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formerly a cherry orchard

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Farm economics plan agriculture ALC

Kelowna businessman Trent Kitsch hopes to win approval to build a new winery on a farm he’s converting to a vineyard.

Kitsch owns an eight-hectare property, formerly a cherry orchard, at 2830 East Kelowna Rd. About 5.7 hectares are being converted to growing grapes.

Because the vineyard is in its infancy, the site would not normally qualify as a building site for a winery.

At Monday’s city council meeting, Kitsch will ask for council’s support of a non-farm application to the Agricultural Land Commission. If approved by the ALC, that would permit construction of the winery to begin even though the grapes are not mature enough to make wine.

Until the vineyard is producing, grapes would be sourced for the winery from other farms owned or leased by Kitsch.

The proposed winery would be 10,200 square feet in size.

Municipal planners support Kitsch’s plans as complementary to the city’s agricultural policies and recommend council endorse the non-farm application, but the final decision is up to the ALC.

Kitsch’s other business interests have included a line of men’s underwear, a federally licensed marijuana production facility and residential subdivisions.

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