New agricultural land rules will support farming families, says NDP MLA Brittny Anderson

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CRESTON VALLEY – New Democrat MLA Brittny Anderson says new rules will add flexibility and increased housing options for a small secondary home in the Agricultural Land Reserve. The additional residence can be used for anything from housing extended family to an agritourism accommodation, to housing for farm labour, to a rental property for supplemental income.

“People in the Creston Valley and across the Kootenays know the important work that our local farmers do to keep us all healthy and fed,” said Brittny Anderson, MLA for Nelson-Creston. “With these changes, we’re expanding opportunities for farmers to ensure that they can have family or workers nearby, or expand their offerings through agritourism.”

The new rules will increase stability of local food systems by increasing economic opportunities for farm owners. These changes will also allow for a streamlined approval process in which applicants only need to apply to a local government or First Nation government, rather than the Agricultural Land Commission.

Flexible housing options permitted under the regulation include, but are not limited to:

  • garden suites, guest houses or carriage suites,
  • accommodation above an existing building,
  • manufactured homes, and
  • permitting a principal residence to be constructed in addition to a manufactured home that was formerly a principal residence.

There is no longer a requirement that additional residences must be used by the landowner or immediate family members.

This new residential flexibility is the result of an engagement process that included discussions with farmers and the greater community. The new rules will come into effect December 31, 2021.

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