed. It all came back.
What I am trying to say here, is enjoy the moment, play safe, and live this life to the fullest. Your future memories depend on it.
Figs, Fig Wasps and Figments
The symbiotic relationship between the fig wasp and certain varieties of figs is amazing. A symbiotic relationship is one in which both participants benefit from, or are even dependent on, each other for survival.
Figs are actually like an inverted flower. All the reproductive parts (stamen, pistil, pollen) are inside the growing fig. A female fig wasp that hatches inside a fig emerges carrying pollen and seeks a different fig, likely on a different tree, where she can lay her eggs. The fig (syconium) has a narrow opening at the tip (ostiole) through which she enters the fig, usually losing her wings and antenna as she squeezes through. Doesn’t matter – she won’t need them anymore because she will die after laying eggs. If she is fortunate enough to have chosen a male fig (caprifig) she’ll find just the right setup for laying her eggs, which will hatch into larvae and grow into male and female wasps. Males are blind and wingless. They will mate with the females, bore holes in the fig’s skin for the females to escape and serve no other purpose. (Guys, they are not our male role models for Father’s Day!!) They’ll die inside the fig, be digested by fig enzymes and never leave the fig or see the light of day. Most commercial varieties of figs for human consumption are self-pollinating – no digested wasps in them.
If the female wasp happens to enter a female fig it will pollinate the fig to produce seeds but its own eggs and the female wasp will starve to death and be digested by the fig. It has no escape available.
Isn’t it amazing that such a complex relationship exists? Some people believe that it took millions of years for this relationship to develop by evolution. Think of all the pieces that would have to fall into place, by accident, for this to be true.
- It would require accidently developing male and female figs to be in place, complete with pollen, stamens, pistils, ostiole openings, genetic instructions in the DNA and a myriad of support mechanisms, to produce the seeds to grow the tree before it can produce any figs. How do you do that?
- At the same time we would need accidently developed male and female wasps complete with all the abilities to produce eggs, to mate, to be programmed to find the other fig if the wasp is a female, programmed to bore holes if a male, be genetically equipped to grow from egg to larvae to adult and to reproduce. A tough sell!
- Time is not the friend of evolution. It is the enemy. Everything has to come together in exactly the right condition and in the same place and at the same time fully formed. You can’t have some parts wait millions of years for the other parts to show up.
- One evolutionist stated that both the fig wasp and the fig have the same goal, so it all comes together. Neither one has the ability to plan progress toward a goal. The theory of atheistic evolution does not allow for any goals, purpose or design features. It is all by random mutations and chance. Natural selection requires the presence of something to select from and the intelligence to select what fits, which it doesn’t have. Would I be resorting to a FIGment of the imagination to accept that?
- Last, this same challenge of having every ‘piece’ in place exists for every one of the millions of plant and animal species. The cumulative probability factor is astronomically exponential – infinitely great. Totally impossible.
The process and design was the work of the Creator, and it is amazing.
To note something is to ‘notice’ it, to remember it or to even write it down. This can be a moment and then gone or can be something remembered for days or even years. So there is a kind of level of noting. It I note something strongly I recall it with ease a long time later. If I take but passing notice, I may have forgotten minutes later. To note something is to have an aha moment about it and likely nod my head with a yes motion
We can play a note on an instrument or sing one with our voice. The note is the measure of the frequency of the sound. There is a scale of notes so we can share which note is which sound. When I was a very young lad my Dad convinced me to play the accordion. Yes, it is true. I had to learn to read music which is the written combination of notes that are to be played to produce the tune you wanted
I can say that something is of note. That means it is to be especially noticed, paid attention to and maybe even celebrated. Hoorah. I can ask your attention about something by asking you to take note. Then again, to take notes is to write down the essence of what I point your attention toward. I’m not sure how one takes note. I mean the taking part. Maybe it is like putting a post it note on something
What does it mean when I say that there has been nothing of note? I suppose I was not looking for anything of note, so did not encounter such. There is a video showing about10 people dressed in black, passing around a white ball. The instruction is to count how many times the ball is passed from one to another. A bear joins in, dances around, and is not seen at all. I note what I seek
We can refer to a small amount of emotion by saying, ‘there was a sad note to his speech’. Or ‘his speech struck a sad note or a happy note or was missing a note of empathy. I’m thinking the best note is a bank note. Those notes are great, make a welcome gift and for the most part are happy notes. Some are people of note, worth our time to notice and remember, sometimes for good reasons. Take note
Last week’s column recalled the pleasure of chips eaten outdoors. Chips, French Fries or whatever you know them by are a really tasty, guilty pleasure but so much better when eaten out of a newspaper, English style.
As a kid growing up in England people eating chips out of newspaper, on the street was a common sight. Every village had at least one “chippy”, towns had numerous ones and they were all kept busy. The British chippy opened around 11.15 am and did a roaring trade until around 1.00pm, when the closed for the afternoon. Occasionally one would open over supper hour but mainly they didn’t open for evening business until 8.00 till around 11.00pm.
Very rarely during opening hours would there not be a line up of customers. At lunch time many people would take their purchase home and have their meal served on plates, round the dining table. The main offering was fish and chips but most chip shops also sold steamed meat puddings or meat pies and many people took a bowl so they could get their chips “wet”. This disgusting term referred to the juice from the pot full of mushy peas which many people wanted poured over their chips. To me this was gross as I liked my chips with their crispy edges. Many people also had scraps which was the floating excess batter from oil the fish was fried in. The resulting mess in the bowl would probably feed the whole family.
Chips in the evening were almost exclusively eaten out of newspaper as people walked home from various events. Something about the cold night air and fresh, hot chips smelling of malt vinegar is almost magical.
Invariable in small towns chip shops would be family owned. The man was usually in charge of the automatic potato peeler and the potato cutter. This used to be a steel contraption where the potato was inserted between the top and bottom of two bladed surfaces, a handle was then swiftly bought down and pushed the raw potato through the blades, into a waiting pail. I am sure that many of these men lost a finger end during their working life as this action was repeated with every single potato, probably hundreds each day. This was carried out near to the deep fryers and I used to watch in fascination as this operation was performed repeatedly.
The man would also mix the fish batter, keep the huge black pot of mushy peas simmering, and see to the steaming of meat puddings. The wife would nearly always do the cooking and serving. She took your order then served it up either wrapped or left open for immediate consumption. You would then get to put your own salt and vinegar on and off you went. Quite often hardly a word would be spoken between the two workers as they were constantly busy. The high counter would have the salt and vinegars placed along the surface and every few minutes a wet rag would be passed along to clean the surface.
From the age of fifteen onwards I was allowed to go to the evening pictures, as we called the movies, with girlfriends. No matter how far it was we always walked home with our chips, reliving the film and swooning over the male star. Most films in our small town were for general release and were very harmless with never a bad word.
A little later, when I was getting into my twenties, chip shops started offering curry sauce. This was a green concoction that was poured over your chips. I never had it, mainly because I was now married and we could not afford either the films or the chips. If it wasn’t home made we didn’t eat it.
Returning to holiday in Britain after seven years in Canada I noticed that any chip shops we visited now used pre-cut chips. Gone was the newspaper wrapping and a moulded cardboard dish was used to put the food in, probably much more hygienic than newsprint but it lacked the correct “feel”.
On subsequent trips to Britain I noticed that much has changed in the chip shop business. They are still as prolific but now they are mostly ran by immigrant families, usually East Indians and the food offered has much more variety. We passed a chip shop in what used to be our home town with the name of “The Bombay Chippery”, the mind boggles. Fish and chips are still on the menu but sausages are now battered and deep fried as is haggis, Scotch eggs and all sorts of other foods. Meat pies are dropped into the hot oil instead of the oven, I never had one as the thought makes me feel ill but they are popular. So many different things are now submerged into the same oil that I honestly do not fancy the chips any more.
As we age it is natural that things change but sometimes not always for the better.
Mrs. Basso’s and Mrs. Ancheta’s Grade 6 classes at OES have been learning about entrepreneurship and how to run your own business. We organized a Wellness Market on Tues June 12 to sell some of the products we made. The products were designed to help you to feel better about yourself and/or help you focus on your learning at school. Students created a business plan, developed marketing strategies, and promoted their products to their consumers.
Chad Teigan, Ministry of Health counsellor came to talk to the students about stress, ways to handle it, as well as various services that youth can access for help.
The delivery of carts will be delayed to Oliver residents due to a mechanical breakdown by the supplier producing the carts. The delay will see delivery of the new carts in mid-July. In the meantime residents can continue to use bags and carts that they currently use.
Implementation of the pick-up date change will proceed as scheduled on July 2. Monday for properties on the north side of Fairview Road and Park Drive and Friday for properties on the south of Fairview Road and Park Drive.
For up-to-date information visit the Town of Oliver website www.oliver.ca/automated-cart-program.
Residents have or will be receiving information packages that includes important information to waste collection and the June 2018-June 2019 Collection Calendar. Please note an error on the front page telephone number – please use 250-485-6203 to connect with the Town’s Waste Collection program services.
Willowbrook Volunteer Fire Chief
As you may already be aware, property taxes for homes within the Willowbrook Volunteer Fire Department Fire protection area have seen very large increases on the 2018 tax notices.
The Willowbrook Fire Department 2018 budget had many changes recommended by the Dave Mitchell and Associates report, the changes were mandated by the RDOS to ensure that all local departments are following Provincial standards. As a result of the changes, local residents have seen a very large increase on their property tax notices for Fire Protection. Only a portion of the Fire Department budget is controlled at the Fire Department level. During budget preparation late last year and early 2018, the proposed increase in cost to the local residents was not communicated to the Fire Department.
The Fire Department understands the financial impact this higher tax is having on local residents and is actively working to find additional funding sources to lower the cost to the residents. As well as additional funding sources the Fire Department is also exploring other cost saving measures, for example; looking for a used fire truck, or leasing a truck instead of buying new. All budget items in the five year budget are being scrutinized to ensure that they are necessary and appropriate. Unfortunately due to the structure of the taxation system this will not change the tax situation this year, but hopefully will lower the tax rate for future years.
A copy of the Area C approved budget is attached, it can also be found on the RDOS website.Thank you,
If you have questions regarding:
-Property values please contact BC Assessment, please visit bcassessment.ca/property/contact
-For more information regarding Property Tax Deferment, please visit gov.bc.ca/propertytaxdeferment, or call 1-888-355-2700
-Local Services appearing on your tax notice contact the RDOS 250-492-0237
-If you have specific question regarding the Fire department budget, please email the Fire Chief Patrick Lantz with your specific questions, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Oliver Landing’s David Perehudoff and marketing director Leahann Nordin outside one of the last two units for sale in Phase 1
By ROY WOOD
After a series of delays, the Oliver Landing mid-level housing project near the heart of the town is back on track, with three units already occupied and construction of several more well under way.
Over the next couple of years, plans call for 10 fourplexes at the site near the corner of Sawmill Road and Co-op Avenue.
The first fourplex is built and two more are in various stages of completion. Those 12 units comprise what Senior Project Manager David Perehudoff calls Phase 1.
He said in an interview this week that 10 units in Phase 1 are sold, as are six units from among the 12 in Phase 2. The three-storey homes are between 1,350 and 1,450 square feet and are priced around the $360,000 mark.
Perehudoff said the company has sold only half of the units in the yet-to-be-built Phase 2. “(That’s) because that’s all we want to sell, because we want to have some available, when we build them, for people to buy when they come by,” he said.
The sales of the six Phase-2 units are secured by 10-per-cent deposits, he said.
Phase 3 of the development will see units abutting the hike-and-bike trail beside the Okanagan River. Perehudoff said there are “reservations” on 12 of the river-side units, although those commitments don’t require cash deposits.
Prices for the Phase-3 properties are currently pegged at between $409K and $454K, although prices seem to be a bit of a moving target based on a jump in Phase-1 units from $329,000 to $359,000 since the fall.
The number of sales and reservations hasn’t changed since August of last year, when Perehudoff said 16 units had been sold and 12 were reserved.
At an interview on site this Tuesday, Perehudoff said the company “hasn’t really been pushing” since the fall. As well, he said, there have been a number of delays in construction, several of them “due to educating the building inspector.”
Perehudoff said Oliver Landing is incorporating many new building and insulating techniques that were unfamiliar to the town building department and it has taken extra time to get approvals. “We’re building a new product here,” he said.
At one point early this year, a stop-work order was imposed on the development because of differences between the town and the builder regarding the application of spray-foam insulation. The order lasted about a month and was lifted in February.
The inclusion of the insulation in question is one of the innovations in the development that Perehudoff says will help reduce energy costs. Others include triple-paned windows and on-demand hot water. He says the target is to keep total power costs below $100 per month.
The long-range plans for Oliver Landing include as many as 130 homes on the site of a former horse ranch.
As for the neighbourhood, Perehudoff says there are advantages to being in an industrial/commercial area, including the fact that after five p.m. and on weekends it’s “actually very quiet.” As well, he said, downtown and the town’s recreation centre and arena are within an easy walk.
The town works yard runs down the southern boundary of the property and while some of the units will overlook it, there are trees and a chain-link fence along the boundary and white board fence is planned as well.
Landscaping of the property will begin later this month, said Perehudoff.
The owner is looking at options – unfortunately not a lot can be done.