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Pemberton still working to bring back music festival

New application for non-farm use may be required, Pemberton mayor says



The Village of Pemberton continues to work on bringing back a major music festival, but it may require new approvals from the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) to do it.

Pemberton Mayor Jordan Sturdy said as much at the Village's Annual General Meeting, held on June 28 as is annually required under B.C.'s Community Charter.

Addressing various business items facing the Village, Sturdy said parties involved in organizing the festival may have to forward a whole new application to the ALC, which regulates agricultural land in the province, in order to permit a music festival to take place again.

The reason is that the Village tried recently to make it so that an event promoter besides Live Nation, the company that put on the 2008 event, could be permitted to put on a festival on a property that has received a non-farm use permit for one weekend every year for ten years to hold a festival. The commission denied the Village's request.

"We appealed to the ALC to have that particular term amended or removed because we didn't want to have all our eggs in one particular basket," Sturdy said. "Unfortunately the ALC did not agree with us and denied us our application, so we're left with a couple of choices, and one of which is for us to put forward a whole new application, which is again something that council will be grappling with over the next little while."


Community concerns persist around Cedar View Estate


Concerns persist in the Pemberton area around the decision not to allow the owners of an agricultural property to hold weddings at their home.

Jan Kennett, a resident of Squamish-Lillooet Regional District Area C, which lies adjacent to the Village of Pemberton's boundaries, said in a question and answer session that she was dismayed to see that council did not permit Cedar View Estate, a bed and breakfast, to hold weddings despite the fact that neither Village bylaws nor the ALC allow them to happen unless the property is being farmed.

"For those of us who are in the tourism business, I was really dismayed to see that decision done," she said. "I'm wondering if there is going to be another look at bylaws and so on and noise issues, so that a compromise can be made so that a business that really does help many businesses is not down, and any more are, if there could only be some bylaw compromise.

Sturdy responded that when the Agricultural Land Commission last visited Pemberton, they were very clear that holding events on agricultural land requires a rezoning, an action that requires a referral to the commission, unless the events are subordinate to the use of the land for agricultural purposes.

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