||Policy or Policy Excerpt
|urban-agriculture conflict and edge planning;
buffer at agricultural edge;
|Where the property being subdivided or developed adjoins agricultural land, a vegetated buffer is to be planted or retained. The buffer should usually be at least 3 m wide and should be consistent with the Landscaped Buffer Guidelines (ALC, 1993) developed by the Agricultural Land Commission. The buffer area should be protected from disturbance by a covenant.
urban-agriculture conflict and edge planning;
irrigation and drainage;
|New commercial, industrial, institutional and multi-family residential developments that will create more than 280 m2 of new impervious surfacing should include a report prepared by a Professional Engineer that determines the extent of changes to the natural drainage. It should identify any conditions that should be incorporated into the development permit to protect property from flooding, erosion or from other undesirable impacts as the result of changes to stormwater runoff. Particular attention should be paid to ensuring that drainage changes will not result in detrimental impacts such as flooding or reduced groundwater availability on agricultural lands or watercourses that either adjoin the development or are located in the same watershed. E.1.10.2 Developments that would create less than 280 m2 of impervious surface area should not alter drainage in a way that would cause detrimental impacts on other properties, including agricultural land. The Local Trust Committee could request that a drainage plan be prepared by a Professional Engineer to assist it in establishing development permit conditions related to drainage,
|urban-agriculture conflict and edge planning;
||buffer at agricultural edge;
||Developments adjoining agricultural lands should be designed to minimize conflicts with that land. The location of access roads, the siting of structures and the layout of subdivisions should follow the guidelines developed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands and the Agricultural Land Commission as a guide to implementing the Farm Practices Protection (Right to Farm) Act (MAFF, 1996). Site designs should allow for a vegetated buffer, as outlined in Guideline E.2.8.7. E.2.8.7 Where the property being subdivided or developed adjoins agricultural land, a vegetated buffer is to be planted or retained. The buffer should usually be at least 3 m wide and should be consistent with the Landscaped Buffer Guidelines (ALC, 1993) developed by the Agricultural Land Commission. The buffer area should be protected from disturbance by a covenant.
urban-agriculture conflict and edge planning;
wildlife and ecosystem management;
|Development should not result in the pollution of surface or groundwater supplies. Particular care should be taken to ensure that there are no detrimental impacts on agricultural land or fishbearing watercourses because of water pollution.
|food processing, storage and distribution;
amenity density zoning/contributions;
The Local Trust Committee could consider Amenity Zoning applications that would provide the following eligible community amenities: (Note: the amenities within this list are not in order of priority)...
...e. land for community-owned farmland or land for community agricultural processing or storage facilities provided to the Salt Spring Farmers' Institute or a community farmland trust organization.
|H.3.2.1 (e )
Municipal Planner Interview with Salt Spring Island Re: Amenity Zoning Provisions for Community Owned Farmland and Community Storage/Processing Facilities
Amenity Zoning is the granting of additional development potential (such as an increase in density beyond existing zoning regulations, or a subdivision of a property) in exchange for the voluntary provision of a community amenity by the land owner. Among its list of eligible amenity contributions, Salt Spring Island Local Trust Committee includes the donation of land for community-owned farmland or agricultural processing/storage facilities.
Policy Development and Public Consultation
For quite some time, the Salt Springs Island OCP has permitted the donation of farmland and land for agricultural processing/storage facilities as eligible contributions in exchange for increased development potential. Similar policies are present in both Salt Spring Island’s current OCP (adopted in 2008), and the previous, now repealed, OCP adopted in 1998.
During the 2008 OCP review process, staff prepared opportunities for the community to provide input on specific topics, including amenity zoning. To gather feedback on this particular topic, public meetings and six focus groups were held during the OCP review and development process. Two staff reports were drafted to summarize recommendations to improve the Amenity Zoning policies and help inform their review and improvement. (see LPSa and LPSb )
As a result of staff, council and community discussion during the latest OCP review, the Amenity Zoning provisions were updated to provide the Local Trust Committee with more guidance as to how to employ the policies. These revisions include a list of factors that the Local Trust Committee should consider in order assess the appropriateness of the land for the increased density prior to approving any applications for amenity zoning. Examples of these considerations include the proximity of the site and the proposed development to areas with high environmental value, to areas subject to erosion/flooding and to existing roads and services.
Policy Implementation and Outcomes
Amenity zoning is employed as a discretionary tool and considered on a case-by-case basis. Since density increases on Salt Spring Island can be limited by other factors (eg. moratoriums on increases in water demand), there have been few successful development proposals to increase density on the Island. Additionally, other amenities (e.g. affordable housing) can be viewed as more attractive contributions by applicants.
To date, this policy has been successfully implemented once. In this instance, 60 acres of agricultural land in the Fulford Valley (an agricultural area) was donated to the Salt Spring Island Farmers’ Institute for the establishment of a community farmland trust. This donation was made in exchange for an increase in density for a development in Fulford Harbour. The donated land is now home to the Burgoyne Valley Community Farm, which includes six farming operations, a community garden, and a community services plot where food is produced for people who would not otherwise have access to local produce. This is cited as an excellent example of how amenity zoning provisions can benefit the agricultural community.
Presently, amenity zoning is the granting of additional development density by the Local Trust Committee in exchange for the voluntary provision of a community amenity by the land owner. It was suggested that the Amenity Zoning policies could be applied to re-zoning requests in addition to their current application to request for increased density. In this way, rezoning applications which do not request and increase in development potential, but instead request a change in land use, could offer community amenities in exchange for granting a request to rezone land. By applying Amenity Zoning to rezoning applications, regardless of whether or not the rezoning application was for an increase in density, Salt Spring’s Local Trust Committee could help achieve its goal of increasing community amenities on the Island.
Related Policies and Processes
The Agricultural Land Reserve application referral process has also resulted in the provision of amenities to support the agricultural community on Salt Spring Island.
For example, the Produce Center, a community food storage/processing facility currently being designed/developed, resulted from an application to exclude land from the Agricultural Land Reserve. Negotiations between the developer, the Islands Trust, the Agricultural Land Commission and the agricultural community resulted in an agreement that the developer facilitate the creation of the Produce Centre as part of the conditions for granting the ALR exclusion. Such a facility, identified in Salt Spring’s Area Farm Plan, is considered a significant contribution in supporting the viability of the local agricultural community by increasing the Island’s storage, handling and distribution capacity for locally produced foods.
Note: Recommendations included in the Salt Spring Area Farm Plan, adopted in 2008, played a key role in informing agricultural policies included in the OCP, such as the Amenity Zoning described here. Please see Salt Spring Island Farm Area Plan for more details.
LPSa, Local Planning Services, Staff Report Amenity Zoning and Density Transfer provisions of Salt Spring Island Official Community Plan, presented to Salt Spring Island Local Trust Committee. March 20th, 2008.
LPSb, Local Planning Services, Staff Re OCP Review- April Draft, presented to Salt Spring Island Local Trust Committee. May 5th, 2008.
LPSc, Local Planning Services, Salt Spring Island Trust, personal communication, October 2016.
Salt Spring Area Farm Plan, http://plantofarm.org/who-we-are/area-farm-plan/, retrieved November 2016
Salt Spring Island Farmland Trust, http://www.ssifarmlandtrust.org/, retrieved December 2016