Government Introduces Bill-52 to Prevent Unintended Use of Agricultural Land Reserve BC

Government Introduces Bill-52 to Prevent Unintended Use of Agricultural Land Reserve BC

  • Real Estate
March 15, 2019

Bill-52 introduced on November 5, 2018, to ensure farmlands are used for agricultural purposes to provide the province of British Columbia a self-sustaining food source. Some farmlands in B.C. were used to build mega-mansions and dumping construction waste, which is not what the agricultural land reserve is intended for.

According to the Provincial Agricultural Land Commission: “The Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) protects approximately 4.6 million hectares of agriculturally suitable land across British Columbia. The ALR us a provincial zone in which agriculture is recognized as the priority use. Farming is encouraged and non-agricultural uses are restricted”

The proposed legislation (Bill-52) makes three key changes:

  • Reinstating one zone for all ALR land in B.C, to ensure all ALR land receive the same protections.
  • Addressing mega-mansions and speculation in ALR by limiting new house sizes to less than 500 square meters (5,400square feet) except through application with the agricultural land commission (ALC).
  • Crackdown illegal dumping of construction debris, toxic waste, or other fills in the ALR.

Mega mansions on Richmond farmland has been steadily increasing over the past couple of years. It is a major concern because the construction of mega-mansion reduces farmable land and rather the land is being used for agricultural purposes remain uncertain. Furthermore, mega-mansion makes farming less affordable due to the cost of the home.

Bill-52 amendment is an important step forward to protecting the ALR and seal up the loophole in the system. Agricultural land is zoned for a purpose and we’re glad to see B.C government is taking an initiative to provide our future food source.