New amendments to an existing bylaw regarding agritourism have given the trend more stability despite the lack of consultation with its recent implementation

Council irked by lack of consultation over bylaw amendment

Recent amendments to an existing bylaw look favourably to the trend of agritourism, regardless of community input on its approval.

At a recent District of Kent council meeting, item 9.3 on the agenda, regarding an amendment to a bylaw pertaining to gathering for events and agritourism in the Agricultural Land Reserve came under discussion.

Agritourism has gained in popularity over the years and the District of Kent is no exception. Agritourism or agrotourism, as it is defined most broadly, involves any agriculturally based operation or activity that brings visitors to a farm or ranch.

More commonly, farms, are being used for wedding locations, tourist opportunities, or as trendy new B and B locations. (The amendment caters more in favour of the trend).

Staff recommended that council consider the authorization of the amendment of the “Zoning Bylaw to ensure compliance with recent amendments to the Provincial Agricultural Land Reserve Use, Subdivision, and Procedure Regulation and Gathering for events, which includes agritourism.

“I thought it may be prohibited by local government — I thought it would give them the opportunity to regulate it as they saw fit, and now it’s something that’s not specifically for farm use, and unless there’s a bylaw it’s not something we can regulate, and the land commission will have to take care of it,” said councillor Striker.

Striker voiced concerns over the lack of a consultation process, and the non-existent opportunity to see if the new amendment would be welcomed by the community.

According to a report prepared by staff, Chief Administrative Officer Wallace Mah, acknowledged that local governments were asked to participate in the bylaw amendment by completing a survey stating what municipalities would like to see happen.

The results from the surveys were calculated with no follow up. This was a point of contention for council members.

Other considerations resulting from the bylaw amendment arose during discussion.

“It may have an effect on the halls existing for this purpose, who are authorized to have events, and there may be enforcement costs with these events, police involvement, that type of thing. The legislature is there now and unfortunately we didn’t have the opportunity to speak on this before the provincial government made these changes,” said Striker.

Mayor Van Laerhoven voiced similar concerns.

“I think we have to do two things — I think we have to take care of the bylaw so we comply, but I think we also have to have a discussion with the Agricultural Land Commission to let them know that we are dissatisfied with the lack of consultation.

Just Posted

UFV Town & Gown event raises $85,000 in one night; $200,000 in 2017

Supporters from all over the Fraser Valley and beyond gathered in Abbotsford for the third annual Town & Gown fundraising dinner.

Heavy downpours expected in parts of Metro Vancouver

Heavy rain will begin to ease off Sunday evening as the frontal system moves south out of the area

Police investigate string of overnight fires in North Delta

Suspected arson caused damage to vehicles, signage in the area, Delta Police say

SD78 trustee advocates for defibrillators in schools

Says machines could save lives of students, staff

The bald and the beautiful

Locals send in their best bald eagle shots

Start on time: Canucks looking to shake first-period struggles

Canucks centre Bo Horvat said the formula for getting a leg up is there for everyone to see

COMMUTER ALERT: Snowfall warnings in effect across B.C.

Travelling this weekend? Check the forecasts before hitting the road

Drones take off to search for missing North Okanagan women

A volunteer search party was supported by professional drone operators

Tips for keeping your personal data safe, from the experts

It’s important to keep your ‘online footprint’ safe

Lights to turn blue ahead of funeral for fallen Abbotsford police officer

Buildings across B.C. are going blue Saturday night in honour of Const. John Davidson

Ride-share pioneer drives up quietly to B.C. battleground

Lyft approaches B.C. without Uber bombast, eyes small towns

Crash shuts down Highway 91 in Richmond for hours

The stretch of highway was closed for more than 6 hours due to a multi-vehicle accident

VIDEO: Rare comic showing Superman’s 1st appearance to be auctioned

The 1938 comic features Superman hoisting a car over his head

Most Read