B.C. Agriculture Minister Lana Popham attends annual Beef Day barbecue at the B.C. legislature, May 2019. (B.C. government photo)

B.C. farmland regulations allow return to local decision-making

Property owners still can’t apply to Agricultural Land Commission

B.C. farmers still aren’t “persons” under the NDP government’s overhaul of farmland rules, but centralized decision-making at the Agricultural Land Commission’s Burnaby headquarters is quietly being reversed.

Regulations made public by the agriculture ministry Thursday enforce the law passed last spring that prevents individual property owners from applying directly to the ALC for exclusions, subdivisions or other changes to farmland. They have to convince their local government to apply for changes on their behalf, as the new law defines only local councils, regional districts or first nations as “persons” to the commission.

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

RELATED: NDP suggests easing secondary home rules for farms

Changes in effect this week include “simplifying the ALC application fee process so Agricultural Land Reserve landowners only pay the local or first nations governments their portions of the application fee, and if these governments later forward the application to the ALC, pay the ALC directly for its portion of the fee,” says a bulletin from the ministry.

Dispensing with a two-zone system that relaxed secondary use rules outside B.C.’s highest productivity zones, the Okanagan, Lower Mainland and southern Vancouver Island, was a high priority for Agriculture Minister Lana Popham. She also led the reorganization of the commission to get rid of regional panels, arguing it led to exclusions based on local economic pressure.

Regional decision-making is described in a “chair directive” issued Thursday by ALC chair Jennifer Dyson. It names panel members for Interior, Island, Kootenay, North, Okanagan and South Coast regions.

The panels will “subject to other direction, decide inclusion, exclusion, use and subdivision, non-adhering residential use, and soil and fill use applications in each of the six administrative regions,” Dyson’s directive states.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Agricultural Land ReserveBC legislature

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

Just Posted

Police apprehend Trail woman suspected of attempted armed robbery

The incident happened Wednesday night shortly before 10 p.m. in downtown Trail

Trail RCMP report on vandalism, an OD and theft

The first week of April was a busy one for the Trail and Greater District police

Opinion: Canadian emergency relief comes up short

MP Richard Cannings is serving his second term representing the South Okanagan-West Kootenay riding

BC Housing enlists Nelson hotels, Kalein Centre for COVID-19 isolation spaces

The service is for people either at-risk of or currently homeless

COVID-19 death toll reaches 50 in B.C., while daily case count steadies

B.C. records 34 new cases in the province, bringing total active confirmed cases to 462

B.C. unveils $5M for mental health supports during the COVID-19 pandemic

Will include virtual clinics and resources for British Columbians, including front-line workers

B.C.’s COVID-19 rent supplement starts taking applications

$300 to $500 to landlords for April, May and June if eligible

Reality TV show about bodybuilders still filming in Okanagan, amid COVID-19

Five bodybuilders from across the country flew to Kelowna to move into a house for a reality TV show

B.C.’s top doctor details prescription for safe long weekend

Yes, it includes hosting an online cooking show

BC SPCA seeks help for abandoned German shepherd puppies

Donations have ‘petered out’ as doors are closed due to COVID-19

Researchers to study whether plasma of recovered patients can treat COVID-19

Plasma is the liquid portion of the blood that contains the antibodies that protect against illness

Schools re-open in Nelson and Creston, but only for children of front-line workers

School District 8 is providing on-site education for certain families during the pandemic

Most Read