Massive fruit packing facility near Kelowna under scrutiny

The Regional District of Central Okanagan is stepping up the pressure against a Kelowna-area fruit company that is under scrutiny for allegedly not following the rules.

The company, Sandher Fruit Packers Ltd. on Old Vernon Road in Ellison, has been ordered to stop building a massive packing facility until it gets the proper permits. But it took two stop work orders to bring construction to a halt.

The regional district says the building is estimated at between 30,000 and 40,000 square feet.

“Right now it’s under a stop work order. They started construction on the property without the appropriate building permits,” Todd Cashin with regional district planning said.

Cashin says construction started without the company submitting engineered drawings and site plans — all of which have to be signed off before construction can begin.

Not only did construction start without the proper permits, other paperwork required for such a large project also wasn’t reportedly submitted.

Global News contacted Sandher Fruit Packers. Company spokesman Prab Sandher would only say that a stop work order was issued and construction has ceased.

But information Sandher didn’t volunteer is that it took two stop work orders to bring work to a halt.

The regional district says the Sandhers conveyed to it that they’re under great pressure to get the plant built because of the looming cherry season.

So far, Sandher Fruit Packers has been issued three fines — a maximum $150 each.

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