Judge rules against ALC on rural B.C. subdivision

The ALC can’t change the definition of an acre, the judge ruled.

Two acres means two acres, a B.C. judge has ruled in a case over Agricultural Land Commission jurisdiction.

A Langley landowner recently won her case and will be allowed to subdivide a property because it’s very, very slightly less than two acres in size.

In 2009, Kathryn Guse bought a parcel of land in rural Langley Township. In 2015, she applied to the Township to subdivide the site into four lots of approximately half an acre each.

The Township raised no objections, but notified the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) because the property was next to farmland.

Property in the Agricultural Land Reserve normally needs ALC approval for subdivision, but in this case the Township felt that since the land had been surveyed at 1.997 acres, it was exempt from that rule. Any lot less than two acres in size is exempt.

The ALC wrote back and objected, saying the property “should be considered to be two acres because it was more than 1.995 acres.”

The ALC had updated its policies to consider any property of 1.995 acres and up as being equivalent to two acres or more.

That led to a hearing before B.C. Supreme Court Justice Robert Sewell.

Sewell ruled the ALC’s rules are not meant to apply to any property smaller than two acres.

“In summary, I find that there is only one reasonable interpretation of [the regulation] and that the decision and the policy on which it is based are unreasonable because they ignore the plain meaning of the section as informed by the legislative context,” Sewell wrote.

He overturned the ALC’s decision and declared the lot is exempt from the ALC’s jurisdiction over subdivision.

Just Posted

Trail house fire under investigation

Regional District of Kootenay Boundary Fire Rescue responded early Monday

New head of library services at Trail Riverfront Centre

Samantha Murphy filled various positions at the Trail library over the past 5 years

St. Michael’s KIDS Care Centre and Little Saints kindergarten celebrated

Little Saints Junior Kindergarten will be ready to go this fall

Historic maps reveal obscure Arrow Lake place names

Place Names: Little-known Arrow Lakes names

A hint of NHL favoritism?

“There will certainly be lots of side stories, bottom stories, involved to draw my attention.”

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Growing wildfire prompts evacuation of High Level, Alta.

Chuckegg Creek fire has been burning for several day, but grew substantially Sunday

Top women’s hockey player Natalie Spooner coming to B.C.

Natalie Spooner special guest at annual Grindstone charity weekend in Kelowna

Take-home drug testing kits latest pilot to help curb B.C.’s overdose crisis

Researchers look to see if fentanyl testing could be a useful tool for those who use drugs alone

Facebook takes down anti-vaxxer page that used image of late Canadian girl

Facebook said that the social media company has disabled the anti-vaccination page

Search crews rescue kids, 6 and 7, stranded overnight on Coquitlam mountain

Father and two youngsters fall down a steep, treacherous cliff while hiking Burke Mountain

Raptors beat Bucks 118-112 in 2OT thriller

Leonard has 36 points as Toronto cuts Milwaukee’s series lead to 2-1

Rescue crews suspend search for Okanagan kayaker missing for three days

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

Most Read