Cathy Ficther, her daughter Alanah Fuduric, and Charlie, five months old. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)

Minister pledges better ALC rules after B.C. family’s housing plans spoiled

The three-generation Langley family has been in limbo over placing a modular home for grandparents

A Langley family who found themselves in a bind over changed housing rules on agricultural land may get a reprieve from the provincial minister of agriculture.

“There will be more details to come in the next few weeks, but we expect soon to allow a grandfathering period for manufactured homes for immediate family members in order to better balance the protection of the ALR with the diverse needs of the people who call it home,” said Minister Lana Popham.

Cathy and Brian Fichter had hoped to share a five-acre farm with their daughter Alanah Fuduric, her husband Ryan, and the couple’s six children.

Cathy and Brian’s plan to place a modular home on the property was foiled by a change to rules over homes and housing in the Agricultural Land Reserve, leaving all 10 members of the family sharing a single house.

The Fichters had already bought their modular home, arranged for the permits to move it to the site, set up for the installation of septic, and followed what they thought were all the regulations. But they missed the Feb. 22 deadline under changes introduced by Bill 52, by four days.

Neither the Fichters nor their family, nor local officials were aware of the looming changes.

In the past, local governments had issued permits for secondary homes for farmland. Now the Fichters are waiting to hear from the ALC for an exemption, but have already waited more than the 60 business days they were told a decision would take.

“Storage for our possessions has been the biggest cost,” Cathy said. “Emotional toll is much worse.”

The family hasn’t even tried to work the cost of re-doing permits if they do get permission, she said.

READ MORE: Langley family in limbo as ALR rule changes mean no second home for grandparents

“I am committed to helping B.C. farmers farm, to support good jobs for people, and help producers continue to grow the food that British Columbians count on,” Popham said in a statement released on the housing issue.

“Right now, people who live in the ALR and want to build additional homes on farmland to support their farming operations can do so with permission from their local government and the Agricultural Land Commission,” Popham said. “As we’ve continued to work on regulations to support Bill 52, we’ve been listening to local governments and people living in the Agricultural Land Reserve.”

The Fichter and Fuduric family are still waiting to hear directly from the ALC or government.

“We are trying to take this optimistically,” Cathy told the Advance Times.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Two applications for pot shops in Duncan get green light

The Original Farm and Buds and Leaves would be the city’s first marijuana stores

Baker and Barbarians take Paris World Games by storm

Duncan rugby player helps Canadian side to gold

VIDEO: Lake Cowichan council to grill Catalyst July 23 on ‘end run’ around weir pumping agreement

Councillors want community out in force at meeting to hear what’s going on with the weir

Valley field hockey players bring home gold from nationals

Cowichan U18s help Island to unprecentend first-place finish

Duncan Grande Parade draws a crowd

Entries old and new enjoyed by a big audience

Body, burning truck found near northern B.C. town

RCMP unsure if the two separate discoveries are related

Nanaimo-Opoly will let board game players deal Harbour City properties

Victoria’s Outset Media and Walmart Canada partner on local edition of popular game

Couple found dead along northern B.C. highway in double homicide

Woman from the U.S. and man from Australia found dead near Liard Hot Springs

UPDATE: West Kelowna fawn euthanized, not claimed by sanctuary

Gilbert the deer has been euthanized after a suitable home was not found in time

BC Wildfire Service warns wet weather no reason to be complacent

Fire risk currently low for much of B.C. compared to same time over last two years.

Bank of Canada lowers qualifying rate used in mortgage stress tests

Home sales softened last year after the federal government introduced new stress test rules for uninsured mortgages

Port Hardy RCMP cleared in arrest that left man with broken ribs, punctured lung: IIO

The IIO noted the matter will not be referred to crown counsel for consideration of charges.

B.C. man pleads guilty in snake venom death of toddler

Plea comes more than five years after the incident in North Vancouver

Most Read