Agricultural campgrounds under public review

Lake Country residents will still have a chance to wade into the debate on farm-based campsites.

Lake Country residents will still have a chance to wade into the debate on farm-based campsites.

On Tuesday, council received four recommendations on agritourism accommodations from  the agricultural advisory committee.

“This will now be part of our stakeholder consultation,” said Coun. Noreen Guenther.

“These are ideas we will present to the public to see what they support.”

Under the provincial Agricultural Land Commission, up to 10 campsites are permitted per farm. However, there have been complaints from residents about campfires, traffic and noise from such sites.

The advisory committee recommends that RV and tent units be subject to the municipality’s commercial water and connection fees.

It also suggests that campsites only operate from May to October on agricultural land, and that there be a 15-metre setback and a five-metre buffer between these campgrounds and adjacent properties.

The committee also recommends that council limit the number of units to two per hectare and that no units be allowed on farms under four hectares in size.

Guenther says there has been considerable discussion among Oyama residents opposed to campgrounds on agricultural land.

“I haven’t heard from the agricultural community that believes they need this and I would like to hear from them,” she said, adding that the goal of the provincial rules is to make farm operations viable.

However, the district is concerned some people who own agricultural land do not earn their primary income from farming.

“We don’t want to see a group of 10 people buying agricultural land so they can have their own campground,” she said.

Residents and stakeholders will have an opportunity to provide comments until July 5.

Times and locations for the public consultation process will be announced within the next few weeks.

 

-Vernon Morningstar