The ministry’s 2020 intentions paper outlined proposed changes to create more residential opportunities in the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR).

After hearing from farmers, ranchers, ALR landowners, the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC), local governments and First Nations governments, government is now finalizing these changes.

  • In the coming months, government expects to detail rules that will, in most circumstances, enable ALR landowners to have both a principal residence (that could include a secondary suite) and a small additional residence, whether or not there is farming activity on the property, and without having to apply and receive permission from the ALC.
  • The ministry is proposing new rules to provide more flexibility to help farming families thrive and to benefit non-farmers living in the ALR.
  • New rules will also help small-scale farmers by streamlining approval for a small-farm labourer residence or agri-tourism accommodation.
  • Local government rules continue to apply and may be more restrictive on residential use of the ALR and may even prohibit any additional residences on the ALR.
  • People who are farming already have a path with the ALC to build one or more residences of any size if it can be demonstrated that they are reasonably necessary for farming purposes.
  • The ALC approves approximately 80% of applications for additional residences for farm use. Local government approval is also required.
  • While changes are being finalized, the grandfathering period for manufactured homes on the ALR is planned to be extended until Dec. 31, 2021 to provide the necessary six-month transition period for local governments to adjust their rules as necessary.

Learn More:

Residential Flexibility intentions paper:
https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/farming-natural-resources-and-industry/agriculture-and-seafood/agricultural-land-and-environment/agriculture-land-reserve/residential_flexibility_intentions_paper.pdf

What we heard report on residential flexibility:
https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/farming-natural-resources-and-industry/agriculture-and-seafood/agricultural-land-and-environment/agriculture-land-reserve/what_we_heard_summary_residential_flexibility.pdf