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

South Shuswap residents say Balmoral Road intersection improvements could be better

Reliance on frontage roads along Trans-Canada Highway and narrow underpasses criticized

Sign of spring: Salmon Arm’s steep Shoemaker Hill opens to traffic

Opening delayed by snow and freezing temperatures

20th anniversary of Shuswap’s Salty Dog Enduro postponed to 2021

Organizers follow direction from provincial/national bodies to cancel May event

West Kelowna man charged in relation to cannabis grow robbery in Sicamous

Two suspects remain at large; police believe they left the robbery scene in a white hatchback

Would-be visitors to Shuswap over the long weekend asked to stay home

Regional district follows provincial health officer’s lead in telling citizens to stay put this Easter

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.’s COVID-19 rent supplement starts taking applications

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

COVID-19: No more international flights at Kelowna International Airport

All international flights at YLW have been suspended, airport to operate just nine flights a day

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

Yes, it includes hosting an online cooking show

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

Serious assault leaves Osoyoos woman in critical condition: RCMP

A 60-year-old Osoyoos woman suffers life threatening injuries following assault inside home

COVID-19: Vernon pet grooming store closed temporarily after symptoms shown

Wet Spot Grooming and Pet Care to announce return Easter Monday

Easter weekend brightened up by Okanagan business

Social distancing might have you down, so one business is spreading cheer

Most Read