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

RDKS issues Boil Water Notice for Thornhill area

Due to roundabout construction, residents and businesses are advised to boil water before consuming

Skeena Voices | A legend off the ice

Joe Pelletier’s love for hockey led him to become a sports writer

Historic downtown tree turned into a work of art

Local artist carves a logger into wooden stump

Police still looking for more info on missing mushroom picker in Nass Valley

65-year-old Greg Agnew was reported missing on Sept. 30

Houston housing needs surveyed

Results to aid District of Houston planning

ELECTION 2019: Have Justin Trudeau’s Liberals really cut middle-class taxes?

Conservative Andrew Scheer vows to cut bottom bracket, NDP’s Jagmeet Singh targets wealth tax

‘Sky didn’t fall:’ Police, lawyers still adjusting after pot legalization

Statistics Canada says 541 people were charged under the federal Cannabis Act between Oct. 17, 2018 and the end of the year

Fewer people prescribed opioids in B.C., but other provinces lack data: doctors

Patients who began taking opioids were prescribed smaller doses for shorter duration

Electric cello, stolen from vehicle in Williams Lake, returned to U.S. owner

Rita Rice of Texas said she and her husband had given up hope of ever seeing it again

Drop, cover and hold on: Thousands of British Columbians to take part in earthquake drill

This year’s drill comes as scientists announce discovery of ‘stormquakes,’ an earthquake and hurricane

Woman, 24, faces life-altering injuries after being dragged 4 blocks by vehicle in Vancouver

A gofundme account says the woman will have to undergo multiple complex surgeries

Frustration and pride in Canada after a year of legal pot

It’s one year into Canada’s experiment in legal marijuana, and hundreds of legal pot shops have opened

West Kelowna business facing charges after six bears killed over littering

A West Kelowna business has been charged for leaving garbage around Lake Okanagan Resort

Most Read