BC considering allowing extra homes on agricultural land

by Steve Randall28 Jan 2020

Farmers may be allowed additional options for residences on their land under new proposals being considered in British Columbia.

The provincial government is weighing the potential for people living in the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) to enable landowners to have both a principal residence and a small secondary residence on their property, provided they have approval from their local government. This would not require ALR approval.

“We are continuing to do the work necessary to help farmers farm and protect farmland for future generations,” said Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture. “The ALR is B.C.’s best food-producing land and is just 5% of our province’s land base – it’s so important for food security. The proposed changes, if implemented, would provide additional residential flexibility in the ALR. Under the proposal, a small secondary residence would be available for farm-workers, family members or anyone else, provided there is local government approval.”

What’s being considered?
The new ALR residential options and specific conditions with each option such as size, siting, and quantity being considered by government include:

  • garden suites, guest houses or carriage suites;
  • accommodation above an existing building;
  • manufactured homes; and
  • permitting a principal residence to be constructed in addition to a manufactured home that was formerly a principal residence.

The secondary residence would not have to be a manufactured home only for an immediate family member. This is currently the case.

“Publicly sharing this proposed policy direction now gives those interested an opportunity to review and comment, leading to better outcomes,” added Popham.


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