Agricultural Area Plan Phase 1 Report


Phase 1 Report:

Township of Spallumcheen

Agricultural Situation Profile


Submitted to:

Mr. Charles Nash

Deputy Corporate Administrator

The Corporation of the Township of Spallumcheen

4144 Spallumcheen Way

Spallumcheen, BC, V0E 1B6

Submitted by:

Zbeetnoff Agro-Environmental Consulting

15787 Buena Vista Avenue

White Rock, BC, V4B 1Z9

Contact: Darrell M. Zbeetnoff

604-535-7721, FAX 604-535-4421


zbeetnoff@telus.net

http://www3.telus.net/zbeetnoff/


and

Quadra Planning Consultants Ltd.

2976 Robson Drive

Coquitlam, BC, V3E 2T1

Contact: Michael W. McPhee

604-944-9570, FAX 604-944-6701


mmquadra@ telus.net


May 29, 2006


i


Table of Contents


Table of Contents........................................................................................................ i

List of Tables ............................................................................................................. ii

List of Figures............................................................................................................ ii

1.0 Introduction .................................................................................................... 1

2.0 The Agricultural Land Base ............................................................................. 1

2.1 Agricultural Land Use Trends....................................................................... 3

2.2 Number of Farms, Farm Size Trend and Distribution.................................... 5

2.3 Land Use in Relation to Parcel Size in the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) ... 6

2.4 Age of Farm Operators ................................................................................. 8

2.5 Gross Farm Receipts .................................................................................... 8

2.6 Farm Revenue Trends ............................................................................... 11

2.7 Agricultural Employment ........................................................................... 14

2.8 Farm Investment........................................................................................ 15

2.9 Farm Land Prices....................................................................................... 15

2.10 Markets for Agricultural Products............................................................... 16

2.11 Agricultural Events and Attractions............................................................ 17

2.12 Land Uses Adjacent to Agricultural Areas ................................................... 17

2.13 Recreation in Agricultural Areas................................................................. 18

3.0 Characteristics of the Agricultural Resource Base .......................................... 19

3.1 Climatic Capability for Agriculture ............................................................. 19

3.2 Soils .......................................................................................................... 19

3.2.1 Broadview and Spallumcheen Soils ..................................................... 20

3.2.2 Improved Land Capability.................................................................... 20

3.3 Water......................................................................................................... 21

3.3.1 Irrigation Water Demand ..................................................................... 21

3.3.2 Ground Water Irrigation Supply .......................................................... 22

3.3.3 Surface Water Irrigation Supply........................................................... 25

4.0 Agro-Environmental Interface ........................................................................ 25

4.1 Groundwater Use in the Spallumcheen Valley ............................................ 25

4.1.1 Aquifer Demand .................................................................................. 28

4.1.2 Aquifer Productivity............................................................................. 28

4.1.3 Aquifer Vulnerability ........................................................................... 28

4.1.4 Water Wells......................................................................................... 28

4.2 Air Quality ................................................................................................. 28

4.3 Surface Water Quality ................................................................................ 30

4.4 Agricultural Nutrients from Livestock Operations ....................................... 31

4.5 Agricultural Environmental Stewardship .................................................... 31

5.0 Regulatory Context for Agriculture................................................................. 31

5.1 Provincial Legislation ................................................................................. 32

5.1.1 Agricultural Land Commission Act ...................................................... 32

5.1.2 Farm Practices Protection (Right to Farm) Act ...................................... 33

5.1.3 Local Government Act ......................................................................... 33

5.1.4 Community Charter ............................................................................ 33

5.2 Township of Spallumcheen Bylaws............................................................. 34

5.2.1 Official Community Plan, Bylaw No. 1570, 2004 .................................. 35

5.2.2 Zoning Bylaw No. 1449, 1999.............................................................. 39

5.3 Regulatory Summary ................................................................................. 41


ii


List of Tables


Table 1: Agricultural Land Use, Spallumcheen, 2005 ................................................. 4

Table 2: Distribution of Farms by Farm Size, Spallumcheen, 1996 and 2001.............. 5

Table 3: Comparison of Number of Farms and Gross Farm Receipts (GFRs) by Farm

Type, Spallumcheen, 1996 and 2001 ................................................................... 9

Table 4: Distribution of Acres and Gross Farm Receipts (GFRs) by Farm Type,

Spallumcheen, 2001.......................................................................................... 10


List of Figures


Figure 1: The Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) in the Township of Spallumcheen........ 2

Figure 2: Changes in Agricultural Land Use, Spallumcheen, 1991-2001..................... 5

Figure 3: Distribution of Farm Size, Spallumcheen, 1996 and 2001 ........................... 6

Figure 4: Location of Farmed and Unfarmed Properties in the ALR, Township of

Spallumcheen. (Source: BC Assessment, Vernon). ............................................... 7

Figure 5: Distribution of Farm Operators by Age Category, Spallumcheen, 1991-2001 8

Figure 6: Distribution of Farms by GFR Category, Spallumcheen, 1996 and 2001 .... 11

Figure 7: Average Per Farm Gross Receipts in Relation to Average Per Farm Gross

Margin, Spallumcheen, 1996 and 2001 ............................................................. 12

Figure 8: Comparison of Average Per Farm Gross Margin and Consumer Price Index,

Spallumcheen, 1986 to 2001 ............................................................................. 12

Figure 9: Average Per Farm Expenses and Farm Products Price Index, Spallumcheen,

1986 to 2001..................................................................................................... 13

Figure 10: Comparison of Average Gross Margins and Average Farm Expenses,

Spallumcheen, 1986 to 2001. ............................................................................ 14

Figure 11: Value of Farm Assets, Spallumcheen, 1996 and 2001.............................. 15

Figure 12: Semi-Annual Percent Changes in Farmland Values, BC, 1996-2006. ....... 16

Figure 13: Improved Agricultural Land Capability in the Spallumcheen Valley,

Armstrong South (Source: Canada Land Inventory)............................................ 23

Figure 14: Improved Agricultural Land Capability in the Spallumcheen Valley,

Armstrong North (Source: Canada Land Inventory) ............................................ 24

Figure 15: Location of Irrigation Wells in Relation to Aquifer Demand in the

Spallumcheen Valley ......................................................................................... 26

Figure 16: Location of Domestic Wells in Relation to Aquifer Productivity in the

Spallumcheen Valley. ........................................................................................ 27

Figure 17: Aquifer Vulnerability and Location of Water Wells, Township of

Spallumcheen ................................................................................................... 29


1


1.0 Introduction


Two reports have recently summarized Spallumcheen agriculture. These reports

include an Agricultural Overview


1 and Spallumcheen Land Use Inventory.2 This

information will be briefly summarized in this report, but the original documents

should be referenced for more detail.

The purpose of this Agriculture Situation Report is to provide a framework and context

to the issues that will be examined in the Phase 2 Report: Issues and Opportunities

Analysis of the Agricultural Area Planning process. At this stage, we know that the

Official Community Plan supports the following goals:



Maintain the viability of farming and the agricultural land base,



Discourage the transition of viable agricultural land to non-agricultural uses,



Manage buffers and residential development in the agricultural fringe in

support of agriculture,



Plan land subdivision in and outside the Agricultural Land reserve to avoid

negative impacts on the farming community,



Protect the agricultural land base for farming and support agricultural industry.

Pursuing objectives to attain these goals requires making policy and undertaking

initiatives that create the environment for tangible movement towards the realization

of the desired goals. This report provides background on the current status of issues

that are likely to emerge in the planning process and is intended to benchmark

variables/situations that may be useful in measuring progress in the future.


2.0 The Agricultural Land Base


In 2005, the total agricultural land base in Spallumcheen was 16,797 ha (41,489

acres), of which:



15,951 ha (95%) was comprised of parcels wholly within or with portions within

the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR).

3



land on an adjacent Indian Reserve (8 parcels representing 93 ha)



land outside of the ALR (70 parcels representing 753 ha) within the Township.

Ninety-five percent of the land parcels (15,311 ha) wholly or partly within the ALR (see

Figure 1) are available for farming. The remaining 5% is comprised of a mineral

extraction property (1 parcel representing 7 ha), small residential and other land uses

4


(193 parcels representing 426 ha), and 39 parcels representing 207 ha for which use

was not determined.


1


Smith, B. 2005. Township of Spallumcheen agricultural overview. Resource Management

Branch, Ministry of Agriculture and Lands. October. This report is based on the Statistics

Canada Agricultural Census.


2


Ministry of Agriculture and Lands. 2005. Spallumcheen land use inventory. (In preparation).

This information is based on a “windshield survey”, whereby every agricultural parcel in

Spallumcheen was visited and assessed for agricultural activity.


3


The Agricultural Land Reserve in Spallumcheen was comprised of 14,370 ha in 2003.


4


Other land uses include park, ecological reserve, commercial/service use, transportation and

communications site, recreational use, institutional use, utility, golf course, mobile home park

and industrial use.


2


Figure 1: The Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) in the Township of

Spallumcheen


3


Agricultural use of the land in the ALR that is available for farming is estimated at

77% of the total area available, indicating that non-farm uses occur on about 23% of

the ALR. These non-farming uses consist of:


5



Hobby – amenity use, where agriculture may be secondary to residential use

(232 parcels representing 1,164 ha);



Large lot residential, where residential use is the main land use (191 parcels

representing 406 ha);



Undeveloped (58 parcels representing 1,727 ha) 6; and



Unused farm land (46 parcels representing 285 ha).

In summary, 11,728 ha on parcels wholly or partially within the ALR are currently

being used for farming in Spallumcheen.

7 In addition, 753 ha are farmed within the

Township but outside of the ALR. A further 3,582 ha in the ALR is not farmed but is

considered potentially available for farming. The total agricultural land base available

for farming in Spallumcheen is approximately 16,063 ha.


2.1 Agricultural Land Use Trends


In 2001, Spallumcheen agricultural activity was reported on 16,264 ha by 442 farms

in the following categories:



Crops and summer fallow – 53.8% or 8,751 ha



Managed pasture8 – 6.3% or 1,030 ha



Unmanaged pasture9 – 28.7% or 4,661 ha



Other10 – 11.2% or 1,821 ha.

Some portion of the discrepancy between the 2001 Census and the 2005 Land Use

Inventory may be attributable to discrepancies between using farming operations as

reporting units as opposed to using parcel land use to designate agricultural land use.

Another factor may be the Statistics Canada reporting procedure, in which the

“Headquarters Rule” attributes land outside of Spallumcheen to the Township’s

agricultural statistics if the operation is headquartered in the Township. Nevertheless,

for the purposes of planning, the discrepancy is negligible and does not distort the

pattern of land use.

As Table 1 and Figure 2 show, it is noteworthy that approximately 57% of the

agricultural cropping area is used to produce forage. Alfalfa comprises over 50% of


5


Ministry of Agriculture and Lands. 2005. Spallumcheen land use inventory. (In preparation).


6


“Undeveloped” land includes natural areas not available to agriculture because of topography

and wetness.


7


This area includes yard sites and non-cropping activities in support of farming.


8


“Managed pasture” includes land that has been cultivated and seeded, or drained, irrigated,

fertilized or controlled for weeds or brush, but does not include areas harvested for hay or

silage or seed.


9


“Unmanaged pasture” included land in native pasture, native hay, rangeland and grazeable

bush.


10


“Other” includes lands on which farm buildings, barnyards, lanes, home gardens,

greenhouses, mushroom houses are located; idle land; woodlots; sugarbush; tree windbreaks;

bogs; marshes; and sloughs.


4


field crop area in the Township. Other major land use categories are grain production

(10%), dairy farms (8%), horse farms and equestrian facilities (5%), beef and cattle

farms and feedlots (4.%), and intensive livestock (4%).

The most numerous farming operations


11 are cattle operations, representing about

21% of all agricultural operations in Spallumcheen. Other relatively numerous farm

types include hay and forage operations (17.2%), horse and pony (15.2%), poultry

(6.8%), and dairy (6.1%).

The agricultural land base has remained stable since the ALR was established.

However, economic returns to agriculture have been reflected historically in the area

farmed, number of farmers and distribution of land uses.



The total area farmed declined 15% between 1991 and 1996 and then increased

15% between 1996 and 2001, resulting in only a modest decrease in area

farmed of 1.4% over the 1986 – 2001 period.



While cropped area has changed only marginally in the 1991-2001 period, since

1991 proportionately more land has been used as unmanaged pasture and less

in “other” land uses.


Table 1: Agricultural Land Use, Spallumcheen, 2005


Land Use Number of

Farms (2) (a)

Percent of

Farms

Total Area of

Parcels (ha) (1)

Percent

of Area

Forage production 76 17.2% 6,962 57.1%

Grain production 15 3.4% 1,246 10.2%

Dairy farm 27 6.1% 952 7.8%

Horse farm and equestrian facility 67 15.2% 637 5.2%

Beef cattle farm and feedlot 92 20.8% 521 4.3%

Intensive livestock (poultry) 30 6.8% 466 3.8%

Pasture/range -- -- 339 2.8%

Field horticulture 18 4.1% 326 2.7%

Nursery and Sod 10 2.3% 220 1.8%

Specialty/other livestock 32 7.2% 166 1.4%

Specialty/other field crops 11 2.5% 142 1.2%

Miscellaneous agriculture 16 3.6% 91 0.7%

Sheep/goat farm 24 5.5% 51 0.4%

Greenhouse operation 7 1.6% 35 0.3%

Fruit/berry farms and vineyards 17 3.9% 30 0.2%

Total 442 100% 12,184 100%


Notes: (a) Farm type is defined as 51% or more of gross farm receipts derived from the category.

Sources: (1) Ministry of Agriculture and Lands. 2005. Spallumcheen Land Use Inventory. (2) Statistics

Canada. 2001. Agriculture Census.


11


A farm falls into a farm type category when at least 51% of gross farm receipts are derived

from that category.


5


Figure 2: Changes in Agricultural Land Use, Spallumcheen, 1991-2001


0.0%

10.0%

20.0%

30.0%

40.0%

50.0%

60.0%

Crops Summerfallow Managed

Pasture

Unmanaged

Pasture

Other


Use of Farm Land

Percent of Farms


1996 2001 1991


2.2 Number of Farms, Farm Size Trend and Distribution


The number of farms in Spallumcheen, while dipping in the 1990’s, increased

modestly by 5% between 1986 and 2001 (see Table 2). Overall, farm numbers have

increased less than 5% (i.e., by 9 farms) in the 1986 to 2001 period.

Farm size is characterized by a high proportion of relatively small holdings. As Table 2

shows, 67% of the farms were less than 70 acres in size in 2001. The proportion of

farms larger than 70 acres increased between 1996 and 2001 (see Figure 3).


Table 2: Distribution of Farms by Farm Size, Spallumcheen, 1996 and

2001


1986 1991 1996 2001 Number of Acres

Per Farming

Operation

Number

of farms

Number

of farms

Number

of farms

Percent

of farms

Number

of farms

Percent

of farms

Change in

Category

1996-2001

<10 45 11.7% 58 13.1% +29%

10-70 227 58.8% 239 54.1% +5%

70-399 96 24.9% 127 28.7% +32%

400-759 12 3.1% 12 2.7% --

>760 6 1.6% 6 1.4% --

Totals 423 380 386 100.0% 442 100.0% +14%


Source: Statistics Canada. Agriculture Census


6


Figure 3: Distribution of Farm Size, Spallumcheen, 1996 and 2001


0.0%

10.0%

20.0%

30.0%

40.0%

50.0%

60.0%

70.0%


Number of Acres

Percent of Farms


1996 2001


1996 11.7% 58.8% 24.9% 3.1% 1.6%

2001 13.1% 54.1% 28.7% 2.7% 1.4%

<10 10-70 70-399 400-759 >760


2.3 Land Use in Relation to Parcel Size in the Agricultural Land

Reserve (ALR)


The ALR was created in 1973 under provincial law to designate the agricultural land

use zone in BC. Any change in land use must receive approval from the Agricultural

Land Commission. While local governments authorize activities on farmland, the

provincial law limits local government land use planning authority over private land in

the ALR.

A relatively high proportion of small parcels in the ALR are used for non-farming

purposes, either as residential or rural estates.


12 These parcels are located primarily in

rural residential sub-divisions carved into the ALR (see Figure 4 to be added).


12


Land qualifies for farm class property taxation status if minimum farming income

requirements are met: (a) $10,000 on land less than 2 ac; (b) $2,500 on land between 2 ac and

10 ac; and (c) on land larger than 10 ac, $2,500 plus 65% of the actual value of any farm land

in excess of 10 ac.


http://www.bcassessment.bc.ca/process/agricultural_forestry/classify_far...


7


Figure 4: Location of Farmed and Unfarmed Properties in the ALR,

Township of Spallumcheen. (Source: BC Assessment, Vernon).


8


2.4 Age of Farm Operators


Figure 5 presents a breakout of farm operators by age category in the1991-2001

period. Since 1991, the number of operators under the age of 35 has declined

significantly (-43%) and the number of operators over 55 has increased significantly

(+53%). Average farm operator age has increased from 49.34 years in 1991 to 52.1

years in 2001. Number of farm operators totaled 665 in 2001, or an average of 1.5 per

farm.

Although further investigation is required, the observed aging trends may be a

reflection of various factors including the following:



Economic prospects in the industry,



Ease of entry into various commodity sectors,



Cost of land,



Presence of skilled farmers.


Figure 5: Distribution of Farm Operators by Age Category, Spallumcheen,

1991-2001


0.0%

10.0%

20.0%

30.0%

40.0%

50.0%

60.0%


Age Category (Years)

Percent of Farm Operatorss


1991 1996 2001

1991 12.2% 56.5% 31.3%

1996 10.8% 54.2% 35.0%

2001 6.0% 53.0% 41.0%

<35 35-54 55+


Source: Statistics Canada. Agriculture Census


2.5 Gross Farm Receipts


Table 3 shows GFRs by farm type; a farm type is defined as a farm deriving over 50%

of its receipts from that category. In 2001, Spallumcheen agriculture generated at

least $37.9 million in GFRs, an increase of almost 12% over 1996.


13 Income generated


13


Gross farm receipts include receipts from all agricultural products, marketing board

payments received, program and rebate payments received, dividends received from

cooperatives, custom work and other farm receipts.


9


from “farm gate” agricultural sales creates total income effects in the regional

economy, typically in the range of $2-2.50 per dollar of sales.


14 In 2001, the direct

sales and income multiplier effect are estimated to have contributed between $114

million and $133 million to the local and regional economy.

In the 1996-2001 period, significant increases in GFRs occurred in the following

categories: poultry and eggs; dairy; hay & fodder crops; and greenhouse products.

Gross farm receipts from “other” field crops, horse & pony, vegetables, and “other”

small grain declined most significantly in the period. In terms of rates of growth in

GFRs, strong increases were shown in wheat production, combinations of livestock,

and sheep and lamb production.


Table 3: Comparison of Number of Farms and Gross Farm Receipts (GFRs)

by Farm Type, Spallumcheen, 1996 and 2001


1996 2001 Spallumcheen Farm

Type (1) Number

of farms

GFRs Number

of farms

GFRs

$ Change

in GFRs

(1996-2001)

Percent

change in

GFRs

(1996-2001)

Dairy


32 $6,886,893 27 $8,047,478 $1,160,585 +17%


Beef


63 1,718,970 92 1,705,738 -13,232 -1%


Hog


2 x(2) 1 x --- ---


Poultry & egg


24 13,190,977 30 17,794,165 4,603,188 +35%


Sheep & lambs


7 158,235 21 281,809 123,574 +78%


Goat


1 x 3 250,667 --- ---


Horses & ponies


83 1,315,098 67 1,096,763 -218,335 -17%


Other animal specialty


13 314,695 17 249,136 -65,559 -21%


Cattle & hog


1 x 1 x --- ---


Cattle, hogs & sheep


1 x 2 x --- ---


Other livestock

combination


9 141,949 11 384,776 242,827 +171%


Wheat


7 127,011 7 341,617 214,606 +169%


Other small grain


8 840,236 8 645,001 -195,235 -23%


Hay & other fodder

crops


67 885,217 76 1,255,946 370,729 +42%


Potato


0 --- 2 x --- ---


Other field crop


10 4,978,339 11 1,046,164 -3,932,175 -79%


Fruit


9 182,414 15 139,255 -43,159 -24%


Vegetables


29 494,802 16 284,913 -209,889 -42%


Fruit & vegetable

combination


2 x 2 x --- ---


Greenhouse product


7 597,914 7 973,941 376,027 +63%


Nursery products & sod


2 x 10 1,503,181 --- ---


Maple & Christmas tree


1 x 1 x --- ---


Other field

combinations


2 x 5 392,306 --- ---


All other types


6 60,383 10 232,257 171,874 +285%


Suppressed (3)


--- 2,003,949 1,256,827 -747,122 -37%


Totals


386 $31,893,133 442 $37,881,940 $3,984,858 +12%


Notes: (1) A farm type falls into a farm type category if greater than 50% of its gross farm receipts are derived from that category;

(2) An "x" indicates suppressed data; (3) “Suppressed" refers to the gross farm receipts from farm types with an "x" in the GFR

column.

Source: Statistics Canada. Agriculture Census.


14


See Song, B, Woods, MD, Doeksen, GA and D. Schreiner. Multiplier analysis for agriculture

and other industries. Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service.


http://osuextra.okstate.edu/pdfs/F-821web.pdf


10


Table 4 compares Spallumcheen farm types in terms of farm numbers, total farm area

and GFRs. Cattle operations account for 21% of all farms, followed by hay and fodder

crops (17%), and horse and pony operations (15%). In terms of farm area, cattle

operations predominate with 32% of Spallumcheen farm area, followed by dairy farms

(14%) and hay & fodder operations (13%). However, poultry & egg operations

represented 47% of total GFRs generated by agriculture in the Township in 2001,

followed by dairy (21%), cattle (4.5%), and nursery operations (4%).


Table 4: Distribution of Acres and Gross Farm Receipts (GFRs) by Farm

Type, Spallumcheen, 2001


Spallumcheen Farm Type (1) Number

of farms

Percent

of farms

Total farm

area (ac)

Percent

of total

farm area

GFRs Percent

of GFRs

Dairy


27 6.1% 5,480 13.6% 8,047,478 21.2%

Cattle

92 20.8% 12,745 31.7% 1,705,738 4.5%

Hog

1 0.2% x --- x ---

Poultry & egg

30 6.8% 1,648 4.1% 17,794,165 47.0%

Sheep & lamb

21 4.8% 1,098 2.7% 281,809 0.7%

Goat

3 0.7% 66 0.2% 250,667 ---

Horse & pony

67 15.2% 2,139 5.3% 1,096,763 2.9%

Other livestock specialty

17 3.8% 437 1.1% 249,136 0.7%

Cattle & hog

1 0.2% x --- x ---

Cattle, hog & sheep

2 0.5% x --- x ---

Other livestock combination

11 2.5% 715 1.8% 384,776 1.0%

Wheat

7 1.6% 1,300 3.2% 341,617 0.9%

Other small grain

8 1.8% 2,300 5.7% 645,001 1.7%

Hay & fodder crop

76 17.2% 5,290 13.2% 1,255,946 3.3%

Potato

2 0.5% x --- x ---

Other field crop

11 2.5% 1,437 3.6% 1,046,164 2.8%

Fruit

15 3.4% 308 0.8% 139,255 0.4%

Vegetable

16 3.6% 937 2.3% 284,913 0.8%

Fruit & vegetable combination

2 0.5% x --- x ---

Greenhouse product

7 1.6% 181 0.5% 973,941 2.6%

Nursery product & sod

10 2.3% 2,000 5.0% 1,503,181 4.0%

Maple & Christmas tree

1 0.2% x --- x


Other field crop combination


5 1.1% 499 1.2% 392,306 1.0%

All other types

10 2.3% 1,012 2.5% 232,257 0.6%

Suppressed (2)

596 1.5% 1,256,827 3.3%

Totals 442 100.0% 40,188 100.0% $37,881,940 100.0%


Notes: (1) ) A farm type falls into a farm type category if greater than 50% of its gross farm receipts are derived from that category;

(2) "Suppressed" refers to the gross farm receipts from farm types with an "x" in the GFR column; X = data suppressed

Source: Statistics Canada. 2001. Agriculture Census.


11


It should be noted that the most recent information on farm types and distribution is

over five years out of date


15. There have been noticeable changes in land use activities

towards more livestock farming in the Township since 2001.


2.6 Farm Revenue Trends


In 2001, approximately13% of all Census farms in Spallumcheen reported gross farm

receipts (GFRs) of less than $2,500, annually, and 55% of all census farms reported

GFRs of less than $25,000, annually. Little change in distribution of GFRs by farm

size occurred in the 1996-2001 period (see Figure 6).


Figure 6: Distribution of Farms by GFR Category, Spallumcheen, 1996 and

2001


Distribution of Farms by Gross Farm Receipts Category


0.0%

10.0%

20.0%

30.0%

40.0%

50.0%

60.0%


Gross Farm Receipts

Percent of Farms


1996

2001


1996 11.7% 56.7% 16.1% 6.7% 8.8%

2001 13.1% 55.2% 17.0% 6.3% 8.4%

<2,500 2,500-24,900 25,000-99,999 100,000-249,999 >250,000


Figure 7 suggests that, while average per farm GFRs in the Township has shown a

declining rate of growth in the 1986 to 2001 period, average per farm gross margin


16


has increased to its highest level in 2001 after dipping in 1996. Average per farm gross

margin has recovered above the longer term trend line and toward the CPI in 2001

(Figure 8).


15


The last reported Statistics Canada Agriculture Census was undertaken June 01, 2001,

while the current Census (2006) will not be reported until 2007.


16


“Gross margin” is defined as the difference between Gross Farm Receipts and Total

Operating Expenses.


12


Figure 7: Average Per Farm Gross Receipts in Relation to Average Per

Farm Gross Margin, Spallumcheen, 1996 and 2001


0

10000

20000

30000

40000

50000

60000

70000

80000

90000

100000

1986 1991 1996 2001


Year

Average GFRs Per Farm


0

1000

2000

3000

4000

5000

6000

7000

8000

9000


Average Gross Margin Per Farm


Average GFRs per Farm Average Gross Margin Per Farm


Figure 8: Comparison of Average Per Farm Gross Margin and Consumer

Price Index, Spallumcheen, 1986 to 2001


100.00

105.00

110.00

115.00

120.00

125.00

130.00

135.00

140.00

145.00

150.00

1986 1991 1996 2001


Year

Consumers Price Index


$3,600

$4,600

$5,600

$6,600

$7,600

$8,600

$9,600


Average Per Farm Gross Margi


Consumers Price Index (1986=100) Average Per Farm Gross Margin Linear (Average Per Farm Gross Margin)


13


Average per farm operating expenses increased at a higher rate than the Farm

Products Price Index


17 in the 1986-2001 period (Figure 9). Gross margins have been

highly affected by changes in operating expenses, not changes in GFRs. Figure 10

indicates that farm operators have made changes necessary in the 1986-2001 period

to return to profitability.


Figure 9: Average Per Farm Expenses and Farm Products Price Index,

Spallumcheen, 1986 to 2001


100.00

105.00

110.00

115.00

120.00

125.00

130.00

135.00

140.00

1986 1991 1996 2001


Year

Farm Products Price Index


$44,000

$49,000

$54,000

$59,000

$64,000

$69,000

$74,000

$79,000

$84,000


Average Per Farm Expenses


Farm Products Price Index (1986=100) Average Per Farm Expenses Linear (Average Per Farm Expenses)


17


The Farm Products Prices Index (FPPI) measures the change through time in prices received

by farmers from the sale of agricultural products.


14


Figure 10: Comparison of Average Gross Margins and Average Farm

Expenses, Spallumcheen, 1986 to 2001.


30,000

40,000

50,000

60,000

70,000

80,000

90,000

1986 1991 1996 2001


Year

Average Per Farm Expenses


3000

4000

5000

6000

7000

8000

9000


Average Per Farm Gross Margi


Average Per Farm Expenses Average Per Farm Gross Margin


2.7 Agricultural Employment


Spallumcheen agriculture creates significant community-based employment in the

Township, employing 530 persons representing almost 19% of the Township’s work

force.


18 In addition to the employment of managers of the 442 agricultural enterprises,

Spallumcheen farmers in 2001 paid for 9,696 weeks of agricultural labour to a labour

force numbering about 465 persons. Wages and salaries paid by farm operators

totalled $4.67 million.

In 2001, some 126 employees worked on 69 farms in Spallumcheen full-time. As well,

total weeks of part-time employment on 140 farms were equivalent to about 72 person

years of full-time employment

19, implying a total hired labour force of approximately

198 person years.

In addition to on-farm employment, agriculture typically creates indirect employment

effects locally and in the region. Food and beverage manufacturing locally creates

some 65 jobs. Based on the number of direct agricultural jobs, the total additional

employment effect from Spallumcheen agricultural economic activity is estimated at

between 447 and 596 full-time equivalent jobs.

20


18


http://www.bcstats.gov.bc.ca/data/dd/facsheet/CF245.pdf


19


Based on a conversion of 49 weeks per full-time position.


20


Based on an employment multiplier ranging from 1.5 to 2.0.


15


2.8 Farm Investment


In the 1996-2001 period, value of farm assets increased almost 27%. As Figure 11

shows, while the largest percentage increases were centered on investment in farm

equipment and livestock inventory, change in value of land and buildings accounted

for almost $40 million of the increase in asset value.


Figure 11: Value of Farm Assets, Spallumcheen, 1996 and 2001


$30,000

$50,030,000

$100,030,000

$150,030,000

$200,030,000

$250,030,000


Year

Value s


1996 2001

1996 183,082,208 19,316,537 10,443,541

2001 222,876,293 30,510,057 16,233,885

Land & buildings Farm machinery & equipment Livestock & poultry


2.9 Farm Land Prices


B.C. has the hottest agricultural land market in Canada, showing an increase of about

10 per cent in the last six months (see Figure 12). This follows a 6.5 per cent increase

in the last period, for a total of 16.5 per cent in 2005.


21


The Okanagan Valley only follows the Fraser Valley in terms of recent increases in

farmland value. In addition to there being a limited supply of arable land and strong

competition, increasing populations is creating demand for smaller parcels which is

pushing the value of larger parcels upward.

Vernon, only miles from Spallumcheen, has experienced the most dramatic rise in

residential house prices in Canada over the last five years. Based on an analysis by

Century 21 Canada, prices increased 129 percent in the 2001-2005 period.


22


21


Farm Credit Corporation. 2006.Spring 2006 Farmland Values. http://www.fccfac.

ca/en/Products/Property/FLV/Spring2006/index.asp?main=2&sub1=property&s

ub2=farmlandvalues


16


Figure 12: Semi-Annual Percent Changes in Farmland Values, BC, 1996-

2006.


(Source: Farm Credit Canada)


2.10 Markets for Agricultural Products


Armstrong is home to several regional agricultural product processing businesses.

These include Rogers Foods Ltd., Village Cheese Company (specialty and organic

cheese), and Colonial Farms Ltd (poultry). A dairy milk processing facility (Dairyland)

was purchased by Saputo and the plant closed in 2004. Raw milk is now shipped

outside the region for processing. Regionally, Farmcrest Foods Ltd. in Salmon Arm

slaughters specialty chicken.

Most beef cattle from cattle ranches are shipped to Alberta for finishing and

slaughtering. Riverside Meats Ltd., Salmon Arm is a regional abattoir for cattle, bison,

and lambs.

Markets for sheep and goat meat are strong in BC. Some of this livestock is

slaughtered regionally, while ethnic meat markets are in the Lower Mainland.

Medallion Meats Corp., Westwold, is a federally inspected regional processing facility

that handles red meat, game and organic meat processing.


22


Shaw, G. 2006. Vernon house prices soar 129 per cent over five years. Vancouver Sun. May

18.


17


Organic and specialty agricultural products are sold in farmers’ markets throughout

the region, including Vernon, Armstrong, Shuswap, Revelstoke, and Salmon Arm.

Many local operators tap into the local and tourist market, selling directly to

consumers. In 2005, there were 10 organically certified farms in the Township and 2

organic processors.

Other specialty horticultural products, such as ginseng and herbs, are marketed

outside the region.

Fruit and vegetable production is mostly consumed locally as fresh produce.

Greenhouse vegetables produced under quota are marketed through the Interior

Vegetable Marketing Agency, Vernon.

There is a variety of small scale food processing operations, including honeys, jams,

preserves and other specialty products.

Essentially all of the alfalfa, hay and cereal production is used on livestock farms in

the area.


2.11 Agricultural Events and Attractions


Armstrong is home to the Interior Provincial Exhibition and Stampede, which runs in

late August annually. The Armstrong/Spallumcheen Museum, Integrity Llama Farm,

Chickadee Ridge Minatures (horses) and historic O'Keefe Ranch are regional

agriculturally-based tourist attractions.


2.12 Land Uses Adjacent to Agricultural Areas


The Township’s agricultural land encircles the City of Armstrong. Build out by the City

will be governed by its own bylaws and the fact that ALR land is situated within its

boundaries. Armstrong’s current OCP zoning indicates that the City zoning at City-

Township boundary interface consist of a variety of zones including the following:



Agriculture (A1),



Recreational Commercial (C1),



Highway and Tourist Commercial (C2),



Service Commercial (C4),



Recreational Commercial (C5),



Country Residential (CR),



Assembly (P1),



Public Service (P3),



Residential Low Density Single Family (R1),



Residential Medium Density Secondary Suite (R1B),



Residential Apartment & Multi-Family (R3), and



Residential Medium Density Apartment & Multi-Family (R4).

There are two Indian Reserves within the Township located in the ALR. These lands

are currently being used for agricultural production.


18


2.13 Recreation in Agricultural Areas


The Township of Spallumcheen has a Trail Master Plan which will allow trails for nonmotorized

use on rights-of-way through agricultural areas. Non-motorized activities

could include horseback riding, hiking, bird watching, cycling, cross-country skiing,

snowshoeing, nature appreciation and interpretive trails.

There are seven designated natural areas


23 in the Township, some of which are also

located in the ALR. The OCP has placed a high priority on the protection of natural

areas within the community for recreation, preservation of wildlife habitat, fish

habitat, and contribution to the rural aesthetic.

There is one municipal park, Thomas Hayes Park, located in the ALR south of Otter

Lake.


23


These seven designated natural areas are: Quilakwa Ridge; Otter Lake; St. Anne’s Pond;

Eagle rock; Rashdale Road Viewpoint; “Little Great Divide”- Fortune Creek; and Deep Creek

Ravines (various).


19


3.0 Characteristics of the Agricultural Resource Base


Primary agricultural resources consist of soil and water. The quality and availability of

these resources fundamentally determines the intensity of agriculture and their

effective management is needed to ensure agricultural sustainability.


3.1 Climatic Capability for Agriculture


The Spallumcheen Valley faces climatic restrictions related to aridity occurring

between May 1


st and September 30th resulting in moisture deficits that limit plant

growth. Unimproved, the bulk of the valley is rated at Climatic Class 4 or Class 5, with

the bottomland in the lower Class (Class 5).

24 Climatic moisture deficits are in the

range of 185 to 250 mm. annually, depending on soil type.

Aridity is the major factor limiting productivity. With irrigation, the entire valley is

rated as Class 1 or 1a subject to limitations associated with relatively shorter freeze

free period, while higher elevations also have insufficient heat units during the

growing season. Significantly, limitations related to extreme minimum temperatures

during the winter season are not noted.

25


Improved Climate Classes 1 and 1a in Spallumcheen are subject to the following

restrictions:



A freeze free period26 ranging from120 to 150 days



1310-1779 growing degree days27 above 5 degrees Celsius



A climate that is suited for hardy apples, tree fruits, strawberries, raspberries,

beans, asparagus, tomatoes, lettuce, potatoes, corn, carrots, beets, radishes,

peas, onions, leeks, spinach, cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, turnips, Brussels

sprouts, Swiss chard, bulbs, filberts, cereal grains and forage crops.


3.2 Soils


The soils of the Spallumcheen Valley are predominantly heavy textured with high

water storage capacity and a high available nutrient-holding capacity. They are

developed on clayey glaciolacustrine sediments. About 80% of the arable land is of the

clay type from the Broadview and Spallumcheen series of the Glenmore Soil

Management Group.


28 A further 10% of the arable land is muck, silty loam and loam


24


Climatic Capability for Agriculture maps are available from the BC Ministry for Sustainable

Resource Management. For detailed information see BC Ministry of Environment. APD

Technical Paper 4. Climatic Capability Classification for Agriculture in British Columbia.


25


Ibid.


26


A freeze free period is the greatest number of consecutive days in a calendar year free of a

temperature of zero degrees Celsius or less.


27


Growing Degree Days is the accumulated difference between the mean daily temperature and

the standard base temperature of 5 degrees Celsius on days when the mean daily temperature

is above 5 degrees Celsius. The first/last day of any consecutive five-day period when the mean

daily temperature is equal to or greater than 5 degrees Celsius is define as the start/end of the

period of accumulation.


28


See Gough, NA, Hughes-Games, GA, and DC Nikkel. 1994. Soil Management Handbook for

the Okanagan and Similkameen Valleys. BC Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.


20


type soils. The remaining 10% of the arable land is classified as light textured soils

such as sandy loam and loamy sand.


29


3.2.1 Broadview and Spallumcheen Soils


Since these soils are moderately fine to fine-textured, they have high potential to be

eroded. The compact clayey subsoils restrict proper rooting depth of some crops.

Organic matter of surface horizons is low.

Recommended management considerations in the use of these soils include:



Cultivation practices to minimize compaction,



incorporation of organic matter to improve soil structure and decrease surface

crusting,



Soil conservation practices on slopes in excess of 9% to prevent water erosion,



Periodic subsoiling to open up the fine-textured dense subsoil,



Cover cropping to reduce soil erosion in perennial crops,



Where drainage is required, drainage tile spacing of 10 to 12 m at 0.8m depth.

Glenmore soils are well suited to crops such as alfalfa, annual vegetables (except root

crops), cereals and forage crops. The soils are suited to corn, nursery, Christmas trees,

and root crop vegetables on slopes less than 9%. Blueberries, forage crops,

raspberries, strawberries and tree fruits are suited on slopes between 9-15 %.


3.2.2 Improved Land Capability


Canada Land Inventory (CLI) mapping covers a portion of the agricultural area of the

Township. With improvement


30, over 80% of the area falls into Capability Classes 1 to

3,

31 i.e., the top agricultural classes in the province. Much of the remaining 20%

consists of Class 4 and 5 lands, restricted in capability by topography (slope) and

depth to solid bedrock and/or rockiness (R).


29


Sprout, PMN. and CC Kelley. 1960. Soil survey of the North Okanagan Valley. Interim

Report. BC Department of Agriculture, Kamloops.


30


Improved land capability ratings indicate the capability after limitations have been alleviated,

such as through drainage, irrigation, diking, stone removal, salinity treatment, subsoiling,

and/or addition of fertilizer/soil amendments.


31


CLASS 1 land has no or only very slight limitations that restrict its use for the production of

common agricultural crops. Land in Class 1 is level or nearly level. The soils are deep, well to

imperfectly drained under natural conditions, or have good artificial water table control, and

hold moisture well. They can be managed and cropped without difficulty. Productivity is easily

maintained for a wide range of field crops.

CLASS 2 land has minor limitations that require good ongoing management practices or

slightly restrict the range of crops, or both. Land in Class 2 has limitations which constitute a

continuous minor management problem or may cause lower crop yields compared to Class 1

land but which do not pose a threat of crop loss under good management. The soils in Class 2

are deep, hold moisture well and can be managed and cropped with little difficulty.

CLASS 3 land has limitations that require moderately intensive management practices or

moderately restrict the range of crops, or both. The limitations are more severe than for Class 2

land and management practices are more difficult to apply and maintain. The limitations may

restrict the choice of suitable crops or affect one or more of the following practices: timing and

ease of cultivation, planting and harvesting, and methods of soil conservation.


21


In the well-drained areas, the improved land capability of soils in Spallumcheen is

primarily influenced by ability to alleviate restrictions related to soil moisture

deficiency (A), topography (T), and undesirable soil structure and /or low perviousness

(D), due to the dense clayey nature of the soils. In the lower lying areas, the improved

land capability of soils in Spallumcheen is primarily influenced by ability to alleviate

restrictions related excess water (W), due to drainage, high water table, seepage,

and/or runoff from surrounding areas, and salinity (N). Figure 13 (to be added)

presents CLI information for the Spallumcheen Valley.


3.3 Water


Average rainfall in the valley is 450 mm annually, of which 180 mm falls from May to

September, inclusive. The moisture deficit is between 185 and 250 mm, depending on

soil type. Rainfall-related moisture supply in the Spallumcheen Valley permits about

1.5 crops of alfalfa each year. In contrast, irrigated alfalfa can produce 3 crops per

year in the area.

There are currently 19 Water Improvement Districts in the valley providing potable

water and operating independently.


32 In addition to variable availability of supply,

depending on weather, surface water impoundment systems are susceptible to

increased turbidity during spring runoff. Of the independent water districts, none

supply irrigation water with the exception of the Stepping Stones Water Utility in

South Spallumcheen.

33 The City of Armstrong also has two wells that are used to

supplement their surface water.

While demand is anticipated to increase, there are growing concerns that ground

water and surface water use may be reaching sustainable limits. The Township is

undertaking a Master Water Plan to identify new well sites and reservoir locations to

develop a municipal wide water distribution system. Continued water availability has

implications for residential growth as well as agricultural productivity in the

Township.

Agricultural systems that conserve water provide opportunity to increase productivity

while not increasing or reducing water usage.


3.3.1 Irrigation Water Demand


The irrigation requirement for most of the valley is from the beginning of May through

the second week of September (130 days). Roughly 12% (1,932 ha) of the total

farmland in the Township is currently irrigated, predominantly from groundwater

sources.


34 The typical well is 125 m deep.


32


This includes 13 independent districts, 4 Municipal Water Utilities managed by the

Township itself, one supplied by the City of Vernon, and 1unincorporated Water User Group.

Nash, N. 2006. Personal communication, and see


http://www.spallumcheentwp.bc.ca/files/%7BCA0B91C3-0E7E-4CDE-B1A2-

40AEF02F7EF9%7DOCP%20Water%20Sewer.pdf


33


Pardell, J. 2006. Personal communication. Public Works Manager, Township of

Spallumcheen.


34


Small amounts of water are licensed for domestic purposes out of Meighan Creek.


22


Demand for irrigation water in the Spallumcheen Valley and part of Deep Creek valley

is significant (total irrigable area is about 15,000 ha) and includes the arable land of

three Indian reserves in the valley (approx. 847 ha). In the Township itself, only 23% of

the land in crops was irrigated in 2001.

There are no regulations governing the quantity of groundwater that may be extracted

from underground aquifers.


3.3.2 Ground Water Irrigation Supply


Groundwater development potential is found in six areas of the Township and can

supply an irrigation demand of about 600 litres per second, which is capable of

supplying about 45% of the smallest surface water schemes (approximately 1,800 ha)

proposed in the 1980’s.


23


Figure 13: Improved Agricultural Land Capability in the Spallumcheen

Valley, Armstrong South (Source: Canada Land Inventory)


24


Figure 14: Improved Agricultural Land Capability in the Spallumcheen

Valley, Armstrong North (Source: Canada Land Inventory)


25


In 2005-2008, under the administration of the Township of Spallumcheen, a project is

underway to better understand the ground water and surface water resources in the

Deep Creek watershed, which are facing increased competition from urban,

agricultural and environmental users. The outputs are expected to provide information

upon which to develop a strategy to enhance water availability among competing

interests in the watershed.


3.3.3 Surface Water Irrigation Supply


Consumptive surface water uses on Deep Creek include domestic water supply

withdrawals of 11.4 m


3/day and irrigation water supply withdrawals of 1,710

dam

3/per annum.35


Farms in the Township use treated effluent water from the City of Armstrong for

irrigation water supply of an area south of Armstrong. This system, started in the

spring of 1993, has increased in popularity within the agricultural community. In

2006, 1,068 acres received 650 acre feet of treated sewage wastewater.


36


An irrigation supply study undertaken in the early 1980’s by the BC Ministry of

Environment noted potential to pump water from the Shuswap River to service the

northern part of the valley (3,100 ha) and from Okanagan Lake to service the southern

part of the valley (4,000 ha).


37 There is ample bulk water supply from both surface

locations to meet all irrigation demands in the valley. The study also indicates that a

small irrigation scheme is feasible using Otter Lake.

38


No agricultural irrigation water is obtained from Fortune Creek. The City of Armstrong

uses the creek and two connected lakes on Silver Mountain for its water supply. Two

deep wells are used to supplement the surface water supply for the three to six weeks

when turbidity is an issue.


4.0 Agro-Environmental Interface


4.1 Groundwater Use in the Spallumcheen Valley


Aquifers in the region are predominantly unconsolidated, as opposed to bedrock

aquifers.


39


35


BC Ministry of Environment. 1994. Ambient water quality objectives for the tributaries to

Okanagan Lake near Vernon. Overview Report.


http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/wat/wq/objectives/vernontribs/vernon.html#figure


36


Langlois, T. 2006. Personal communication. Water/Wastewater Technician. City of

Armstrong.


37


BC Ministry of Environment. 1981. Corporation of the Township of Spallumcheen,

Spallumcheen Valley. Irrigation Water Supply Study.


38


However, there are political, environmental and economic challenges that would have to be

overcome in order for a surface water irrigation project to be implemented.


39


Unconsolidated aquifers are composed of materials that are not cemented together such as

sands and gravels. Bedrock aquifers are comprised of consolidated materials such as

limestone, sandstone, siltstone, shale or fractured crystalline rock. Unconsolidated aquifers are

water table aquifers that occur between soil and bedrock rock.


26


Source:


http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/main/ministry_search.html


Figure 15: Location of Irrigation Wells in Relation to Aquifer Demand in

the Spallumcheen Valley


27


Source:


http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/main/ministry_search.html


Figure 16: Location of Domestic Wells in Relation to Aquifer Productivity

in the Spallumcheen Valley.


28


4.1.1 Aquifer Demand


Substantial portions of the agricultural area exert a moderate demand on the aquifer

resource (see Figure 16). An area south of Armstrong shows high demand (Eagle Rock

aquifer).


4.1.2 Aquifer Productivity


Figure 17 presents information on the productivity of aquifers in the area. With the

exception of three unconsolidated aquifers that possess medium to high productivity,

all other aquifers are indicated to have low productivity.


4.1.3 Aquifer Vulnerability


Aquifer vulnerability refers to the potential for water quality degradation by

contamination from surface sources. Sustainable use of highly vulnerable areas, in

particular, should entail practices to ensure that activities minimize the risk of

contamination and that safeguards are in place to protect the resource.

The bulk of the agricultural area of the Township is located where aquifer vulnerability

is low (see Figure 17). However, there are at least two areas where aquifer vulnerability

is indicated to be high. The two locations are 1) immediately south of Armstrong and

2) in the vicinity of South Grandview Road.

There is another area where aquifer vulnerability is indicated to be “medium”, along a

section of Deep Creek north of Armstrong.


4.1.4 Water Wells


Numerous water wells are located in the valley. In Figure 15 of Section 3.1.1, above,

irrigation water wells were indicated in relation to aquifer demand. In Figure 17,

domestic and irrigation water wells are indicated in relation to aquifer productivity.


4.2 Air Quality


Agriculture Canada has expressed concern that agriculture plays a major role as a

contributor to ammonia (NH


3) into the atmosphere, from both manures and inorganic

fertilizers. Other contributions by agriculture include nitrogen oxides (N0

x) from fuel

combustion and fertilizer conversion in the soil, and nitrous oxide (N

20) from soils and

animal waste.

40


There have been no studies of possible agricultural contributions to air quality

degradation in the Interior of BC. However, a study in the Fraser Valley has indicated

that ammonia vapours from manures were mixing with sulfur oxide to create

ammonium sulfate and ammonium nitrate smog.


41 The sulfur oxide in the lower

mainland originates from oil refineries located along the coast in Washington state and

pollution in the Vancouver area.


40


See T. Kurvits, and T. Marta. 1998. Agricultural NH3 and NOx Emissions in Canada.

Agriculture Canada.

http://www.agr.gc.ca/policy/environment/pdfs/air_quality/nitrogen.pdf


41


See http://archives.foodsafetynetwork.ca/animalnet/1999/6-1999/an-06-07-99-0...


29


SPALLUMCHEEN SPALLUMCHEEN


SPALLUMCHEEN


ENDERBY


ENDERBY


VERNON VERNON


VERNON


Source:


http://www.mapplace.ca/


Figure 17: Aquifer Vulnerability and Location of Water Wells, Township of

Spallumcheen


Aquifer Vulnerability Legend:


High vulnerability

Medium vulnerability

Low vulnerability

Undefined

Water wells


30


Agricultural activities also contribute significant emissions of climate changing

greenhouse gases (GHGs) through the production of carbon dioxide (CO


2), methane

(CH

3), and nitrous oxide (N2O).42 However, agriculture also has the potential to

substantially reduce GHGs by managing soils to reduce the amount of carbon that is

released through the loss of organic matter and increasing the amount of carbon that

is reabsorbed (carbon sequestration).


4.3 Surface Water Quality


Most surface water contamination used to come from the City of Armstrong’s sewage

discharge into Deep Creek. The City of Armstrong began a program of spray irrigation

of treated sewage in the spring of 1993, so that discharges to the creek should now

only take place in emergencies during periods of high precipitation. No discharges

have occurred in the last seven years.


43


Non-point source discharges are also affecting water quality in Deep Creek. A two-year

study conducted in 1987 and 1988 on Deep Creek showed that there was an increase

of over 4 kg phosphorus per kilometre at sites upstream from Armstrong, presumably

due to non-point sources.


44 Downstream from Armstrong (and downstream from Otter

Lake), the increase was 105 kg/km. Most recently, the Ministry of Environment has

reported that the phosphorus load has not increased to the present, but has not

decreased either.

45


Otter Lake seems to act as a reservoir for nutrients, storing them during low flow

periods, and releasing them during high flows. Similar impacts are anticipated for

nitrogen compounds and possibly bacteria concentrations if the measured phosphorus

loadings originate from cattle wastes. Phosphorus loadings likely originate from

several sources, including breakthrough from manure applications due to overapplication

and peat oxidation in the upper creek valley.


46


Deep Creek is well-buffered to acidic inputs, and has a moderate amount of hardness

to ameliorate the toxicity of some metals.


47 A number of metals occasionally have had

concentrations which exceed BC approved or working water quality criteria to protect

aquatic life. These metals included aluminum, iron, manganese, and lead. There are

no known sources of metals to Deep Creek other than possibly stormwater runoff from


42


See


http://www.climatechangeconnection.org/pages/agriculture1.html#impactson...


for

further discussion.


43


Langlois, T. 2006. Personal communication. Water/Wastewater Technician. City of

Armstrong.


44


BC Ministry of Environment. 1994. Ambient water quality objectives for the tributaries to

Okanagan Lake near Vernon. Overview Report.


http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/wat/wq/objectives/vernontribs/vernon.html#figure


45


Murphy, K. 2006. Personal communication.


46


BC Ministry of Environment. 1994. Ambient water quality objectives for the tributaries to

Okanagan Lake near Vernon. Overview Report.


http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/wat/wq/objectives/vernontribs/vernon.html#figure


47


Ibid.


31


Armstrong and alum which may be used by the City of Armstrong, if emergency

discharges are necessary, for phosphorus removal.


48


4.4 Agricultural Nutrients from Livestock Operations


Livestock production is intimately related to crop production since crop fields normally

are used to beneficially dispose of animal manures. So, a question that arises is “Is the

cropland capable of carrying the livestock manure load in the valley?”

Such a study was recently completed for the Fraser Valley.


49 In that study, manure

nutrient volumes were estimated and found to substantially exceed the amount of

nutrients that could be beneficially used by the crop base. The nutrients of concern

are nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.

There is no hard data on the nutrient supply –demand balance in the Spallumcheen

Valley. Such a balance would have to take in to account the quantity of nutrients from

livestock manures, commercial chemical fertilizers used, organic nutrition

applications, and treated wastewater effluent from the City of Armstrong being applied

in the area. As well, an unknown amount of livestock manure is trucked out of the

valley. The BC Ministry of Agriculture and Lands is planning on undertaking a

nutrient study in the North Okanagan.


4.5 Agricultural Environmental Stewardship


Since the fall of 2004, the Canada-British Columbia Environmental Farm Plan

program has been operating in BC. This program is intended to enhance on-farm

environmental stewardship practices by encouraging producers to adopt beneficial

management practices that enhance agricultural sustainability and provide a cleaner,

healthier environment.


50


The planning component of the program is provided at no cost to the producer and

grant incentives are provided to assist producers financially to implement beneficial

management practices. While absence of program participation does mean that

producers are threatening the environment, the program is an effective vehicle in

helping farmers to become more aware of environmental issues and to demonstrate to

the public and regulators that they are practicing good stewardship. About forty farms

in the North Okanagan have taken advantage of this program to date.


5.0 Regulatory Context for Agriculture


Agricultural planning in the Township of Spallumcheen is governed by a variety of

provincial and local government statutes, regulations and policies. This section

reviews key legislation and policies affecting agricultural planning in the Township


48


Langlois, T. 2006. Personal communication. Water/Wastewater Technician. City of

Armstrong.


49


See Timmenga & Associates, Zbeetnoff Agro-Environmental Consulting and DH Lauriente

Consultants Ltd. 2004. Evaluation of Options for Fraser Valley Poultry Manure Utilization.

(Client: BC Poultry Environmental Steering Committee)


50


See the BC Agricultural Council


http://www.bcac.bc.ca/../documents/EFP_Program_Brochure.pdf


32


(provincial and local). It is not intended as a comprehensive review of all legislation

affecting agriculture.


5.1 Provincial Legislation


5.1.1 Agricultural Land Commission Act


The Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) is a provincial zone in which agriculture is

recognized as the priority use where farming is encouraged and non-agricultural uses

are controlled. Amendments have been made from time to time to the types of

activities allowed on farm lands.

While the Act supersedes the zoning powers of the


Local Government Act, the

municipality is required to act as the agent for the Agricultural Land Commission

(ALC) in land use matters related to the ALR. Nonetheless, the ALC makes the final

decision related to land uses not in accordance with the provisions of the Act.

In 2002, the

Agricultural Land Commission Act (2002) was brought into force, repealing

the

Agricultural Land Reserve Act and the Soil Conservation Act and resulting in

appropriate amendments to the

Local Government Act. The new Act incorporates some

of the provisions of the repealed Acts and establishes the Provincial Agricultural Land

Commission (ALC).

The new Act is intended to make the Commission more regionally responsive. Local

governments are given the opportunity to become more involved in some aspects of

ALR management through new regional panels consisting of commissioners with local

knowledge, experience and interests.


The Agricultural Land Reserve Use, Subdivision and Procedure Regulation


, B.C. Reg.

171/2002, replaced all existing regulations under the (repealed)

Agricultural Land

Reserve Act

and Soil Conservation Act. This Regulation identifies farm activities and

other, non-farm uses permitted in the ALR, notification requirements for soil removal

and placement of fill, procedures for submitting applications and identifies filing

requirements. Agro-tourism is an authorized use of land within the ALR as are a

number of other uses including bed and breakfasts, kennels, parks, wildlife

management areas, etc.

Under recent guidelines in the Agricultural Commission’s service plan, the

Commission may consider “community need” in assessing applications to remove land

from the ALR. In several BC municipalities, this provision has been used to place other

values ahead of agricultural values, such as sports fields in Penticton, business park

in Abbotsford, a subdivision with a golf course in Summerland, and a Candy Land

theme park in Chilliwack.

51 It remains to be seen what sort of pressures will be

brought to bear in the City of Armstrong on land that lies adjacent to the Township’s

agricultural area.


51


See Campbell, C. 2006. Forever Farmland: Reshaping the Agricultural Land Reserve for the

21

st Century. David Suzuki Foundation. www.davidsuzuki.org .


33


5.1.2 Farm Practices Protection (Right to Farm) Act


This Act was introduced in 1995 to provide for better coordination between farming

and non-farming neighbours and to protect farms from court action relating to

nuisance complaints from normal farming activities. A “normal farm practice’” is an

activity “…that is conducted by a farm business in a manner consistent with proper

and accepted customs and standards as established and followed by similar farm

businesses under similar circumstances…”

To be eligible for protection, a farmer must be in compliance with the


Health Act,


Pesticide Control Act, Environmental Management Act,


the regulations under those

Acts, and any land use regulation. The Farm Practices Board and review procedures

are in place to determine whether the disturbance results from a normal farm

practice. If the Board rules that a farm practice is not normal, then the common law

rules and local government bylaws dealing with nuisance can be applied to remedy the

situation.

The "right to farm" part of the act exempts farm practices from certain local

government bylaws (nuisance and miscellaneous bylaws under Section 789(1)(a) or (b),

932 and 933 of the

Local Government Act). A division in the Local Government Act also

provides for development of bylaw standards by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and

Fisheries (MAFF) and the document entitled “Guide for Bylaw Development in Farming

Areas” is intended to help local governments prepare zoning bylaws and farm bylaws

which support farming. The

Local Government Act requires a local government wishing

to regulate or prohibit farm operations under sections 903(5) and 917 of the

Local

Government Act

to first seek approval from the Minister of Agriculture and Lands.


5.1.3 Local Government Act


The


Local Government Act, which succeeds the Municipal Act, is the key legislation

defining the authority of local governments to govern local affairs for the purposes of

providing good government, services, stewardship of public assets, and fostering the

current and future economic, social and environmental well-being of its community.

Among the broad powers of the Act, duly constituted and administrated local

governments are permitted to preserve and promote the peace, order and good

government of the municipality, the health, safety, morality and welfare of its citizens,

and provide for protection of persons and property. Through the process of municipal

bylaw, municipal powers address farming activities through community planning;

zoning; nuisance regulations; removal and deposit of soil; weed and pest control; water

use and drainage. Part 29 titled Division (4.1) - Farm Standards and Bylaws provides

for the creation of "farm bylaws" and allows for the establishing of agricultural

standards for the guidance of local governments in the preparation of bylaws affecting

agriculture.


5.1.4 Community Charter


The


Community Charter, which came into force in early 2004, gives fundamental

powers to municipalities that replace provisions in the

Local Government Act and will

require consequential amendments to the

Local Government Act. The Charter was

created to address municipal concerns about:



their legislative authority to fulfill areas of responsibility


34



the adequacy of resources to manage those responsibilities, and



existing requirements for Provincial approval

The stated purposes of the Act are to provide municipalities and their councils with:

52


(a) a legal framework for the powers, duties and functions that are

necessary to fulfill their purposes,

(b) the authority and discretion to address existing and future community

needs, and

(c) the flexibility to determine the public interest of their communities and to

respond to the different needs and changing circumstances of their

communities.

The three principles promoted in the legislation are:



broader powers for local government, including title to roads and local parks



stronger and clearer recognition of the relative jurisdictions of the Province and

municipalities, including commitment from the province not to download new

programs on local governments, and



“improved public participation”, including provisions for individuals to file

“counter petitions” regarding local government decisions and, with the support

of 5% of the electors, force the issue to referendum

From a regulatory perspective, a council may establish a standard, code or rule by

adopting a provincial, national or international body or standards association

standard, code or rule. Clearer authority is given to council under the Charter, which

may, by bylaw, regulate, prohibit and impose requirements regarding:



the health, safety or protection of persons or property;



the protection and enhancement of the well-being of its community in relation

to the matters referred to in section 64 [nuisances, disturbances and other

objectionable situations];



public health;



protection of the natural environment;



animals;



buildings and other structures;



the removal of soil and the deposit of soil or material.

Under the Charter, municipalities may be able to introduce restrictions on farming

activities if such operations can be shown to affect public health and well-being of the

local community. For example, it appears that municipalities may be able to restrict

cosmetic pesticide in the interests of providing community benefit.


5.2 Township of Spallumcheen Bylaws


Several policies and regulations directly affect agriculture in the Township of

Spallumcheen. At the Township level, the Official Community Plan (OCP) and Zoning

Bylaw are key bylaws which set out policies and regulations for agriculture.


52


See http://www.mcaws.gov.bc.ca/charter/legislation/rd.htm


35


5.2.1 Official Community Plan, Bylaw No. 1570, 2004


An OCP is a key document for a municipality in that it sets out the goals and

objectives for community development, particularly from a land use planning and

management perspective. Agriculture is a key component of Spallumcheen’s OCP.

Several goals and policies are meant to maintain and strengthen the role agriculture

plays in the community. In Section 3, Community Goals and Objectives, the OCP

states:


“The primary goal of the Township is to preserve the agricultural land base, the

community’s rural character, and environmental attributes while allowing

changes in land use that will not compromise the primary goal.”


Specific policies in this section relating to agriculture include:


(a) To maintain Spallumcheen as a predominantly agricultural and rural community.

(b) To preserve the unique characteristics and significant natural features of the

Township.

(f) To support an increased level of economic activity in the agricultural industry by

maintaining the present agricultural land base while allowing increased

opportunities for local farmers.

(g) To provide direction on the location, amount and type of rural development in the

context of historic slow to moderate growth.

(h) To encourage industrial expansion within the framework of environmental

protection, appropriate servicing standards and the predominantly rural lifestyle

of Spallumcheen residents.

(i) To support regional growth management by generally encouraging residential and

commercial developments to locate in existing urban centres in the North

Okanagan.


The OCP is quite clear that it is the intent of the Township to support the existing

agricultural land base and rural character while discouraging growth and development

that is not compatible with this primary goal. The OCP’s general policies (Section 4.1)

also support this goal. For example, the first policy in this section states,


“The Township shall:

(

a) not support the removal of land from the ALR, including lands located between

Highway 97A and Eagle Rock Road, unless otherwise specifically identified in this

Official Community Plan.”


Section 5 of the OCP pertains to Agricultural Land and a number of general policies

have been enunciated:


(a) the Township supports the Spallumcheen farming community and the on-going

cooperation of senior governments, including the Agricultural Land Commission,

in their efforts to maintain the viability of farming and the agricultural land base

in Spallumcheen.


36


(b) Where a non-Agricultural property abuts a property which is designated as

Agricultural and a subdivision or development permit application has been

received for the non-Agricultural property, an appropriate buffer strip will be

established and protected by covenant on the non-Agricultural property following

the “Landscape Buffer Specifications” published by the Agricultural Land

Commission. The Township shall also utilize public education, identification of

suitable building envelopes, and covenants to further minimize potential for

agriculture/non-agricultural land use conflicts;

and this policy may be employed between non-farm and farm properties

generally.

(c) Land designated as Agricultural on map Schedule B is intended to be used for

agricultural purposes only. All uses and subdivision of agricultural land will be

in accordance with the provisions of the ALC Act and regulations or orders or

policies.

(d) As all land surrounding the City of Armstrong is within the ALR and designated

as Agricultural in this Plan, any boundary adjustments or annexations to include

these lands into the City of Armstrong are not supported.

(e) The creation of panhandle lots within the ALR is not generally supported because

of the withdrawal of land from farm production for a driveway area.

(f) Agricultural industrial land uses may be permitted on lands designated as

Agricultural providing these uses are in compliance with the ALC Act.

(g) Notwithstanding the minimum lot size standards and land use policies cited in

this Plan or the Zoning Bylaw, the Township may, after due consideration, not

authorize an application to the ALC if the proposed subdivision or use would have

a negative impact on agricultural land or the farming community even if the

proposed subdivision is consistent with these minimum lot size standards or the

proposed use is consistent with existing land use policies;

and when considering such an application and where a parcel is zoned other

than Agricultural in the Township of Spallumcheen Zoning Bylaw and where a

parcel is designated as Agricultural in this OCP, the policies of this Plan should

take precedence as appropriate.

(h) The Township shall review regulations for non-ALR parcels within the A.2 zone

that do not meet the zone’s minimum lot size requirements.

(i) The Township shall pursue the development of an Agricultural Area Plan and

consider preparation of an inventory of Spallumcheen’s agricultural operations.

(j) Agricultural landowners are encouraged to consolidate two or more parcels into a

single larger parcel which may be more viable for agricultural purposes and will

contribute to conserving the long-term agricultural character of the community.

(k) The Township supports the continued operation, potential expansion and many

benefits of the spray irrigation program.


Section 6 of the OCP deals with policies for rural land use in the Township. In

general, the Township is not supportive of designating land for additional residential

development. The OCP states:


37


(a) The Township does not support the transition of viable agricultural land to nonagricultural

uses;

(b) Non-agricultural, rural land is often constrained for development by steep slopes,

inadequate roads, and lack of necessary services;

(c) Residential development on rural lands outside the ALR may restrict their

potential use for resource extraction, may interfere with watershed conservation

objectives, may be subject to potential wildfire hazard and such areas are

typically remote from commercial centres and community facilities;

(d) Non-farm residents in close proximity to farms often do not appreciate the side

effects of normal farming operations which, at times, may include noise, odours

and slow vehicles on rural roads; and

(e) Additional residential development in rural areas may lead to inaccurate

expectations that the Township will support subdivision or non-farm use within,

or exclusions from, the ALR.


An important consideration in maintaining the rural character of an area is the

minimum parcel size. The OCP (Section 6.1) has three land use (rural) designations

for lands outside the ALR with the following minimum parcel size:

Large Holdings 30.5 ha

Country Residential 2.0 ha

Small Holdings 1.0 ha

The Large Holdings designation generally applies to resource extraction uses such as

woodlots or gravel extraction, properties that are located in remote areas, or those that

are relatively inaccessible or unsuitable for development (steep slopes, etc.).

The OCP recognizes that two areas outside the ALR may be rezoned and subdivided at

some point in the future for residential purposes. These include lands north of the

Stepping Stone Estates subdivision and adjacent to the McLeod subdivision.

Section 8.2 includes three policies dealing with Agricultural Industrial land uses:


(a) Agricultural industrial land uses that support local farm production are

encouraged to locate on non-ALR land.

(b) The ALC has indicated that they may consider agricultural land uses, which

require a direct relationship with the existing Rogers Foods Ltd., immediately to

the east of the Rogers Food plant.

(c) Agricultural industrial land uses may be permitted on lands designated as

Agricultural provided that the lands are of lower agricultural capability, and these

uses are in compliance with the ALC Act.


Section 9.1 deals with Commercial Land uses, including agricultural commercial. The

Township would support a neighbourhood commercial use in an Agricultural, Rural or

Residential area if there was a demonstrated local need or a recreational commercial

use in an Agricultural or Rural area which is in proximity to Crown land recreational

opportunities or adjacent to a natural feature such as a lake or stream.


38


Section 10.1 includes policies related to Home-Based businesses. Home-based

businesses, including bed and breakfast operations, may be permitted in all

Agricultural, Residential, and Rural designated areas, subject to meeting requirements

of the Township’s Zoning Bylaw and the ALC Act.

Section 14.1 addresses policies dealing with the road network. The Township will

update its Road Network Plan to include widening of roads to accommodate nonvehicular

users and slow moving farm vehicles. When future roads are planned within

the ALR, the Township will consult with the farm community, affected landowners and

the ALC. Future local roads needed to complete a local road network are identified,

including a connection from the McLeod Subdivision across Fortune Creek to

Powerhouse Road and a connection between Powerhouse Road and Eagle Rock Road.

These roads will require approval of the ALC.

The provision of utility services is covered in Section 15. These include water, sanitary

sewer and storm water management. A Master Water Plan is to be prepared which

identifies new well sites, reservoir locations and distribution system requirements and

watershed and streamside protection. Water metering is promoted as a conservation

tool. The OCP calls for the lobbying of the provincial government to regulate

groundwater use. Policy 15.1 (e) requires that an environmental impact assessment be

submitted in conjunction with applications or referrals for development or other

activities which may impact an aquifer or surface water source utilized by a local

water utility.

Policy 15.2(a) states that the Township does not support the creation of new lots less

than 1.0 hectare which are proposed to be serviced by septic disposal systems.

However, legitimate home site severance subdivisions which are approved by the ALC

may be exempt from this policy. Policy 15.2(c) recognizes that a community

wastewater system to service the Spallumcheen Industrial Park could also benefit the

agricultural community if it results in increased amounts of reclaimed water to be

utilized for irrigation.

There is no mention of agricultural wastes in the OCP; however, Section 15.3 notes

that reduction, reuse and recycling of solid waste and any other regional approaches

to solid waste management are encouraged by the Township. Also, the Township will

cooperate with other municipalities and the regional district to determine the

feasibility and a potential site for a regional composting facility. It is uncertain

whether such a facility would include agricultural wastes.

Section 16.5 establishes a Water Body Protection-Natural Environment Development

Permit Area for properties adjoining Shuswap River, Deep Creek, Fortune Creek, Maid

Creek and Otter Lake. A development permit is required for any land alteration,

construction or alteration of a building or structure within 30 metres of the natural

boundary of the identified water body. However, land alteration activities required for

agricultural cultivation within the Agricultural Land Reserve are exempt from

requiring a permit. Section 16.5.6 provides guidelines for protecting these water

bodies by requiring that vegetation and the natural bank grades be retained in a

natural state; minimize sediments and pollutants from surface runoff and piped

drainage sources. Livestock water facilities are to be located away from the designated

water bodies. Where livestock access to the water body is required, fencing is to be


39


used to restrict access to locations where a developed watering site has been

established. A 15 metre “no build and/or no disturbance” leave strip adjacent to the

designated water body is to be maintained for new construction and subdivision,

depending upon parcel size and configuration, access, existing development and land

use.

Section 18 outlines steps to implement the OCP including reviewing and amending

existing bylaws or introducing new Township bylaws. Interaction with other agencies

is also required in order to make the OCP effective and to implement services. These

include the Regional District of North Okanagan, City of Armstrong, ALC, Ministry of

Transportation, Ministry of Forests, Ministry of Environment, etc.

In summary, the OCP provides an excellent framework for protecting the agricultural

land base and promoting agriculture within the municipality. It recognizes many of

the issues in sustaining a viable farming community (e.g., protection of the ALR,

fragmentation of parcels, interactions with adjacent non-farm uses) and provides

policies and tools for dealing with many of these.


5.2.2 Zoning Bylaw No. 1449, 1999


The Zoning Bylaw regulates the types of activities, permitted uses of land, buildings

and structures within a specific zone. A number of zones pertain to agriculture:


C.6 Agricultural Commercial Zone


– applies to farmers markets, greenhouses,

hatcheries, livestock auction marts and nurseries. The limiting factor with this zone is

a water supply and sewer system. Lot area is determined by the presence or not of a

water and sewer system. If there is no water supply or sewer provided, then the lot

area for accommodating commercial activity is more restrictive.


I.1 Light Industrial Zone


– this zone permits limited agricultural uses53 on lots that

are larger than 1 ha. Other restrictions include no more than two buildings or

structures per lot; height restrictions of 10 metres and site coverage of no more than

10%. Side, front and rear yard setbacks also apply including a 30 metre setback from

a lot line for any buildings that are used for housing or feeding animals.


I.2 General Industrial Zone


– this zone allows for retail, service and repair of

equipment, including farm equipment and feed, flour, fruit and grain processing.

Uses that are permitted in the Light Industrial Zone are also permitted in this zone.

The minimum lot size is .5 ha. However, limited agricultural uses are not permitted

on lots smaller than 1 ha.


53


Limited Agricultural Use means a use providing for the growing, rearing, producing, and

harvesting of agricultural products; includes the preliminary grading of such products for

shipment, and specifically includes riding stables, dog kennels, fish farms, nurseries,

greenhouses, and the keeping of pigeons, doves, or other animals or birds of like kind and the

keeping of bees, horses, sheep, goats, cattle, dairy cows, fur bearing animals (except mink and

fox), rabbits, poultry, or other animals or birds of like kind in concentrations of six (6) animal

units or less per hectare (2.428 animal units per acre). Swine are also permitted to be kept

provided that they are for the personal use of the owner only.


40


I.4 Agricultural Industrial Zone


– this zone allows for a wide range of agricultural

activities including cottage wineries and breweries, fancy meat and sausage

processing, rendering plants, canneries, dairies, feed and flour mills, fruit and

vegetable processing, fertilizer storage and sales, hatcheries, poultry dressers, meat

packing and slaughter houses, livestock and farm equipment auctions, retail sales of

agricultural products grown or produced on the farm unit, and intensive agricultural

uses as defined in the bylaw. Cottage industries must have a minimum lot size of .4

ha and general agricultural use shall not be permitted on a lot less than 8 ha and the

area zoned for general agricultural use is not to be less than 1 ha. Large setbacks from

side and front yards (180 metres) and rear yards (90 metres) are required for certain

agricultural uses such as by-product and rendering plants, poultry dressers and

slaughter houses. Site coverage by buildings or structures is limited to 30% of the

zoned area.


S.H. Small Holding Zone


– this zone is a rural zone that allows for both intensive

agricultural use and restricted agricultural use. Where an intensive agricultural use

is permitted, any home occupations must be incidental or secondary to the

residential/farm use of the property and does not change the character of the site.

Bed and breakfast operations are allowed within the principal dwelling. Two restricted

agricultural buildings are permitted on the site. The minimum lot size is 1 ha. Lot

coverage varies, depending on the type of use. Greenhouses can occupy 75% of the

site.


C.R. Country Residential Zone


– allows for accessory farm sales (if ancillary to an

agricultural use on the property), bed and breakfast, home occupations and limited

agricultural use. Minimum lot size is 2 ha. Lot coverage is similar to the Small

Holding Zone. There are restrictions on the size of the farm sales area (140 sq. metres).


A.2 Agricultural Zone


– this is the primary agricultural zone for properties within the

ALR. It provides for a wide range of agricultural activities and accessory activities

(farm sales, bed and breakfast, home occupations, intensive agricultural use, resource

use, wineries and cideries). The minimum lot size for this zone is 30.5 hectares.

Schedule J of the bylaw outlines the setbacks from residential zones and water bodies.

A secondary single family dwelling ancillary to the principal residence can be built on

a lot not less than 8 ha in size unless the lot was reduced in size due to a road

allowance dedication. The Township reserves the right to refuse an application for a

secondary house within the ALR. Any permit issued by the Township for a secondary

house must have a covenant registered against the title of the property prohibiting

further subdivision of the property.


L.H. Large Holding Zone


– allows accessory buildings and structures, bed and

breakfasts, home occupations, intensive agricultural use, resource use and secondary

single family dwellings. The minimum lot size is 30.5 ha. The lot coverage for various

uses is the same as the other rural zones. There are restrictions on the size (sq.

metres) of home occupations depending on the size of the lot and if it is outside the

ALR.


S.1 Special Use (Heritage Zone)


– applies to heritage attractions which feature the

display of historic buildings, machinery, craft shops, retail sales, restaurants,

agriculture, wineries and cideries. This zone would be appropriate for some agro

41


tourism businesses that had a historic component (e.g., O’Keefe Ranch). For a winery

or cidery, at least 50% of the fruit used must come from the site. Other sales of farm

products including off-farm products are allowed with some restrictions.


Township of Spallumcheen Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 1534, 2002


- This

bylaw includes a new section 307 - Use of Land within the Agricultural Land Reserve.

This new section states that uses listed under Section 3(1) of the Agricultural Land

Reserve Use, Subdivision and Procedure Regulation (BC Reg. 171/2002) shall not be

permitted unless otherwise specifically regulated by provisions of this Bylaw. These

uses include things such as agro-tourism, bed and breakfasts, waste composting,

parks, kennels, etc.


5.3 Regulatory Summary


The Township of Spallumcheen’s OCP and Zoning Bylaw are very supportive of

agriculture. The zoning bylaw is quite permissive in terms of the range of agricultural

activities that are permitted, while ensuring that best practice measures based on ALC

Act standards for things such as land cover, setbacks and control of odours,

emissions, etc. are employed. Buffering and landscaping provisions between

residential and farm uses are required on the non-farm side of the property boundary.

The OCP allows for limited residential growth and encourages new residential growth

to be concentrated close to existing subdivisions in non-ALR land. Clustering

concepts are encouraged to protect natural areas and open space. On agricultural

zoned properties, pan handle lots are discouraged in order to maximize the use of

agricultural land. The zoning bylaw discusses three types of agriculture use:

intensive, limited and restricted. Each type includes a wide range of agricultural

activities and related ancillary uses. Home occupations are permitted, but the zoning

bylaw regulates the size of these, depending on the zone and minimum lot size. It is

clear that home businesses are not meant to detract from the agricultural activity.

Monitoring and bylaw enforcement will be necessary to ensure this is occurring. The

OCP encourages consolidation of smaller parcels into larger ones to encourage

agriculture, but it is uncertain whether or not this is happening.