B.C. Agriculture Minister Lana Popham at the B.C. legislature, October 2017. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)

NDP suggests easing secondary housing rules for B.C. farmland

Lana Popham proposes guest homes not just for relatives

The B.C. government has proposed easing its regulations around residences on land in the Agricultural Land Reserve, a sore point with farmers since the NDP began tightening restrictions in the past two years.

Agriculture Minister Lana Popham released a discussion paper Monday that recommends a series of changes to allow more accommodation on farms without owners having to apply to the Agricultural Land Commission for permission. Within specific size and siting conditions, those would include garden suites, guest houses, carriage suites, accommodation above existing buildings such as a shop or garage, and easing rules for manufactured homes.

“The province would not require the small secondary residence be a manufactured home only for an immediate family member, as was the case in regulations under the previous government,” the agriculture ministry said in a statement Monday. “The new residential options do not include reconsideration of the maximum size of a principal residence. Any new permitted secondary residences should be registered with the ALC for long-term land use planning purposes.”

RELATED: Secondary home rules killing family farms, protesters say

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

RELATED: Langley grandparents left in limbo by housing rule change

The secondary housing issue has been one of a series of controversies for Popham, starting with her interventions on federally regulated salmon farms on the B.C. and the role of B.C.’s food safety lab. She signalled early on that she intended to roll back B.C. Liberal changes to the Agricultural Land Commission, scrapping regional panels and eliminating the “zone two” regulations that were put in to ease secondary land use rules outside the prime farmland of the Fraser Valley, southern Vancouver Island and the Okanagan.

B.C. Liberal agriculture critic Ian Paton has blasted the NDP government for restrictions that prevent extended families from living on a farm, while corporations pour huge foundations for greenhouses and set up lodging facilities for temporary farm workers on the prime land of the Fraser River delta.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislature

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

Just Posted

No one hurt in Maple Bay Road fire

Fire under investigation

North Cowichan to police popular trails to ensure physical distancing

“You can expect delays accessing Mount Tzouhalem, or even to be turned away.”

Duncan’s Pat Kay copes with Olympic roller-coaster

‘Confusing time’ as Canada pulls out due to COVID-19, followed by IOC postponement

Editorial: It’s never too early to think about water conservation

The weir at Cowichan Lake resumed operations for 2020 on March 18.

Trudeau rejects mandatory stay-at-home order for now; COVID deaths up

The virus has now infected more than 10,000 Canadians and cost 130 their lives

List of cancelled Cowichan Valley community events

An ongoing list of events that have been cancelled in the Cowichan Valley due to COVID-19

B.C. health officer says homemade masks may prevent spread of COVID-19 to others

Practising physical distancing, frequent hand washing and resisting touching your face are proven methods

B.C.’s senior home staff measures show results in COVID-19 battle

Dr. Bonnie Henry’s order restricts care aides to one facility

Ferry breaks down at Nanaimo’s Departure Bay, several sailings cancelled

B.C. Ferries vessel the Queen of Oak Bay held in dock in Nanaimo due to main engine issue

Independent investigation praises RCMP actions in Vancouver Island suicide attempt

Man hurt in incident that took place near Nanoose Bay in September of 2019

‘A matter of human decency’: Truckers’ union calls on gas stations, rest stops to fully re-open

Teamsters Canada wants feds, provinces to put pressure on facilities to re-open for transport workers

B.C. unveils $3.5M COVID-19 emergency fund for post-secondary students

Money will help students cover living expenses, food, travel, portable computers

‘We will get through this’: B.C. sees new COVID-19 death, but 57% have recovered

A total of 1,066 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

Most Read