Farmland remains under threat from development and degradation of soil from non-farm uses. The ALC is planning to introduce new fees to help finance better enforcement.

ALC considers higher fees to finance operations

Part of government strategy to make land commission sustainable

The Agricultural Land Commission wants public comment on various new or increased fees it may impose to generate more revenue to finance its operations.

Under consideration are increases to existing fees for Agricultural Land Reserve exclusions, as well as subdivisions, non-farm use and utility corridor applications. Those fees haven’t been raised since 2002.

The ALC is also considering new service fees to ensure completion of conditionally approved applications and for ongoing monitoring and site inspections of long-term approvals.

B.C.’s agriculture minister last year agreed to enable new fees to strengthen the ALC after an audit found chronic underfunding had left the commission unable to prosecute many violators for degrading farmland because of court costs.

Comments are being accepted until July 8 at http://www.agf.gov.bc.ca/aboutind/ALC_Consultation/index.htm