Mayor: Agri-Campground Idea Being Abused

March 19, 2014 by   - () Comments Off on Mayor: Agri-Campground Idea Being Abused

Some owners of agricultural land in Kelowna, British Columbia, are abusing a system that allows them to create seasonal campgrounds on their property, Mayor Walter Gray believes.

Provincial and federal regulations permit the development of agri-tourism operations on farmland as a way to help cash-strapped growers supplement their income, the Daily Courier of Kelowna reported.

The City of Kelowna has approved a number of such operations in recent years. The idea is to give tourists a sense of life on the farm during their short vacations to Kelowna, but Gray said that’s not the way the program is working out in practice.

Restrictions that limit the length of time a person can stay in the campground are routinely ignored, he suggested.

Gray said he was “disappointed” the system is being abused.

He made his comments as the city council unanimously gave preliminary approval to plans for another agri-tourism venture, this one being planned for a 142-acre farmland parcel.

The venture will have a fruit stand, education centre and a number of RV sites. City staff members and council members praised the proposal and said the applicants were legitimate farmers who understood the operation was intended to complement, not detract, from agricultural activities.

“This is not a pretend farm,” said Robert Hobson, a member of the council.

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