Do you work with clients on agricultural land?

The BC Government is holding a public consultation on the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) and Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) until April 30, 2018. Weigh in with your input or encourage clients interested in agricultural land to participate.

The ALR contains land where agriculture is recognized as the primary use and non-agricultural uses are restricted. The ALC is the independent administrative tribunal responsible for preserving land in the ALR.

In January 2018, the BC Minister of Agriculture created an Advisory committee tasked to make recommendations on revitalizing the ALR and ALC. The Advisory committee is evaluating policy issues that impact the ALR and ALC, and consulting with stakeholders and the general public.

BCREA says a discussion paper published by the Advisory committee raises concerns about increased residential development on ALR land not related to agricultural use. The paper also notes the absence of provincial legislation restricting the sizing and siting of residential uses in the ALR.

Changes to land use strategy that restricts residential uses may impact your ability to provide clients with properties that meet their needs. Preserving agricultural land in BC is a worthwhile pursuit, and one that should consider the short and long term impacts on the real estate profession and the rights of private property owners.

The discussion paper, as well as opportunities to participate in the consultation, can be found online. The consultation period closes on April 30, 2018.

The Metro Vancouver Regional District’s perspective:

Metro Vancouver is voting on April 27, 2018 on a submission to the BC Government which includes the following recommendations:

  • restrict house size and residential footprints in the ALR
  • reform farm property tax
  • modernize the classification of farm
  • resolve the commercial use in the ALR conundrum
  • enable covenants for ecological services in the ALR

Source: This article was adapted from an article originally published by the BC Real Estate Association.