Several residents turned out in opposition of two agricultural land owners’ application to the Peace River Regional District to have their land removed from the Agricultural Land Reserve.

Mary and Larry Wade made the application to the PRRD to exclude the land from the ALR, so that they could apply to have the land re-zoned and subdivided into 51 residential lots in the future.

Their combined 90.3 hectare property is located approximately 1 km west of Charlie Lake. The two proposed phases for the subdivided lots would account for approximately 34 hectares of the total land.

Since the land is part of the ALR, for it to be removed from the reserve, the application must be made to the B.C. Agricultural Land Commission for approval.

Many residents whose properties adjoin the Wade’s, or are nearby, were at the meeting, speaking out in opposition to the proposed application.

Three residents gave a presentation on the importance of agricultural land to both the region as well as the province. Their presentation focused on showing how having a possible future subdivision would conflict with the area’s official community plan, citing the plan’s idea of protecting agricultural land, wildlife and the environment.

Director of Area A Tim Caton discussed the fact that the land might not currently be viable for agricultural purposes. Caton added that if the residents surrounding the area had wanted to protect rural land for agriculture, they should have chosen to live within city limits.

Furthermore, District staff said the property had been designated as a future medium density residential area within the Official Community Plan.

The District first defeated a motion refusing the application. Subsequently, the District passed a motion allowing the application to be sent to the ALC on the basis that it conforms to the Official Community Plan.