Independent media needs you. Join the Tyee.

The Hook: Political news, freshly caught

Province seeks public input on house size in ALR

British Columbians have one week left to submit their input on a provincial bylaw standard aimed to help municipalities curb the proliferation of "McMansions" on property within the Agricultural Land Reserve [ALR].

In February, Metro Vancouver called on the provincial government to introduce standardized rules for the footprint and placement of homes in the ALR.

The request was the result of a growing trend, identified by Metro staff, of massive homes being built on ALR property, many by owners with no intention of farming.

Delta South MLA Vicki Huntington joined the call for provincial standards in May, telling the South Delta Leader that excessively large farm homes are putting development pressure on the price of farmland and discouraging young start-up farmers.

"Sprawling homes are just one of the many abuses taking place on agricultural land in British Columbia and the current patchwork approach by individual municipalities is not enough to address the problem," she said.

The ministry website states this bylaw standard is a "first step" in response to that request, and will include criteria to assist municipalities in developing bylaws around building in the ALR.

Currently, local municipalities have varying degrees of rules and regulations on this issue. Delta, for example, is already developing a bylaw that will restrict house size.

At least one farmer opposed to the bylaw, Gurdial Badh, told the Delta Optimist the restriction was unfair and discriminatory, saying that South Asian farmers like himself need large homes to house extended, multi-generational families.

The public has until July 14 to provide input on the draft bylaws standards. Comments are being accepted by mail and via an electronic survey, available on the ministry's website here:

Colleen Kimmett reports for The Tyee.

Find more in:

What have we missed? What do you think? We want to know. Comment below. Keep in mind:


  • Verify facts, debunk rumours
  • Add context and background
  • Spot typos and logical fallacies
  • Highlight reporting blind spots
  • Ignore trolls
  • Treat all with respect and curiosity
  • Connect with each other

Do not:

  • Use sexist, classist, racist or homophobic language
  • Libel or defame
  • Bully or troll
  • Troll patrol. Instead, flag suspect activity.
comments powered by Disqus