Victoria: The grandfathering period for manufactured homes for immediate family members in the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) has been extended to February 2020.
This is a result of a regulatory change brought into force July 4, as work continues to protect farmland and support farmers.
“Less than 5% of B.C.’s land is in the ALR. We need to protect this farmland to support farmers, encourage agriculture jobs and strengthen food security in B.C.,” said Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture. “As we’ve worked to make long-overdue changes to help farmers farm, we heard from people living in the ALR, many who said they aren’t farming but purchased ALR land for residential use. We understand that some have been caught in the transition. We’ve listened and have given people a bit more time to get their permits in place.”
Landowners in the ALR will now have until Feb. 22, 2020, to obtain all the required permits and authorizations to place a manufactured home for immediate family on their property.
“We are happy about this change as it gives our son and his family the opportunity to have a home on our ALR property,” said Kris Welk of the Comox Valley, “It provides us with the flexibility we need so we can age in place with our family.”
Government will engage with B.C. farmers, agricultural associations and local governments as work continues to help B.C. farmers farm.
“We appreciate the Ministry of Agriculture listening to the township’s concerns regarding recent changes to the Agricultural Land Commission regulations,” said Christine Fraser, mayor, Township of Spallumcheen. “This interim plan will help families who were already in process with their second residence when the changes occurred. We look forward to consulting with the ministry next year on future regulations that will provide more flexibility for families that are farming in our community.”
The change is part of ongoing work on regulations for Bill 52-2018 and Bill 15-2019 to protect farmland and support farmers. Farmers in the ALR continue to be able to build additional residences to support farm use, including manufactured homes, by application to the Agricultural Land Commission.
“When the old government made changes to the ALR, they took a piecemeal approach that hurt our producers,” said Popham. “The ALR has been around for over 40 years, and there’s a lot of work to do to modernize it so it works for farmers today. We now have updated legislation in place, and we’ve been working on regulations. As part of that, we’re looking at how we can provide farmers with more flexibility in their businesses, while continuing to preserve the valuable farmland they rely on.”
- The manufactured home must be nine metres or less in width, and must be for the use of the owner or a member of their immediate family.
- The Feb. 22, 2020, deadline was selected to provide adequate time and flexibility for landowners to obtain, and local governments to process, the required authorizations.
- According to discussions with a sample of local governments, processing permits for manufactured homes can take from three weeks to six months.