In reference to the letter from Melanie Middleton, I was surprised to see that Ms. Middleton was dismayed by the decision to exclude the land from the Agricultural Land Reserve.
Regardless of her quotation of, “it goes against the official community plan and the amount of land already existing in Vernon for housing,” a degree of latitude and common sense by Councillors Quiring and Anderson in their accurate appraisal of current usage has to be acknowledged.
In terms of “putting our ability to support our community’s needs at risk,” those needs extend far beyond the dubious value of this piece of land to be productive in any way. The ability to support our community’s needs utilizing the revenue from the tax base created by transforming this parcel of land far exceeds what the land is doing for Vernon at the moment.
A previous unsuccessful application to exclude this land four years ago does not mean that the previous refusal was the wise thing to do then. This council has wisely turned its back on that previous decision. The speculation as to the motive for the person who bought the land serves no purpose in examining verifiable facts such as the marginal value of the land now.
In terms of the adjacent farmland being farmed for decades, I could make the same statement about farmland where I grew up in Chilliwack being farmed for decades. The Fraser River flows right past it, and that river has no agricultural value. You cannot transpose land usage projections based on the geographical proximity one piece of land might have to another one.
I am impressed with this council and the degree of thoughtful insight they put into this, and many other decisions regarding the well-being of this district.