No Factories on Shafer Road

portion of prepared base—— Write an email to Directors et al. ——

Application to the ALC
In their regular meeting of Dec.12, the RDNO board of directors deferred support for an Application for an exemption to Order in Council 380

Green Amber, an Ontario company, is seeking permission to pour more than 100,000 sq ft of concrete as a base for their planned industrial marjuana production facility on Shafer Road in rural Lumby.

Because the land is in the Agricultural Land Reserve, Order in Council 380 mandates that the operation be carried out on soil. But Health Canada requires that medical marijuana must be produced in a "controlled and sterile" environment, and a concrete floor protects against mould and other contaminants. Green Amber wants to process medical marijuana; hence their Application for an exemption. And the ALC will not contemplate such an Application without the explicit approval of the Regional District.

Approval seemed imminent when a group of citizens met Wednesday evening Dec.05 and organized delegations to the Electoral Area Advisory Committee (EAAC) "delegated public hearings" the following day (Dec.06). The EAAC initiated an amendment to the agenda of the next Board meeting, modifying the motion to approve the Application to a motion to defer it, pending extra work by the proponent.

By-Law 2799
Prior to the EAA Committee's consideration of whether to approve Green Amber's request for exemption, the meeting included third reading of, and public hearings on, By-Law 2799, an amendment to the zoning By-Law 1888, 2003. Speakers objected primarily to its opening up of permission for "marijuana production" facilities on essentially any property in Area 'D' or 'E'. Directors heard upwards of 20 speakers giving reasons why this would amount to a free-for-all gold-rush approach to development in the marijuana industry. Environmental and social constraints would be able to be treated with impunity by developers.

Although no public input has ever been permitted regarding the Green Amber project, there were obvious implications the preceding arguments had for it. So the final portion of the meeting dealing with Green Amber resulted in the deferral already reported above.

However, By-Law 2799 was not discussed further, and appeared on the agenda of the Board meeting Wednesday Dec.12.

Kudos to all those who worked on this issue, without pay, and without much initial hope.

This industrial project belongs in an industrial park, not on rural ALR land.

Here are the reasons why:

1 - SCALE: The scale of this project warrants informing residents about its proposal, yet locals were not informed. Just a couple of years ago the proposed Eco-Village in rural Lumby was refused since it aimed to use 3 of the 30 Acres for housing while keeping the rest in agriculture. Yet this huge project apparently does not even warrant rezoning nor informing neighbours.

2 - ALR Land: This project plans to cover 100,000 sq feet with concrete and to build one or more commercial buildings that compare to the size of a Walmart. This goes against legislation introduced by the BC Agriculture minister on Nov. 5, 2018 making it clear that land in the ALR is for farming and ranching, not for building mega-mansions or mega industries.

3- WATER: With increased drought, residents are already concerned about their water supply. How will this type of operation affect neighbours’ water supplies?

4 - POLLUTION: Residents are concerned about the pollution from the processing going on inside building(s) the size of a Wal-Mart, located right on the edge of a waterway that leads directly to the beautiful Shuswap river only 600 meters away.

5- TRAFFIC: How many trucks and other vehicles are planned to go to and fro daily?

6 - RURAL Living: If allowed, residents see this industrial development as completely changing the atmosphere of this rural community.