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

Government program grants funding for flood mapping study of Kitimat River

Kitimat received $150,000 to help provide flood preparation and support, to mitigate future risks.

Mother grizzly bear with two cubs spotted on Gruchy’s Beach trail near Terrace

Conservation officers also warning public to stay away from Grizzlies on lower Kitimat River

Terrace conservation officers relocate Spirit bear

Bear roamed Kitsumkalum Valley north of Terrace for many years

VIA Rail lays off 1,000 unionized workers across the country

Northern B.C. route Jasper to Prince George to Prince Rupert is not affected by VIA Rail layoffs

Council approves reduction to leisure services monthly pass rates during COVID-19

Passes will be discounted while COVID-19 restrictions are in place, and will return to normal after.

B.C. identifies 20 new COVID-19 cases, travellers specified in count

Pandemic total 3,028 cases, 51 people from outside Canada

Survey, hotline launched amid probe into racist blood-alcohol guessing game at B.C. hospital

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond has been appointed to lead an investigation by Health Minister Adrian Dix

Canadian policing organization calls for decriminalization of simple illicit drug possession

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police want policing focus of opioid crisis to be replaced with a health one

Large rogue floating ‘island’ corralled by Lac la Hache residents

At least 60 feet wide, this large mass of plants is free-floating on the lake

B.C. ports part of data integration project to protect marine ecosystems

The $1.2 M federally funded program will draw crucial baseline data from Canada’s three coastlines

Filing deadline in RCMP sexual-harassment class-action extended due to COVID-19

Plaintiffs now have until January 2021 to submit claims for up to $222,000

Jamie Bacon pleads guilty to charge in Surrey Six case

The plea brings an end to a complex legal case that has spanned more than a decade

Hefty undeclared driver charges piling up, ICBC warns customers

Average extra penalty $2,971 after an at-fault accident

B.C. appeals judge’s decision to leave three clubhouses in Hells Angels hands

The province has filed two notices of appeal related to the B.C. Supreme Court decision

Most Read