Consultation sheds light on farmland changes

Relaxed farm leasing rules in rural zones, allowing breweries and distilleries are being considered in new regulations

The B.C. government allows wine and cider making on farmland

VICTORIA – Since commercial production of wine or cider is allowed on farmland, why not a brewery, distillery or meadery?

Should energy co-generation be allowed on farms, using manure or other biodegradable waste to produce methane gas and carbon dioxide?

These are some of the questions included in the B.C. government’s consultation on changes to Agricultural Land Reserve regulations, released this week. Others deal with controversial proposals to allow specified non-farm uses, secondary residences and subdivisions without permission from the Agricultural Land Commission.

Developed after consultation with the B.C. Agriculture Council, local governments and the commission, the 11 questions offer more detail on changes the government is considering under legislation passed despite protests this spring.

The legislation divided the ALR into two zones, to permit more flexibility in the Interior, Kootenay and North regions (Zone 2) where both agriculture revenue and development pressure are lower.

One question asks whether farmland in all of Zone 2 should be able to be subdivided down to a minimum of a quarter section (65 hectares) without application to the ALC, as is now allowed in the Peace River and Northern Rockies Regional Districts in northeast B.C.

Another proposal is to allow subdivision without ALC approval where farmland is divided by a major waterway or highway, subject to a minimum size.

The province is also considering relaxing lease rules, which currently permit leasing of an entire farm property without ALC approval. The consultation asks if a portion of property should be allowed for lease to permit “intergenerational transfer,” where farmers retire on a portion of their land so their children can continue to farm the rest.

Another proposal for partial lease without ALC approval would allow unfarmed land to be brought into production. The partial leases would not require a formal subdivision.

Agriculture Minister Norm Letnick has emphasized that changes to the ALR are designed to support farming, not erode the protected agricultural land base.

Public input is being accepted until Aug. 22. The questions and a background paper are available here, where submissions can be made.

Comments can also be made by email to ALCA_feedback@gov.bc.ca or by Canada Post to ALR Regulation Consultation, P.O. Box 9120, Stn. Provincial Government, Victoria B.C. V8W 9B4.

 

Just Posted

Kent, Harrison prepared for snow

Municipalities ready snow clearing strategies heading into colder months

Chilliwack school kids draw ‘don’t drink and drive’ messages on liquor store bags

Children from six elementary schools decorate bags as part of promotion created by local Mountie

Strong winds to hit B.C.’s south coast

Western regions may see winds of up to 80 km/hr

Duo robs Harrison Hot Springs gas station

Husky manager planning to tighten security

Story of the Year: Deadly Humboldt Broncos bus crash

The Canadian Press annual survey of newsrooms across the country saw 53 out of 129 editors cast their votes for the Humboldt Broncos bus crash.

Retailers feel the squeeze of their generous return policies

Technology data tracking can clamp down on fraudulent abuse

Canadians to get low-cost data-only mobile phone plans within 90 days: CRTC

Bell, Rogers and Telus will provide plans as cheap as 250MB for $15

5 to start your day

B.C.’s top cop says Surrey needs more Mounties, nublication ban lifted on name of girl killed in Abbotsford school stabbing and more

Police have ‘viable suspects’ in B.C. gangster’s 2017 murder

Crown prosecutor Neil Wiberg was successful in asking a judge to extend the length of time police can hold onto exhibits seized in connection with the homicide.

Man rescued from sinking boat off the coast of Vancouver Island

Mayday call came into Coast Guard saying vessel had taken on water, BC Ferries dispatched to scene

Four per cent of Canadian women report being sexually harassed in the workplace

One per cent of men report being sexually harassed in the workplace

Stricter drunk driving laws to take effect across Canada today

It gives police officers the right to ask for a breath sample from any driver they lawfully stop

Winter storm warning issued for Coquihalla highway

Total snow accumulations of 40-50 cm expected by Wednesday

Most Read