- Decisions regarding housing and building permits are the responsibility of local governments.
- To help support local government decision making, the Province created a bylaw standard in November 2011 that provides local governments with a ready-to-use model that restricts building large residential homes in the centre of agricultural land reserve (ALR) lots and ensures the majority of the land is preserved for agricultural use.
- Local governments are encouraged to use this standard when developing bylaws to regulate residence size and location within the ALR.
- Owners of farmland are required to follow all relevant federal, provincial and local government laws and regulations, regardless of their residence.
- The bylaw standard guides local government’s bylaw development that regulates the siting and size of residential uses in the ALR.
- The bylaw standard guides recommend:
- Generally, the furthest part of a residence be not more than 50 metres from the public road at the front or side of the property,
- Generally, the furthest part of a residential amenity, including garages, pools or landscaping be no more than 60 metres from the public road at the front or side of the property,
- The maximum footprint (including amenities) of the residence be the lesser of local zoning limits, or 2,000 square metres,
- Local governments wishing to include size restrictions for the actual residences consider a maximum of a 500-square-metre floor plan for principal residences,
- Guidelines for siting and footprint restrictions for “additional farm residences” and “farm-worker housing”, as well as specific criteria and exceptions on all topics.
- Local governments are encouraged to adopt these standards to promote consistency amongst local governments for the benefit of the farming community.
- The resulting standard followed extensive consultation with local governments, agriculture producers, stakeholders and the general public.
- For more information including, the ministry's Guide for Bylaw Development in Farming Areas, a letter on the topic to local governments, and a summary of a survey conducted in the Standard’s development, visit: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content?id=35094904B728495EA3D79774F2FDC36A
Government Communications and Public EngagementMinistry of Agriculture