South Surrey farmland, March 2020. The province’s crackdown on secondary residences sparked protests that have the NDP government engaged in a lengthy rewrite of its legislation. (Tracy Holmes/Peace Arch News)

South Surrey farmland, March 2020. The province’s crackdown on secondary residences sparked protests that have the NDP government engaged in a lengthy rewrite of its legislation. (Tracy Holmes/Peace Arch News)

B.C. NDP now wants to keep even ‘non-farmers’ on the land

‘Grandfathering’ of second residences extended again

The B.C. government has extended its deadline for removing secondary homes from agricultural land for a second time, with promises that more on-farm housing will be allowed as long as local governments don’t object.

Landowners in the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) now have until the end of 2021 to obtain permits to place a mobile or modular building for an immediate family member. Since an outcry over the NDP government’s first crackdown on secondary homes and business operations, Agriculture Minister Lana Popham is now promising to make room for “non-farmers” and streamline permits for accommodation for farm and agri-tourism workers.

“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 Agricultural Land Commission,” the ministry said in a statement April 9.”The ministry is proposing new rules to provide more flexibility to help farming families thrive and to benefit non-farmers living in the ALR.”

RELATED: Farmers rally at B.C. legislature over housing law

RELATED: Remote healing lodge rejected under farmland rules

While the provincially-appointed ALC has moderated its housing position, Popham has elevated local governments as the gatekeepers for any construction on farmland. The government changed legislation to state that only local governments, not farmers are “persons” to the ALC.

“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,” the ministry said. “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 per cent of applications for additional residences for farm use. Local government approval is also required.”


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Agricultural Land ReserveBC politics

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey RCMP is investigating after a serious three-vehicle crash at the intersection of King George Boulevard and 128th Street Thursday afternoon (May 6, 2021). (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Police watchdog investigating serious collision in Surrey

Incident happend May 6 at King George Boulevard and 128th Street

Surrey Fire Service firefighters quickly contained a fire on 75A Avenue. (Shane MacKichan photos)
PHOTOS: Surrey firefighters extinguish second house fire in Newton

Second fire incident reported in Newton Sunday morning

Surrey RCMP are investigating two ‘suspicious’ fires in Newton Sunday morning. (Shane MacKichan photos)
(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

Pieces of nephrite jade are shown at a mine site in northwestern B.C. in July 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Tahltan Central Government MANDATORY CREDIT
Indigenous nation opposes jade mining in northwestern B.C.

B.C.’s Mines Act requires operators to prepare a plan to protect cultural heritage resources

Vancouver Giants celebrated a Justin Sourdif goal Saturday night in Kamloops. Giants dropped a 3-1 decision to Kamloops, a game that clinched the 2020-21 B.C. Division banner for the Blazers. (Allen Douglas/special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Vancouver Giants drop 3-1 decision to Kamloops

Third-period rally should have come sooner, said coach of Langley-based team

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Statistics Canada says the country’s crime rate ticked up again in 2018, for a fourth year in a row, though it was still lower than it was a decade ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
IHIT investigating after man killed in Burnaby shooting

Police looking for more information on fatal shooting

After Bobby Henderson apologized online for his comments to a Toronto reporter, the Langley Rivermen announced that he was no longer team coach and general manager and in fact, had ‘parted ways’ with the franchise in March. (file/Twitter)
Former Langley Rivermen coach and GM apologizes for comments to Toronto reporter

Bobby Henderson blames stress due to the pandemic for his ‘disparaging’ remarks

The body of Brenda Ware, 35, was found along Highway 93 in Kootenay National Park on Thursday, May 6, 2021. (RCMP handout)
RCMP ask for tips after woman’s body found in Kootenay National Park

Brenda Ware was found along Highway 93 in the park, 54 kilometres north of the town of Radium

People pass the red hearts on the COVID-19 Memorial Wall mourning those who have died, opposite the Houses of Parliament on the Embankment in London, Wednesday, April 7, 2021. On May 3, the British government announced that only one person had died of COVID-19 in the previous 24 hours. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Kirsty Wigglesworth
For a view of a COVID-19 future, Canadians should look across the pond

Britain, like Canada, is one of the only countries in the world to delay second doses for several months

Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid (97) celebrates his 100th point this season with Leon Draisaitl (29) against the Vancouver Canucks during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, May 8, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Edmonton superstar McDavid hits 100-point mark as Oilers edge Canucks 4-3

NHL scoring leader needs just 53 games to reach century mark

Most Read