Skip to content

Housing planned for more temporary migrant workers at Delta farms

Owners must sign a covenant that requires the removal of the temporary housing when it is no longer needed
The application for additional migrant worker housing at Windset Farms is part of a multi-phase expansion of the existing greenhouse operation on the farm and the south adjacent property. Delta Optimist file

Delta council last week endorsed applications by a pair of local farm operations that would see a total of 44 new migrant workers in the community.

Now forwarded to the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) for approval, an application by the Windset Farms greenhouse operation on 41B Street would see the removal of one of the existing modular temporary migrant farm worker housing units on the property and replaced with a new two-storey modular building to accommodate 64 migrant farm workers.

The total number of migrant farm workers on the property would see a net increase of 32, from 96 to 128.

The proposed additional migrant farm worker housing is 4,241-square-feet in net floor area and would increase the total net floor area of migrant farm worker housing on the property to 12,281-square-feet.

The new migrant farm worker housing and the associated septic facilities would be located on the farm home plate as required under the zoning bylaw, but a non-adhering residential use application to the ALC is required for the net increase in residential floor area.

The second proposal by Rod Swenson Farms on 96 Street is also non-adhering residential use application for temporary migrant farm worker housing, as well as a development variance permit, which was referred to the ALC.

The owner is proposing to construct modular migrant farm worker housing to accommodate 12 new workers to meet the increasing labour demands of the farm’s operations.

The proposed temporary housing would have 1,486-square-feet of net floor area and be located on the site's farm home plate, which would also contain and outdoor amenity space for the workers. Staff confirmed that proposal also meets the zoning bylaw regulations and that the proposed number of workers can be accommodated on-site.

Staff also note that a septic system was recently installed to support an existing 53,820-square-foot potato processing building on the site. The proposed variance is requested for a new septic system for the farm worker housing to be located beside the existing septic infrastructure.

Delta’s regulations stipulate that before a building permit can be issued for temporary farm worker housing, the owner of the property is required to register a restrictive covenant on the title stating that the structures shall only be used for the accommodation of full-time migrant farm workers hired through a federal program and shall only be used during the periods of time approved by the program.

Owners must sign a covenant that requires the removal of the housing when it is no longer needed.