Civic: 7910 Highway 97, Oliver, BC
Area: 1.0 ha
EVIDENCE AND FINDINGS
Issue: Whether the Proposal would impact the agricultural utility of the Property.
 To assess agricultural capability on the Property, the Panel referred to agricultural capability ratings. The ratings are identified using the BC Land Inventory (BCLI), ‘Land Capability Classification for Agriculture in B.C.’ system. The improved agricultural capability ratings applicable to the Property are Class 1, Class 2 and Class 3, more specifically the eastern half of the Property is 70% Class 3PA and 30% Class 1 while the remainder is 60% Class 2W and 40% Class 3AP.
Class 1 – land is capable of producing the very widest range of crops. Soil and climate conditions are optimum, resulting in easy management.
Class 2 – land is capable of producing a wide range of crops. Minor restrictions of soil or climate may reduce capability but pose no major difficulties in management.
Class 3 – land is capable of producing a fairly wide range of crops under good management practices. Soil and/or climate limitations are somewhat restrictive. The limiting subclasses associated with this parcel of land are A (soil moisture deficiency), P (stoniness) and W (excess water).
 Based on the agricultural capability ratings, the Panel finds that the Property has prime agricultural capability.
 The Application submits that there is currently no agricultural activity taking place on theProperty. The Application also submits that the Property is small, has highway frontage and
is located within a primarily residential area with a demand for outdoor storage. Despite the small size of the Property and its current use, the Panel considered that the Property has prime agricultural capability and recognized that the Property has been used for agricultural purposes historically.
 The Panel considered that an approval would require the RDOS to rezone the Property for industrial uses in order to accommodate an outdoor storage facility. If the Property were to
be converted to industrial uses, the Panel is concerned that this would eliminate the possibility of the Property being farmed in the future. While demand for an outdoor storage facility may exist in this neighbourhood, the Panel finds that the outdoor storage facility would be more appropriately located in an area outside of the ALR that is zoned for the proposed use. Based on the restriction to future agricultural activities and the negative impact that the storage facility would have on the agricultural land base, the Panel finds that the Proposal would negatively impact the agricultural utility of the Property.
 The fill placed on, and soil removed from the Property was to accommodate the parking of stored vehicles associated with the storage facility. In light of the Panel’s refusal of the
storage facility, the fill placement and removal of soil is not approved. After reviewing photographs of the site included within the RDOS staff report, the Panel finds that the placement and compaction of fill required to accommodate the proposed use of the Property would harm the agricultural capability of the underlying soil and, therefore, would be in opposition to the Commission’s purpose of preserving agricultural land.
 For the reasons given above, the Panel refuses the Proposal.