Staff with the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen are recommending the board reject an application from a vehicle rental business seeking to operate on land within the Agricultural Land Reserve just southeast of town.
Owner Raghvir Dhaliwal is seeking permission from the regional district to use ALR land for the vehicle rental business in a 1.21-ha area on the east side of Sawmill Road.
While the property was previously occupied by Woody’s Glass, RDOS staff are concerned that business was not lawfully established on the site and was “inconsistent” with the agricultural zoning.
According to a report to the board, Dhaliwal acquired the former Woody’s Glass property for the rental business due to the fact it had “everything in place,” with plans to utilize an existing building and parking area. The business moved from a commercially-zoned lot within the Town of Oliver to the subject property in April.
RDOS planning supervisor Christopher Garrish states the proposed rental business is “inconsistent with the official community plan in Area “C” (Rural Oliver), calling the rental shop a type of “leapfrog” development which the community plan “seeks to prevent from occurring in the town of Oliver’s boundaries.”
Calling it “spot zoning” of commercial use on the land, the report continues the use of the land “may seem harmless, but will change the pattern of development and existing character of this area.”
“The regional growth strategy supports the town as the primary growth area for the community due to its existing community infrastructure, services and economic and employment opportunities,” the report states.
Industrial uses of land take place around one kilometre south, but RDOS staff note that those areas pre-date the introduction of zoning in the area in the early 1970s.
The RDOS will hear the application Thursday.
Photo by Stocks
With files from Castanet