Open Letter from Bryan Sandilands
Delegation Request to Council October 2017 –
Consideration on use of propane cannons within, or in close proximity to, Town of Oliver boundaries
I Bryan Sandilands, live within the Town of Oliver on Meadows Drive adjacent to Tucelnuit Lake. My property is in a rural part of Oliver within the ALR. When my wife and I moved to Oliver in 2004 my neighbour to the south had an orchard while the one to the north had pasture and horses.
Neighbours close by also grew fruit, or simply had rural property. In about 2005 a large area to the south was removed from the ALR and became what is now the Arbor Crest housing development. More housing went in along what is now Zinfandel Street and the area to the north of ArborCrest. The area around my property has remained the same in terms of type of farming.
There was a change in about 2011 (exact date unknown) at the Knoedel property at the corner of Meadows and Zinfandel. At this time an old orchard was removed, the land cleared and levelled and a vineyard was planted. The same thing occurred at a property across the river from us which had been an orchard. This seems to follow a trend in this area where orchards have been removed in favour of grapes.
It was in the late summer of 2015 when I first became aware of the use of propane cannons for bird control at the property across the river. In 2016 the vineyard at the Knoedel property began using bangers on a limited basis as well. In early September 2017 I noticed not one, but two propane cannons in use on the property. There may also be third device which emits a loud firecracker-like sound at random times. The cannons however fire at regular intervals, but at different times, throughout the day. Before the days
got shorter the cannons were firing before 7:00am until 7:30pm 7 days a week. They do not operate at night however, which is a good thing.
I am asking that there be some consideration for residents living close to vineyards that operate these devices within the Town of Oliver boundaries. These cannons are extremely loud when used near houses and are clearly audible indoors as well. An example of such consideration could be changing the start-up times on Sundays to 8:00am, allowing a break of 2 hours in the afternoon when bird activity is low, and increasing the interval between firing times. Netting has proven more effective than cannons in preventing crop loss and should be encouraged more by the provincial government. Some measures have been adopted by municipalities in the Fraser Valley to alleviate concerns of residents living there. The cities of Abbotsford and Langley are examples. The Town of Oliver could follow similar leads, keeping in mind that a growing population could result in further conflict between agriculture and non—agricultural land use here.