Agricultural paper proposes more residential flexibility for ALR land | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Agricultural paper proposes more residential flexibility for ALR land

The provincial agricultural ministry is proposing changes to allow for more residential flexibility on ALR land.
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January 30, 2020 - 10:30 AM

Changes may be in the works for residences allowed on agricultural land in the province.

A new policy intentions paper released Jan. 27 by the Ministry of Agriculture is proposing more residential flexibility for people living on Agricultural Land Reserve properties.

Currently farmers and ranchers are allowed two, three four or more residences in the ALR with permission from the ALC, but consideration is now being given to allow landowners a principal residence and a small secondary residence on their property, with approval from local  government. No application to the ALC would be required.

"We are continuing to do the work necessary to help farmers farm and protect farmland for future generations,” said Minister of Agriculture Lana Popham in the release.

“The ALR is B.C.’s best food-producing land, and is just five per cent of our province’s land base – it’s so important for food security. The proposed changes, if implemented, would provide additional residential flexibility in the ALR. Publicly sharing this proposed policy direction now gives those interested an opportunity to review and comment, leading to better outcomes,” she said.

The new residential options under consideration include:

  • garden suites, guest house or carriage suites
  • accommodation above an existing building
  • manufactured homes
  • allowing a principal residence to be built in additions to a manufactured home that was formerly a principal residence

The secondary residences would be allowed to house occupants other than family members and would not include reconsideration of the maximum size of the principal residence. The ALC would remain the final decision maker for additional residences for farm use in the ALR.

People are asked to provide feedback on the policy intentions paper regarding residential options by April 17 via email to:

At a Farmers Institute meeting held late last year, Minister Popham said the consultation process heard from families across B.C. that said such changes were necessary.

She said each farm and ranch in the province is different and has its own residential needs that change over time.

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