Council is reconsidering the format under which agritourism accommodation should be permitted on agricultural properties within the District. An open house scheduled for October 5 will be used to gather public opinion on the matter.
Several months ago council put a hold on the development of tourism accommodations on farm properties after a group of residents neighbouring such a site in Oyama brought a grievance to council. They argued that the property was essentially a trailer park with sub-standard servicing for such a use.
Other concerns that arose agritourism accommodation also included the loss of productive farm land as agricultural properties could be set up as trailer parks enjoying the benefit of low agricultural taxes.
The original intention of permitting tourism accommodation on farm properties was to give farmers another option to diversify their income amidst the recent economic hardships.
Using the information obtained at the upcoming open house council will create a new agritourism policy that addresses the needs of residents and farmers alike.
The open house on October 5 will be held between 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. Interested individuals are encouraged to show up at the municipal hall any time between those hours to review presentation boards outlining the history of agritourism in the municipality and in the province. District staff and members of council will be on hand to discuss ideas and concerns. The information boards will remain on display until October 13 for anyone unable to attend on October 5.