The RDOS has denied a request by an Oliver resident to turn his plot on an Agricultural Land Reserve into a vehicle rental business, a decision based heavily on vocal dissent from the director for the area.
Rick Knodel is the Area C director, and he spoke against allowing the 1.21-hectare parcel of land on the east side of Sawmill Road to be developed for anything unrelated to agriculture.
“It was one of those decisions that really kind of plays against my normal philosophies on private property and land ownership,” Knodel said. “My personal philosophy is if you own the property it’s yours, but in this job, I’m kind of in the position where I have to think about the betterment of the whole area.”
He said his major concern was that a vehicle rental business as had been proposed would be too far from the spirit of ALR land and might open the door to further similar developments.
“Over the years I’ve watched small encroachments turn into big ones moving out into the agricultural area, and in the near future we’ll be seeing a necessity of losing more farmland to processing of agricultural products, so I don’t want to set a precedent where just strictly commercial interests are taking advantage of farmland,” Knodel said.
“It’s a very small parcel of land, but it’s the precedent more than anything.”
The land was previously used as the home of Woody’s Glass, but RDOS staff were concerned that business was not lawfully established and was against the ALR land use regulations as well.
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