The City’s draft Agriculture Area Plan is ready for its public debut.
Four open house sessions are scheduled for the public to review the plan and submit feedback before it goes to City council.
Those who can’t get to an open house can comment online. The plan will be posted on the City’s website as of Monday.
City planner Maren Luciani said the plan has six major strategy categories.
* The role of a municipal government and looking at existing zoning regulations, official community plan policies, City programs and creating some better flexibility for local agriculture.
We have heard from farmers throughout the process that our regulations are pretty rigid — we’re looking at that, said Luciani
* An agricultural edge strategy to ensure better buffering on the outskirts of town for future non-farm developments adjacent to Agricultural Land Reserve.
* Building regional, provincial and local industry partnerships to encourage policy changes within senior levels of government to support agriculture.
* A focused economic development strategy to support recruitment of new farmers for succession. This includes encouraging people to get involved in farming.
* Raising awareness and promotion of local agriculture. Creating a better understanding for the public as far as agriculture policies are concerned and better industry awareness
* Facilitating agricultural research, such as partnering with other levels of government or other organizations to support research related to agriculture.
The plan also includes such topics as urban beekeeping, urban hens and farmers markets.
Four open houses are slated between Oct. 3 and 24. The draft plan and public feedback all goes to City council for an Oct. 29 workshop for review.
After that, the Agriculture Advisory Committee makes final revisions to the plan and returns it to council for adoption by January 2014.
The open house dates are:
* Thursday, Oct. 3, Bert Edwards Elementary School (gym), 711 Windsor Dr., 6:30 to 8 p.m.
* Monday, Oct. 21, Tournament Capital Ranch (plaza area), 5375 Yellowhead Hwy, 6 to 7:30 p.m.
* Wednesday, Oct. 23, Interior Savings Centre Parkside Lounge, 300 Lorne St., noon to 1:30 p.m. and 6 to 7:30 p.m.
* Thursday, Oct. 24, Barnhartvale Community Hall, 7390 Barnhartvale Rd., 6 to 7:30 p.m.
For those not able to attend an Open House, all documents available at the events will also be posted here: www.kamloops.ca/environment/land-publicparticipation.shtml