BC Tree Fruits – owners of the Monashee Packinghouse in Osoyoos (now closed) seek to exclude more than 5 hectares of land for other purposes that agriculture.
How many hectares are you proposing to exclude?
What is the purpose of the proposal?
For over 80 years, this parcel has been utilized for the receiving, packing and storage of the contracted growers’ fruit. Because of multiple costly upgrades required to the aging building, BC Tree Fruits Cooperative ceased to operate the packinghouse as of September, 2017 and consolidated its operations in the South region to its Oliver facility. The Oliver packinghouse has since undergone multiple upgrades in both technology and equipment to handle the incremental volume.
Similarly, BC Tree Fruits Cooperative made a strategic long-term investment decision to modernize and consolidate several other existing facilities into one comprehensive facility to be developed in the Central Okanagan.
As a result, it is BC Tree Fruits’ intention to sell the parcel and apply the sale proceeds towards the development of a proposed new packing plant facility at or near the City of Kelowna.
Explain why you believe that the parcel(s) should be excluded from the ALR.
First and foremost, the parcel has very limited agricultural capability in its current condition [refer to the attached Agricultural Capability Assessment Report prepared by Associated Environmental Consultants Inc. (dated July, 2018)].
Given that the packing plant on the parcel has ceased operations, it no longer serves the original objectives of the BC Tree Fruits Cooperative specifically and the tree fruit industry in general. Accordingly, the parcel no longer benefits agriculture; whereas exclusion and sale of the parcel would enable BC Tree Fruits to use the sale proceeds towards the construction and development of the proposed consolidated facility in the Kelowna area – an objective which clearly would benefit agriculture generally, the tree fruit industry specifically, and the 430 plus grower members of the Cooperative.
Clearly, it would be fiscally prudent and in the best interests of the BC Tree Fruits Cooperative and its grower members to maximize the sale value of the parcel and apply the sale proceeds towards the substantial development costs of a regional, modernized, and centrally located facility – a facility which would enable BC Tree Fruits to remain competitive in world markets.
Given its lack of agricultural capability and its lakefront location, the sale value of the parcel can best be maximized if it is excluded from the ALR.
It should also be noted that the Town of Osoyoos has an operational sanitary sewer force main (located adjacent to the southern boundary of the parcel) which has extra capacity to accommodate development should the parcel be excluded from the ALR. Similarly, the Town of Osoyoos has a pumphouse (lake water) adjacent to the eastern boundary of the parcel which supplies water to irrigation system #8.