The Agricultural Land Reserve at Grafton Lake

Grafton Lake ALR Proposed Exlusion and Inclusion MapPlease comment to to Daniel Martin, Island Community Planner – dmartin@bimbc.ca by October 7th 2016

In order to allow the Orchard Recovery Centre to expand, and provide space for part of the access road to the Commons and houses, we’re asking to take some land out of the Agricultural Land Reserve according to their process. The purpose of the ALR is to preserve farmland and promote agriculture on those lands. We have begun simultaneous Exclusion and Inclusion applications. To offset some of the exclusion, we want to add a similar sized area: the White Swan Orchard. And we’ll bring the Commons into agricultural production, too.

This is part of a larger rezoning project that if approved will protect the shores of Grafton Lake and concentrate development away from the lake.

Some of the areas for possible exclusion have agricultural challenges. Part 1 is rocky. Part 2 has a small area of cultivable land, but the rest is rocky or wetland amid the forest. Most of Part 2 would be sold to the Orchard Recovery Centre. A successful, unimposing business on Bowen Island, it is also one of our biggest employers and has helped many participants improve their lives. We would like to encourage their growth. And this would help finance adding alternate land to the ALR.

Part 3, the White Swan Orchard, is the area we want to add to the ALR. It has deep, excellent soil and better sun exposure. It is cleared and features a new orchard of 100 fruit trees.

We’re asking to exclude 5.5 acres from the ALR, while mitigating it a bit by adding back 3.8 acres. This brings the reduction down to 1.7 acres. Many acres of land will be brought into production, supporting the spirit of the ALR. Meanwhile it’s part of an overall plan to support environmental protection, water source protection, housing and expansion of a solid local business.

As this is a public process, if you have any concerns or comments you need to send them to Daniel Martin, Island Community Planner – dmartin@bimbc.ca by October 7th 2016. We would also love to hear from you, so if you want to you can cc us, or contact us directly, at john@graftonlake.ca

Below are the official application documents (PDFs).