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

Terrace dental clinic say no staff experiencing COVID-19 symptoms 22 days after dental conference

Five members of the office attended the Pacific Dental Conference from March 5-7

Better COVID-19 testing results needed in the north

Former senior Northern Health official also wants work camps shut down

Social media a blessing and a curse during time of crisis: B.C. communication expert

‘In moments of crisis, fear is very real and palpable,’ says SFU’s Peter Chow-White

City of Terrace calling on Province to take stricter social distancing measures

The City sent the Province a letter earlier this month with a number of recommendations

Northern Health preparing ‘for a changing situation’ in response to COVID-19

The health authority is taking a number of measures to free up hospital capacity where possible

Evening world update: U.S. restrictions extended 30 days; NY deaths near 1,000

Comprehensive world update, with the latest developments in the COVID-19 crisis

‘It’s up to us: Recently-returned B.C. couple urges Canadians to take COVID-19 seriously

Garrett Kucher and Tory Apostoliuk make it home after almost a week of lockdown in Spain

‘Nothing concrete’: Tenants, landlords lack details after B.C. unveils COVID-19 rental aid

Single mom in Golden says she’s already going to the food bank after being laid off

Canada will make sure masks sent by China meet quality standards: Trudeau

Chinese Embassy tweeted that China was sending 30,000 medical masks along with gowns, gloves and goggles

B.C. issues guidelines about distancing, reusable bags to grocery stores amid COVID-19

Hand sanitizer and markers to keep lines two metres are apart are needed, province says

No plans to call in military right now to enforce COVID-19 quarantine: Trudeau

Trudeau unveils $7.5M for Kids Help Phone, $9M for vulnerable seniors amid COVID-19

QUIZ: How much do you know about the Olympics?

Put your knowledge to the test with these 12 questions

B.C. announces $3M for food banks to increase capacity during COVID-19

It is not clear how much of the money will flow towards Greater Victoria food banks

Most Read