B.C. Agriculture Minister Lana Popham attends annual Beef Day barbecue at the B.C. legislature, May 2019. (B.C. government photo)

B.C. farmland regulations allow return to local decision-making

Property owners still can’t apply to Agricultural Land Commission

B.C. farmers still aren’t “persons” under the NDP government’s overhaul of farmland rules, but centralized decision-making at the Agricultural Land Commission’s Burnaby headquarters is quietly being reversed.

Regulations made public by the agriculture ministry Thursday enforce the law passed last spring that prevents individual property owners from applying directly to the ALC for exclusions, subdivisions or other changes to farmland. They have to convince their local government to apply for changes on their behalf, as the new law defines only local councils, regional districts or first nations as “persons” to the commission.

RELATED: B.C. farmers aren’t ‘persons’ under new land legislation

RELATED: NDP suggests easing secondary home rules for farms

Changes in effect this week include “simplifying the ALC application fee process so Agricultural Land Reserve landowners only pay the local or first nations governments their portions of the application fee, and if these governments later forward the application to the ALC, pay the ALC directly for its portion of the fee,” says a bulletin from the ministry.

Dispensing with a two-zone system that relaxed secondary use rules outside B.C.’s highest productivity zones, the Okanagan, Lower Mainland and southern Vancouver Island, was a high priority for Agriculture Minister Lana Popham. She also led the reorganization of the commission to get rid of regional panels, arguing it led to exclusions based on local economic pressure.

Regional decision-making is described in a “chair directive” issued Thursday by ALC chair Jennifer Dyson. It names panel members for Interior, Island, Kootenay, North, Okanagan and South Coast regions.

The panels will “subject to other direction, decide inclusion, exclusion, use and subdivision, non-adhering residential use, and soil and fill use applications in each of the six administrative regions,” Dyson’s directive states.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Agricultural Land ReserveBC legislature

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

Just Posted

Delta council passes bylaw to fine people who don’t socially distance, respect closures

Not social distancing or obeying provincial orders in Delta could set you back hundreds of dollars

OBITUARY: Sherrold Haddad brought giant Canadian flag to Surrey car dealership, built community

‘An amazing man, business person and community leader,’ friend Bruce Hayne posted to Facebook

COVID-19: Daily update on the pandemic in Surrey, White Rock, Delta and beyond

MARCH 28: Delta council passes bylaw to fine people who don’t socially distance

White Rock council members stand by decision to close pier

Minimal push-back over closure to minimize chance of spreading COVID-19 virus

Surrey’s JoJo Mason brings mom along for Saturday song during Diesel Bird Digital Music Festival

Online event March 28-29 to rally behind Canadian musicians hit by COVID-19 show cancellations

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

B.C. Ferries passengers staying away, as asked, during COVID-19 pandemic

Ferry corporation says ridership down 70-80 per cent over the last week and a half

Sewers stitch masks to free up supplies for front-line health-care workers

“We have little old ladies sewing up a storm,” said Joan Davis

Experts weigh in on best handling of groceries during COVID-19 pandemic

Study suggests the virus can live for up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to three days on plastic

COVID-19 world update: Enforceable quarantine in NYC?; France orders 1 billion masks

Spain warns EU’s future at stake; New York governor calls Trump’s idea ‘federal declaration of war

Blue ribbons popping up along streets in Abbotsford in praise of B.C. healthcare workers

Healthcare worker’s family starts local trend of morale support

Earth Hour 2020 kicks off online Saturday night

Action moves online due to COVID-19

B.C. COVID-19 cases rise 92 to 884, one more death, 81 in care

Outbreak action underway in 12 long-term care homes

B.C. veterinarians want to smooth the fur of COVID-19-worried pet owners

Vets expect to continue giving your fur buddies the help they need while social distancing

Most Read