This Act contains 55 articles. It provides for the establishment of a Provincial Agricultural Land Commission in articles 2, 3, 4 and 8. The Commission is for all purposes an agent of the Government. Its objectives and powers are set out in article 10 and are as follows, to (a) preserve agricultural land, (b) encourage the establishment and maintenance of farms, and the use of land in an agricultural land reserve compatible with agricultural purposes, (c) assist municipalities and regional districts in the preparation of land reserve plans required under this Act, and (d) encourage municipalities, regional districts, first nations and ministers, ministries and agents of the governments of British Columbia and Canada to support and accommodate farm use of agricultural land in their bylaws, plans and policies. Moreover the Commission has the power, by itself or in cooperation with the entities to acquire and dispose of property. The mechanism used by the Commission to achieve these objectives is by adopting by bylaw a land reserve plan only after a regional board or municipal council has held a public hearing, having complied with the prescribed Notice in article 12. A "land reserve plan" means a plan prepared under this Act according to the regulations and sets out the areas that, subject to the approval of the Lieutenant Governor in Council, may be designated by the Commission as an agricultural land reserve; exclusions are provided for in article 14.Once designated as a Land Reserve, a person must not use agricultural land for a purpose other than farm use, except as permitted by this Act, the Regulations or an Order of the commission, on terms the Commission may impose (arts 17 and 18). Applications, which can be made to the Commission to permit reserve land to be used for other than for farm use, are dealt with in article 22 and an appeal procedure is provided for in articles 25, 26 and 27. The general application procedure together with prescribed fees are outlined in detail in articles 33 to 35. This Act also establishes an Environment Assessment Board to deal with any applications made to the Commission (arts. 39-44), whilst articles 51-53 deal with enforcement and civil proceedings.
Implemented by: Agricultural Land Reserve Use, Subdivision and Procedure Regulation (B.C. Reg. 171/2002). (2014-09-05)
Repeals: Soil Conservation Act ([RSBC 1996] Chapter 434). (1996-12-31)
Repeals: Agricultural Land Commission Act ([RSBC 1996] Chapter 10). (1996-12-31)
Authors and Publishers
Government of British Columbian (Canada)