B.C. Agriculture Minister Lana Popham at the B.C. legislature, October 2017. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)

NDP suggests easing secondary housing rules for B.C. farmland

Lana Popham proposes guest homes not just for relatives

The B.C. government has proposed easing its regulations around residences on land in the Agricultural Land Reserve, a sore point with farmers since the NDP began tightening restrictions in the past two years.

Agriculture Minister Lana Popham released a discussion paper Monday that recommends a series of changes to allow more accommodation on farms without owners having to apply to the Agricultural Land Commission for permission. Within specific size and siting conditions, those would include garden suites, guest houses, carriage suites, accommodation above existing buildings such as a shop or garage, and easing rules for manufactured homes.

“The province would not require the small secondary residence be a manufactured home only for an immediate family member, as was the case in regulations under the previous government,” the agriculture ministry said in a statement Monday. “The new residential options do not include reconsideration of the maximum size of a principal residence. Any new permitted secondary residences should be registered with the ALC for long-term land use planning purposes.”

RELATED: Secondary home rules killing family farms, protesters say

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

RELATED: Langley grandparents left in limbo by housing rule change

The secondary housing issue has been one of a series of controversies for Popham, starting with her interventions on federally regulated salmon farms on the B.C. and the role of B.C.’s food safety lab. She signalled early on that she intended to roll back B.C. Liberal changes to the Agricultural Land Commission, scrapping regional panels and eliminating the “zone two” regulations that were put in to ease secondary land use rules outside the prime farmland of the Fraser Valley, southern Vancouver Island and the Okanagan.

B.C. Liberal agriculture critic Ian Paton has blasted the NDP government for restrictions that prevent extended families from living on a farm, while corporations pour huge foundations for greenhouses and set up lodging facilities for temporary farm workers on the prime land of the Fraser River delta.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislature

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

Just Posted

UPDATE: First presumptive case of COVID-19 in Prince Rupert

Doctor says it was a visitor, Northern Health won’t confirm

Northwest mines lengthen crew rotations in response to COVID-19

Northern Health confident precautions sufficient enough to keep work camps open

Coastal GasLink gives $100K to United Way efforts in Northern B.C.

Organization’s COVID-19 Relief Fund benefits seniors in isolation, among others

Fisheries and Oceans Canada lifts at-sea observer requirements due to COVID-19

Fisheries Management Order went into effect April 2 and will remain for 45 days

COVID-19: 4 new deaths, 25 new cases but only in Vancouver Coastal, Fraser Health

A total of 1,291 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

COVID-19: Don’t get away for Easter weekend, Dr. Bonnie Henry warns

John Horgan, Adrian Dix call 130 faith leaders as holidays approach

COVID-19: Trudeau says 30K ventilators on the way; 3.6M Canadians claim benefits

Canada has seen more than 17,000 cases and at least 345 deaths due to COVID-19

RCMP call on kids to name latest foal recruits

The baby horses names are to start with the letter ‘S’

As Canadians return home amid pandemic, border crossings dip to just 5% of usual traffic

Non-commercial land crossing dipped by 95%, air travel dropped by 96 per cent, according to the CBSA

Logan Boulet Effect: Green Shirt Day calls on Canadians to become organ donors

While social distancing, the day also honours the 16 lives lost in the 2018 Humboldt Broncos Crash

COMMENTARY: Knowing where COVID-19 cases are does not protect you

Dr. Bonnie Henry explains why B.C. withholds community names

B.C. wide burning restrictions come into effect April 16

‘Larger open burns pose an unnecessary risk and could detract from wildfire detection’

Most Read