The Local Harvest Market is having a few growing pains.
The unique farm and farm-market venture on Lickman Road is charting a bold path attempting to straddle the worlds of sustainable agriculture and retail.
But first they have to jump through procedural hoops to come into compliance with all the rules around “non farm use” activities on land in the ALR and City of Chilliwack bylaws.
A number of improvements were made “without benefit of approval and issuance of appropriate (city) Building Permits and formalization of the Agricultural Land Commission’s approval through zoning,” according to the city staff report in the Jan. 21 council agenda.
Gradual changes have been made in the past three years on the sprawling property, ranging from greenhouse construction, to herb and vegetable production in the fields, as well as the addition of a café and a farm market inside.
A public hearing on Feb. 3 is set to hear feedback on rezoning a portion of the land from an AL (Agriculture Lowland) Zone to an AC (Agriculture Commercial) Zone to allow the “continued operation” of a farm market on the property.
The report states this would bring it into accordance with the ‘non-farm use’ approval issued by the ALC in resolution #226 last year.
The applicant, working with city staff, is now seeking the required building permits for the changes, along with formalization of that ALC approval through zoning re-designation.
“While the proposed land use is considered supportable, it is recommended that the application be held at 3rd Reading to allow the outstanding issues” to be addressed, according to the staff report.
It’s compliance with bylaws and the BC Building Code that have to be cleaned up on a technical level before the building permit can be issued, and that’s only if the rezoning is approved next week.