Major Changes to the ALR

Major Changes to the ALR

Built Prefab Modular Home Rendering

If you haven’t already heard…

As of February 22, 2019, the Government of British Columbia has enacted some fairly substantial changes to the Agricultural Land Reserve legislation as it relates to the construction of dwellings on ALR designated property and we’ve had more than a few discussions with folks attempting to sort out their situation.

In the past, the ALR legislation allowed by right in many cases for the construction of certain secondary dwellings as long as they met the size requirements of the legislation and were prefab modular or manufactured homes with appropriate CSA certification; however, it looks like all of that has changed.

According to a Press Release, the BC Government stated that the legislation:

“makes it clear that land in the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) is for farming and ranching in British Columbia, not for dumping construction waste or building mega-mansions.”

The legislation makes a key change with respect to residences by limiting new house sizes to less than 500 square metres [about 5,400 square feet], except through application to the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) in cases where it would support farming; and requiring an ALC approval of any additional residences in the ALR to curb non-farm development.

According to a recent email exchange with a representative from the ALC stated to Built that:

“of Friday, February 22nd 2019, secondary dwellings are no longer permitted in the ALR. Therefore, an application would be required prior to moving forward with any plans for a secondary dwelling. You are able to make an application to request a second dwelling, but there is no way to guarantee it will be approved. The mandate of the ALC is to preserve agricultural land and encourage farming, and the Commission reviews application proposals with their minds to this mandate.”

The ALC representative followed up to state:

“I should have added that the ALC actually cannot approve (under the new legislation) any second dwelling which is not expressly proposed for the purposes of farm use. So, if you do choose to make an application, you would need to ensure that the dwelling you propose is for farm use.” 

In order to gain approval for a secondary dwelling, owners must submit and application to the ALC and pay a $1500 fee all of which can be located on the ALC website here.

The ALC has also published a list of factors they will consider in any application which you can read here.

The full ALC Bulletin can be found here.

To make a long story short, you need to submit a plan to the ALC for approval.

If you are considering making an application to the ALC for a primary or secondary dwelling, and you would like some assistance give us a call.

If you would like to learn more about options or to discuss your project, get in touch with us at or head back to our site at where you can learn more about us, our product, and our process.

Built Prefab designs and manufactures premium prefab modular homes in Kelowna, British Columbia and ships them across Western Canada.

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