About the Agricultural Land Reserve
The Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) is a provincial zone in which agriculture is recognized as the priority use. Farming is encouraged and non-agricultural uses are controlled.
The ALR covers approximately 4.7 million hectares. It includes private and public lands that may be farmed, forested or vacant land. In total, the ALR comprises those lands within BC that have the potential for agricultural production.
The Agricultural Land Reserve takes precedence over, but does not replace, other legislation and bylaws that may apply to the land. Local and regional governments, as well as other provincial agencies, are expected to plan in accordance with the provincial policy of preserving agricultural land.
The Agricultural Land Commission Act sets the legislative framework for the establishment and administration of the agricultural land preservation program.
Who needs to make an application?
If your property is within the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR), you may need to apply to the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) to:
- Include land into the ALR
- Exclude land from the ALR
- Subdivide land within the ALR
- Non-Farm Use on ALR land
Why do I apply to the CSRD if the ALR is a provincial system?
The application process requires the local government to file a Local Government Report concerning your proposal. The purpose of the report is to provide the Commission with information on local planning such as community plan and zoning designations and to give the local government an opportunity to make comments and recommendations on a proposal.
ALR Exclusion applications
As a result of Bill 15-2019, as of September 30, 2020, private landowners are no longer able to make an application for exclusion – only the Provincial Government, local or First Nation governments or prescribed public bodies may make such applications.
The CSRD adopted ALR Exclusion Policy P-24 on December 9, 2021, which outlines the procedure for a private landowner to apply to the CSRD to submit an ALR Exclusion application to the ALC for their property. The Development Services Application Fees Bylaw No. 4000 and Development Services Application Procedures Bylaw No. 4001 were also updated to reflect the new procedure and fees.
Please review the ALC's website for further information, including how to apply.