In the past it’s been a contentious issue when it has come up before council.
But this time, that was not the case.
A proposal for temporary housing for foreign farm workers in Kelowna was approved by council Monday, with city staff saying it meets the requirements for size, sighting and its temporary nature.
The large living accommodation trailers — one for sleeping, two for recreation and one for a kitchen and eating area— will house 40 temporary workers on a farm off Latta Road, north of McCurdy Road on the Rutland Bench. The trailers will be used for three to four months a year and can be removed.
“This is the preferred solution,” said city planner Ryan Smith. “It’s consistent with city policy.”
In the past, attempts to build large permanent structures on farms to house farmworkers has been resisted by council, who acknowledge housing is needed for workers, but it should be smaller and temporary in nature.
The workers who will live at the Latta Road farm accommodation will come from Mexico and Jamaica.
While council liked the proposal, both Coun. Brad Seiben and Mayor Colin Basran noted the location is isolated, meaning the workers will not be close to other community amenities or transportation.
And that, said Basran, is a concern.
He said the issue of temporary farm worker accommodation will be addressed in the city’s upcoming Agricultural Plan.