Table of Contents Farmland Considerations

Farmland Impact

Land within the Agricultural Land Reserve: Applications to subdivide land within the Agricultural Land Reserve must be submitted through the local government. Use the application form supplied by the Agricultural Land Commission. 

If the Agricultural Land Commission allows the subdivision, the applicant should bring a copy of the approval letter to the District Development Technician. If a covenant is required as a condition of the Commission's approval, it should be in favour of the Land Reserve Commission. If the final subdivision plan differs significantly from the sketch approved by the Commission, the Approving Officer cannot give final approval.

Impacts on farming operations will be considered. Buffers and access conditions may be required. If the land is adjacent to the Agricultural Land Reserve, the application may be submitted directly to the Land Reserve Commission for confirmation of the Land Reserve Boundaries.  Please note that in some areas of the province, the authority to make decisions on land use and subdivision applications within the Agricultural Land Reserve has been delegated to local government pursuant to section 26 of the Agricultural Land Commission Act. As of January 1, 2005 only portions of the Regional Districts of Fraser Fort George and East Kootenay are affected.

Land Partially Within the ALR : Subdivision of land located partially or totally within the Agricultural Land Reserve cannot be approved without the permission of the Land Reserve Commission or local government, if delegated the authority, unless conditions specified in the Agricultural Land Reserve Use, Subdivision and Procedure Regulation, B.C. Reg. 171/2002 are met.

Final plans require a notation in the form outlined in Schedule A of BC Regulation 171/2002. On behalf of the Provincial Approving Officer, the District Development Technician may check with the Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Food District Agriculturist and the appropriate ALC Regional Research Officer for an opinion on whether the subdivision proposal complies with BC Regulation 171/2002.

Subdividing Land for Farm Purposes : If the subdivision is for farm purposes or to provide a separate residence and is non-developmental, the Approving Officer should consider whether it is necessary and reasonable to protect road widening and access to lands beyond at this time.

Road dedications cannot exceed those allowed by BC Regulation 171/2002. Access by easement does not satisfy the requirements of the Land Title Act for access.

Further information, including the Agricultural Land Reserve Use, Subdivision and Procedure Regulation, B.C. Reg. 171/2002, can be found on the Agricultural Land Commission website.

This guide is a living document; it is subject to change without notice. Please check the Rural Subdivisions Website ( to make sure your version is sufficiently current.