Consultation sheds light on farmland changes

Relaxed farm leasing rules in rural zones, allowing breweries and distilleries are being considered in new regulations

The B.C. government allows wine and cider making on farmland

VICTORIA – Since commercial production of wine or cider is allowed on farmland, why not a brewery, distillery or meadery?

Should energy co-generation be allowed on farms, using manure or other biodegradable waste to produce methane gas and carbon dioxide?

These are some of the questions included in the B.C. government’s consultation on changes to Agricultural Land Reserve regulations, released this week. Others deal with controversial proposals to allow specified non-farm uses, secondary residences and subdivisions without permission from the Agricultural Land Commission.

Developed after consultation with the B.C. Agriculture Council, local governments and the commission, the 11 questions offer more detail on changes the government is considering under legislation passed despite protests this spring.

The legislation divided the ALR into two zones, to permit more flexibility in the Interior, Kootenay and North regions (Zone 2) where both agriculture revenue and development pressure are lower.

One question asks whether farmland in all of Zone 2 should be able to be subdivided down to a minimum of a quarter section (65 hectares) without application to the ALC, as is now allowed in the Peace River and Northern Rockies Regional Districts in northeast B.C.

Another proposal is to allow subdivision without ALC approval where farmland is divided by a major waterway or highway, subject to a minimum size.

The province is also considering relaxing lease rules, which currently permit leasing of an entire farm property without ALC approval. The consultation asks if a portion of property should be allowed for lease to permit “intergenerational transfer,” where farmers retire on a portion of their land so their children can continue to farm the rest.

Another proposal for partial lease without ALC approval would allow unfarmed land to be brought into production. The partial leases would not require a formal subdivision.

Agriculture Minister Norm Letnick has emphasized that changes to the ALR are designed to support farming, not erode the protected agricultural land base.

Public input is being accepted until Aug. 22. The questions and a background paper are available here, where submissions can be made.

Comments can also be made by email to ALCA_feedback@gov.bc.ca or by Canada Post to ALR Regulation Consultation, P.O. Box 9120, Stn. Provincial Government, Victoria B.C. V8W 9B4.

 

Just Posted

Sidney designer showing killer collection at Van Fashion Week

A young Sidney designer is showing her 14 piece collection Obsidian Nights at Vancouver Fashion Week

Greater Victoria MP Randall Garrison calls on Ottawa to extend peacekeeping mission in Mali

The Esquimalt-Sooke-Saanich MP just returned from a trip to Mali and Senegal

Invasive crab spotted near Sooke

Fisheries need more data to know if numbers are increasing

Credit card frauds target local businesses: VicPD

Crime Reduction Unit investigating several frauds costing several businesses over $50,000

National Energy Board approves Trans Mountain pipeline again

Next step includes cabinet voting on the controversial expansion

POLL: Will you be wearing pink to take a stand against bullying?

Schools and workplaces across Greater Victoria and around the province will be… Continue reading

Pope’s sex abuse prevention summit explained

It’s A high-stakes meeting designed to impress on Catholic bishops the global problem

B.C. ticket holder winner of $25.9-million Lotto Max jackpot

Next draw set for Mar. 1 with an estimated jackpot of $10 million

Reports of rashes prompt closure of all Harrison Hot Springs pools

Public pool available after Fraser Health shut down all five mineral pools until further notice

Girl heard saying ‘Help my Dad’ in suspicious radio message on Vancouver Island

Police asking for help following mysterious signals from somewhere between Comox and Sayward

Two more measles cases confirmed in Vancouver

It brings the number of total cases within the city connected to the outbreak to ten

B.C. Special Olympics officially underway in Vernon

Athlete’s Oath: “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

Most Read